Montreal, November 30th, 2018 — Yesterday, Statistics Canada (StatCan) released the police-reported hate crime statistics for 2017, revealing a 47% increase in hate crimes in Canada, especially those targeting Muslim, Jewish and Black populations. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is deeply concerned by the dramatic increase in hate crimes in Canada, which confirms the urgent need for the government to take concrete action against Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination. While StatCan recorded an increase in hate crimes across all categories of religion, StatCan notes that Muslims specifically experienced the highest increase in hate crimes, with the number more than doubling in 2017. CJPME calls on the government to take immediate action to address this phenomenon by adopting January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
In October 2018, CJPME and the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) launched the January 29 campaign, calling on the government to designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination, as per recommendation #30 of the M-103 report from Parliament's Heritage Committee. The StatCan report makes clear that there is a need for the government to respond to this timely campaign. In Quebec, hate crimes against Muslims tripled over the 2016-2017 period, largely due to a spike in incidents following the Quebec City mosque massacre on January 29th, 2017.
“This significant rise in hate crimes compels Canada to take immediate action to face up to this pervasive problem. Political goodwill and platitudes are not enough, they must be backed up by tangible action that supports communities that are experiencing hate crimes,” asserted Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. CJPME and other civil society organizations are very supportive of the recommendations of Parliament’s Heritage Committee report of February, 2017, and encourage the government to take action on all of the committee’s recommendations.
The 2017 Statistics Canada hate crime report for 2017 is congruent with the findings of a November 2017 survey on Islamophobia and religious discrimination in Canada. Jointly commissioned by the FMC-CMF and CJPME, the survey revealed that religious discrimination – especially Islamophobia – stands as an ongoing challenge to Canada’s multicultural society. Yet the survey also made clear that many Canadians recognize the problem of religious discrimination and Islamophobia in Canada, stand firmly opposed to it, and expect the government to take measures to address it.
About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.
For more information, please contact Miranda Gallo, 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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