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Resources and calls to action against Islamophobia

June 15, 2021
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Content warning: the beginning of this article includes mentions of specific Islamophobic hate crimes. To access supports, please scroll down to the "Supports and mental health resources" section.

SFU stands in solidarity with Muslim communities in B.C. and across Canada in the wake of the heartbreaking Islamophobic attack in London, Ontario on June 6, 2021.

This attack was both a hate crime and a terrorist attack against the Muslim community, and is not an isolated incident; it is important to situate it within Canada's long history of Islamophobia. In 2017, a gunman killed six Muslims after a prayer service at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. In 2020, a volunteer for the International Muslim Organization in Toronto was killed while sitting outside the mosque. Just a few days ago, a Muslim woman experienced Islamophobic harassment while waiting at a bus stop in Vancouver. And according to Statistics Canada, anti-Muslim hate crimes have been on the rise in Canada, with a nine per cent increase in anti-Muslim attacks in 2019 compared to the previous year.

As President Joy Johnson shared on Twitter last week, "This kind of hate should have no place in Canada, but events like this remind us that we have a long way to go." 

Below, you will find resources for Muslim members of the SFU community who may be struggling with grief and pain, and actions that can be taken in support of Muslim communities in Canada. Let us continue together on the journey towards building a more inclusive and equitable world, where our Muslim students and colleagues can practice their faith freely and without fear. 

This list of actions and resources was developed in consultation with the SFU Multifaith Centre, SFU Muslim Students Association and SFU Ismaili Students Association. Thanks to these groups for their input and insight. If you would like to suggest additions to this page, please send your suggestions to edi@sfu.ca.
 

Supports and mental health resources

For those who are affected by the attack, support is available. Please reach out if you need help.

  • Connect with a chaplain: The SFU Multifaith Centre has chaplains from various faith backgrounds available for one-on-one conversations and support.
  • My SSP: SFU students can access free 24/7 mental health support through the My SSP app. Culturally relevant support options are available; you can request to speak to a counsellor who shares your language and/or racial identity. 
  • See a Counsellor: Free, confidential, time-limited supports are available to all registered SFU students. Identity-based support options can be found here.
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): the SFU Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides confidential, professional assistance to help SFU employees and their family members resolve problems that affect your personal and work lives.
  • Critical Incident Support: A Critical Incident (or Significant Event) is a traumatic event that creates a strong emotional reaction. This reaction may interfere with an individual’s ability to manage normal day-to-day activities or have a large negative impact on the people involved or community members that have in some way been involved. Learn about the supports available.
  • The National Centre for Canadian Muslims has several resources guides on their website, including "Know Your Rights: A Guide for Muslim Post-Secondary Students"
     

Take action

For those who want to stand in solidarity with Muslim communities, please familiarize yourself with the available supports and the below resources. Please also consider seeking additional ways to offer support—for example, offering flexibility on deadlines, assignments or attendance. 

  • Launchgood fundraiser has been created to fulfill the needs of the sole survivor of the attack and dedicate a Sadaqah Jaariya project for the deceased.
  • The National Council of Canadian Muslims has created a petition that calls on all levels of government across the country to come together for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia to take immediate action on dismantling both violent forms of Islamophobia and systemic Islamophobia.  
  • Learn more about the history and context of anti-Muslim hate crimes in Canada by reading the National Council of Canadian Muslims' 2017 ODIHR Hate Crime Report.
  • Write your MLA or MP and ask what they are doing to combat Islamophobia in B.C. and in Canada. Some guidelines for writing letters to political officials can be found here.
     

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