Beyond doubt, the ongoing climate of “hatred and fear” targeting Muslims is injurious to the good image of Canada. Anti Muslim attitude has been developing aggressively for some time followed by no corrective action from the government. Shamefully, there are those who are openly involved in Muslim bashing, while some are constantly busy working behind the scenes to manufacture maximum hatred against Canadians with Muslim names. But, the practising Muslims are the ones who are hit hard; this negative fact is bound to endanger the well established reputation of Canada.
Most probably, manufacturing Islamophobia offers a profitable business to many. However, the cost seems to be too high in terms of rising discrimination and bias against the Muslims at the workplaces.
The frustrated victims are already complaining about a “fishy odor” coming from the ongoing cultivation of Islamophobia. And, momentum, of course, continues to be building up.
So debating over the issue of veil or head scarf is merely aimed at diverting the people’s attention.
The rising anti-Muslim sentiment makes the Muslim community very vulnerable.
Hostile environment continues to get poisoned 24/7 by some undeclared stakeholders and beneficiaries. In other words, the manipulative industry seems to have some motives and interests.
The number of Islamophobes is on the rise, because the biased media spreads misinformation on regular basis to make the entire Muslim community look like the real culprits for every incident.
However, the good Muslims in the view of the Islamophobs are the moderates, liberated and the ordinary ones who are only yes-persons.
Why are the Canadians and Quebecois being encouraged to have an anti-Muslim sentiment? Doesn’t it amount to fueling/fanning the anti Muslim fire?
Digging deeper, one may find the purpose of anti-Muslim propaganda which seems to be maintaining a constant climate of fear. Also, a deliberate stirring up prejudice against Muslims for political advantage is well calculated. Conveniently, the created ‘Muslim-issues’ can easily be used to gain in the polls through distracting people's attention from real economic and social issues.
The fact is Muslims deserve to be treated with dignity and respect because they contribute to Canada immensely.
Furthermore, majority of Muslims are law-abiding citizens who adhere to the teachings of their faith based only on peace and justice. Hence, Islam becomes the fastest growing faith in the west. Muslims are not forcing anyone to convert, because it’s the logic that attracts others towards the religion of peace. The Quran was sent for the benefit of all Humankind including the believers indeed. The Quran (2:256) says: There is no compulsion in religion.285 The Right Way stands clearly distinguished from the wrong. Hence he who rejects the evil ones286 and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of the firm, unbreakable handle. And Allah (Whom he has held for support) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (2:257) Allah is the Guardian of those who believe, He brings them out of every darkness into light.287
The irony is the hate mongers tell Muslim Canadians to go back from where they come from without realizing that the entire country has been built by immigrants consisting of people of multi cultural/religious back grounds.
Religious and visible minorities experience racism, hatred bad mouthing and dirty comments, the same scenario currently is responsible for discomforting the Muslims who are being discriminated against on the basis of their religion.
Shockingly, the alarming trend has put the Muslims specifically in terrible situation even at the work places: Although, Human rights laws protect employees from being treated unfairly because of their sex, age, race, religion, or disability, yet the “anti Muslim virus” seems to be becoming airborne at a much faster pace than it was thought.
It’s about time that the Muslim workers should be aware of their legal rights by visiting Labour Program's Equality in the Workplace Web pages. All Canadians have the right to be treated fairly in workplaces free from discrimination. Remember! Canada has laws to protect workers from discrimination on the basis of color creed or ethnicity. A further read of the Employment Equity Act will be beneficial. Also, visit the Canadian Human Rights Commission Web site.
Section 15 - Equality Rights
1. Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
2. Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the purpose of section 15 is to protect those groups who suffer social, political and legal disadvantage in society. Discrimination occurs where, for example, a person, because of a personal characteristic, suffers disadvantages or is denied opportunities available. At the same time as it protects equality, the Charter also allows for certain laws or programs that favour disadvantaged individuals or groups.
Endeavour to re-unite all communities:
The aggrieved Muslim community must handle the odds with grace and dignity to rid Canada of hatred and fear. Hopefully, one day we can all live in harmony and accept one another for who we are.
Repairing the wounded culture of understanding, reaching out to the marginalized members of society and working together to remove discrimination in all its forms are the keys for the common good of all. Certainly, we need to work and share together as Canadians. Media must show injustices against the rights of Muslim Canadians that are protected by the Charter. At the end of the day, Canada would continue to be place of acceptance and diversity.
It’s responsibility of the State to come up with more clear legislation so that judicial discretion is minimised in legal proceedings with regard to making equal rights available to all indiscriminately.