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Building Resistance to Islamophobia Through Community

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Islamophobia and violence against Muslims are pervasive and deeply ingrained in Canadian society, according to the Senate committee. Muslim women who wear hijabs, particularly Black Muslim women, are the most vulnerable, and fighting Islamophobia in various public settings is challenging, according to the Committee on Human Rights.

The Islamic Social Association organized a two-day training workshop to raise awareness of Islamophobia in Winnipeg.

Journalist Zuher Almusre from U Multicultural Channel spoke with Shahina Siddiqui to get more details about this training workshop. Siddiqui said that Islamophobia has been on the rise with many incidents of harassment, violence, and killings, especially among girls and women who are visibly Muslim. It is a phenomenon across Canada, and this training not only gives youth some history about Islamophobia but to explain discrimination, what hate is, how is it impacting Muslim communities, and racism. Participants gain a context to understand what is happening under Islamophobia, how to address it and build resilience against it.

Many Muslims in Winnipeg continually fear being targeted, especially if they have experienced, witnessed, or lost a loved one to violence in the past. According to Statistics Canada, police-reported hate crimes against Muslims surged by 71 percent between 2020 and 2021. According to census data, the crime rate was eight incidents per 100,000 Muslim population members.

Muslims in Winnipeg feel that attacks against Muslims often appear on the streets and are more violent than those targeting other religious groups. Non-profit organizations in Winnipeg use these training courses to help establish an aware Islamic society that knows how to act when confronted with any violence in the future.

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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