Canadian News Jul 20, 2021 5:00 PM EST

Muslim group presses for 61 recommendations ahead of Islamophobia summit

NCCM's CEO Mustafa Farooq said that the organization came up with the recommendations after consulting with members of the Muslim community.

Muslim group presses for 61 recommendations ahead of Islamophobia summit
Elie Cantin-Nantel Ottawa, ON
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The National Council of Canadian Muslims has put forward 61 recommendations, including a national strategy to fight anti-Muslim hate and specific penalties for hate crimes, ahead of this week's national Islamophobia summit.

NCCM's CEO Mustafa Farooq said that the organization came up with the recommendations after consulting with members of the Muslim community. He added that they target every level of government.

"We need to see action and we need to see it now. Governments attending the summit must know that we want more than their attendance, we want to see their commitment to timelines," says Farooq.

Over fifty percent of the recommendations are targeted at the Federal government, including the civil service where it aims to fight systemic Islamophobia, according to The National Post.

The group is also calling for an amendment to the criminal code, so that hate crimes have specific penalties and dedicated prosecutors. The group also wants to get rid of the process where the Attorney General has to consent before prosecution of hate or genocide-based crimes takes place.

The group also has recommendations for provinces, including having anti-Islamophobia curriculums in schools. The organization also took aim at Quebec's Bill 21, which aims to keep the government secular. They say the Attorney General should intervene in all challenges to the bill, which prevents public servants in positions of power from wearing religious symbols.

"If I wanted to move to Quebec and work for the office of the Crown, I would be forced to choose between either practising my faith or my profession. I feel particularly strong about Bill 21, a law that in the year 2021, polices and regulates women’s attire, religious freedom and our freedom of expression," said Nusaiba Al-Azem of the London Muslim Mosque.

The national summit on Islamophobia is happening after a recent deadly attack in London, Ontario where a Muslim family was run over by a truck while out for a walk.

Many politicians are planning to attend the summit, however, Al Azem says they should not see the event as a one off. "This summit is not, should not and cannot be the end," she added.

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