Ontario Funds Combatting Islamophobia in Schools

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29th, 2021



The Ontario government is investing in a plan to counter Islamophobia and ensure classrooms are free from discrimination.

Those in the community who were raised in a different culture than what most of us are used to seeing are beginning to play a larger role in public life.

Muslims participating in Call to Prayer

Muslims taking part in a public prayer event at Spencer Smith Park.

The Muslim community recently held a Call to Payer on a Friday afternoon in Spencer Smith Park rather than at their mosque.
Few people in Burlington had ever witnessed such an event.

We now have a Muslim woman nominated as the Liberal candidate for the next provincial election.

We see a lot more woman wearing the hijab when they are out for a walk or in the supermarkets. We are also seeing different food offerings on the shelves.

We human being are not very good at adapting to change. The kids get it – their parents have a more difficult time.

As part of the Safe Return to Class fund, Ontario’s government is providing $225,000 to the Muslim Association of Canada to create digital resources for educators, students and parents to raise awareness about Islamophobia. These resources will provide information about Islamic practices, values and misconceptions, root causes of Islamophobia and ways to help end Islamophobia, racism and discrimination.

Ontario is also providing $75,000 to the National Council of Canadian Muslims to facilitate outreach and engagement with Muslim parents and families, with a focus on newcomer communities. These engagements will provide information on school supports and will provide culturally relevant resources to enhance well-being for families and help Muslim students prepare for the return to school in September.

sign at call to Prayer

The Muslim community is reaching out to the people of Burlington – the city now needs to learn to hear what they are saying.

According to the most up to date data from Statistics Canada, hate crimes have been on the rise in Canada, with a nine per cent increase in anti-Muslim attacks in 2019, when compared to the previous year. Tragic and disturbing reports and incidents across Canada and the world over the past years underscore the need for action.

“It is unacceptable that many Muslim students continue to face discrimination in our schools, on our playgrounds and in communities across this country,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “That is why we are investing and partnering with community leaders — who are leading this effort— to counter racism and better support Ontario’s Muslim students and their families.

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5 comments to Ontario Funds Combatting Islamophobia in Schools

  • Hilary Durrant

    Any discrimination is abhorrent. Many hate crimes go unreported. So let’s not single out one particular group suffering hate crime, saying it has a higher increase than others. That will only discriminate against other minority groups who suffer hate crimes. Let’s just deal with discrimination as a whole, regardless of who it is against.

  • Helen Donohoe

    ETFO has produced a number of very good resources on topics in racism, available to all.

  • Penny Hersh

    It is unacceptable for anyone to be a victim of discrimination. It is not only the Muslim population that is dealing with this.

    There is Asian discrimination, Black discrimination and Anti-Semitic discrimination ( the highest increase in hate crimes are anti-semitic). Burlington is not exempt from this either.

    Perhaps funding should include all minority groups that deals with this issue?

    • Blair Smith

      Most important then that these communities, particularly those that have suffered millennia of bias, decide that now is the time to make ‘a brave new world’ and bury their ingrained prejudice. Canada was intended to be a “mosaic” not a melting pot like the USA. Part of that bargain/dynamic was that immigrant communities would celebrate both their historic culture enriching the Canadian landscape but also adopt a distinctly new identity; one that they helped to forge. I, for one, have had quite enough of centuries old conflict being carried into my homeland and poisoning its earth. Enough please.