Combatting Hate: Islamophobia and Its Impacts on Muslims in Canada


Combatting Hate: Islamophobia and Its Impacts on Muslims in Canada

5 months ago 5 months ago Published by
This report was published by the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Senate of Canada.


Islamophobia is a complex phenomenon that takes many forms.

This report includes 13 recommendations based on witness testimony, data, and calls to action from Muslim communities. While there is no single solution to the complex problem of Islamophobia, the committee’s recommendations are designed to ensure that Muslims are empowered to live, work, and pray in safety, on an equal basis with all Canadians. Following the committee’s recommendations, this report is divided into four major sections, which outline what the committee heard over the course of its study and provide further context for the committee’s recommendations.

The first section of the report outlines the intersectional nature of Islamophobia. The committee heard that Islamophobia combines with other forms of prejudice, such as sexism, racism, ableism and homophobia, resulting in experiences of discrimination that are at once unique and tragically predictable.

The second section discusses hate-motivated crimes and the role of law enforcement and federal institutions in addressing them. The horrific acts of violence targeting Muslims in recent years have left Muslim communities feeling like they are constantly under attack and that they are physically unsafe. More needs to be done to strengthen legislative and policy frameworks to protect Muslim communities.

The third section discusses the role of the media and misinformation in the spread of Islamophobia, as well as avenues to confront this phenomenon. The media and the Internet often amplify and perpetuate hateful attitudes, but also have enormous potential to change harmful narratives of discrimination and hate. Similarly, the education system presents both challenges and opportunities for confronting hatred and ignorance, as it reflects the society in which it exists, but can also help change it for future generations.

The final section of the report outlines issues of systemic discrimination. Too often, individual acts of hatred are compounded by systemic Islamophobia, which persists – intentionally or not – through laws, policies and practices in a range of areas, including national security, secularism, workplace discrimination and the federal correctional system. For example, the committee heard extensive evidence of Muslim charities being disproportionately scrutinized by the Canada Revenue Agency without evidence showing that Muslim charities presented any additional risk. The federal government needs to comprehensively examine and correct the prejudices embedded in these and other areas of law and policy.

Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Senate of Canada. (2023). Combatting Hate: Islamophobia and Its Impacts on Muslims in Canada.

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