Among 61 recommendations listed in a report by the National Council of Canadian Muslims range from the creation of hate crime units to an anti-Islamophobia plan for the education system.
A national Muslim advocacy organisation in Canada has released a raft of recommendations aimed at tackling Islamophobia in in response to a rise in hate crimes targeting the country’s Muslim community.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) issued 61 recommendations in a report released on Monday, calling for action at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
The NCCM states that more Muslims have been killed in hate attacks in Canada than any other G7 country in the last five years.
In 2017, a deadly mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City left six Muslim worshippers dead. More recently, a terror attack on June 8 killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario. The incident sparked renewed calls for authorities to deal with systemic anti-Muslim bigotry.
The Edmonton area has seen a rash of hate-motivated assaults since December, most of which have involved complainants that have been Muslim, Black or both. Mosques have also been vandalised and prowled by far-right groups.
“While we have heard many words from politicians condemning Islamophobia and standing in solidarity with Muslims in Canada, action to tackle Islamophobia has been slow and piecemeal,” the NCCM said in the report.
“We cannot stand by and see any more lives lost. Islamophobia is lethal and we need to see action now,” it said.
Among the recommendations are calls for a federal anti-Islamophobia strategy by the end of the year, which includes a clear definition of Islamophobia, funding for anti-Islamophobia research and public education campaigns.
It included designating a national support fund for survivors of hate-motivated crimes, which would cover expenses incurred by survivors, such as medical and/or mental health treatments; preventing profiling and mass surveillance of Muslim communities through Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) reforms; and anti-bias training for government officers and judges.
NCCM also recommended an investigative study into the failure of national security authorities to deal with white supremacist groups in Canada.
Among criminal code amendments recommended were the introduction of provisions around hate-motivated assault, murder and threats.
Media representation by incentivising production of Muslim stories through funding in the Canada Media Fund and National Film Board, was highlighted as well.
At the municipal level, the group advocates for bylaws that give authorities the power to fine people who engage in street harassment.
It also called for investment in “celebrating the history of local Canadian Muslims” through events and spaces where their accomplishments can publicly counter negative stereotypes and caricatures.
The NCCM report comes ahead of a national summit on Islamophobia set to take place on July 22, a day after a national summit on anti-semitism.