Tuesday September 28, 2021

Anti-Muslim terror

June 30, 2021

A report submitted by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief in November last year showed that a majority of Canadians – 52 percent – believe that Muslims cannot be trusted, while 42 percent feel that discrimination against Muslims – read: racism – is mainly the fault of Muslims themselves.

The UN findings are part of a long trajectory of violence and racism targeting Canadian Muslims. A Gallup Poll published in 2011 has already debunked the ‘small minority’ claim. Canadian Muslims – 48 percent – along with American Muslims – 52 percent – feel disrespected within their societies. This ‘disrespect’ manifests itself in numerous ways, much of it unreported, occasionally making news when it translates into outright violence. Indeed, there is plenty of that too.

Official Canadian police reports demonstrate that hate crimes against Canada’s Muslims are on the rise, with 166 such incidents reported in 2018, 181 in 2019 and so on, with violent crimes becoming more intense and bloodier with time.

Sadly, anti-Muslim terrorism in Canada is likely to increase in the future, not only because hate crime statistics show an upward trajectory, but because anti-Muslim sentiments often take center stage in government and media as well.

Negative depictions of Islam and Muslims in Canadian media must not be grouped under the designation of ‘mainstream Western media bias’, as media fear-mongering is penetrating the very psyche of large sections of Canadian society. Many Canadian politicians, even in Trudeau’s own party, often exploit this alarming phenomenon to feed their political ambitions.

Various Canadian provinces have either passed or drafted laws that specifically target Canada’s Muslim minorities, for example, Quebec’s Bill 62, which restricts the wearing of the niqab in public buildings. Outrageously, the Bill, which was passed by Quebec’s Liberal government in October 2017, followed the bloody attack on the Grand Mosque in Quebec City. Instead of fighting Islamophobia, Quebec’s officials provided it with a legal and moral justification.

While feeding Islamophobia at home, Trudeau persistently rages against human rights violators in China, the Middle East and around the world. As Chinese columnist Mu Lu rightly argued in Global Times, Canada uses “human rights as a stick to beat others.” While the same claim can also be made regarding the misuse of human rights as a foreign policy tool by other Western leaders, Trudeau is often successful in presenting his human rights concerns as genuine.

If Trudeau is, indeed, genuine in his desire to root out anti-Muslim terrorism from Canada, he should start by cleansing his own party of hate speech, end all attempts at criminalizing Islam and Muslims and ban hate speech against Muslims in the media.

Excerpted: ‘Words Alone will not End Anti-Muslim Terror in Canada’

Counterpunch.org