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Islamophobia – Paranoia or Reality?

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Al Quds Rally in Toronto 2016

It seems that Islamists groups in Canada are trying their best to prove that Islamophobiais a big issue here. So some Muslim Canadian MPs are working hard in our federal parliament for their cause.

Under the guise of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination,” MP Iqra Khalid tabled the second motion in the parliament to curb Islamophobia in Canada.

Apparently, it’s a good cause. Most Canadians, including myself, should support the call of MP Khalidl, who stands shoulder-to-shoulder with her Muslim community.

But MP Khalid should also look into the root causes of Islamophobia. Until addressing the root causes of this phenomena, it’s impossible to address Islamophobia itself.

Islamophobia is generally defined as a “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.”

So what are the root causes of disliking Islam and Muslims in Canada and elsewhere?

For instance, when Canadians see nasty contents in this syllabus below, they really get offended:

But our Canadian Muslim organizations and Muslim MPs such as Iqra Khalid fail to condemn this syllabus of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ICNA), an organization with which she and her family have good relations.

On MP Khalid’s would-be-request, ICNA Canada may remove this syllabus from their website, but who will remove these thing from their mindset?

This mindset is the basic root cause to any potential Islamophobe.

Would Muslim and non-Muslim parliamentarians who are striving to denounce Islamophobia strive equally hard to denounce and remove this mindset from the larger part of my Muslim community?

Without working on the root cause of Islamophobia, any effort would not bring any fruit to the cause.

Similarly when Canadians see Canada’s Security Intelligence Report about how over 180 Muslim Canadians have joined ISIS abroad, what message does that send to Canadians about my Muslim Community?

Have our Muslim MPs such as Iqra Khalid, Salma Zahid or Omar Alghabra, who have close ties with all the Islamic establishment in Canada and who speak very loud to protect the reputation of Muslim community, publicly spoken to Islamic centers about the need to curb radical mindsets and distance themselves from the concept of armed jihad?

None of Muslim MPs condemned any of the Islamic preachers who recently choose to sit down for Canada’s national anthem in Mississauga?

Muslim Student Associations, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and who are active in 17 out of 19 high schools in Mississauga, are seeking the right to preach in the schools.

What message do Canadians receive a message through such acts?

Every year, various Islamic centers together arrange a hateful Al Quds Rally in Toronto against the Jewish community and Canada’s best friend and ally, Israel. What message do Canadians get through this ugly rally?

What would be the reaction of Canadians be to a conference of over 20,000 Muslims in Toronto in which some speakers talked about killing homosexuals?

Similarly, acts ranging from my Muslim community’s general conspiracy theories to men and women being segregated to adherence to sharia values would not make our neighbors and fellow Canadians comfortable about us.

There are hundreds of reasons how my Muslim community could create resentments in my fellow citizens towards Muslims.

The Muslim MPs, who are advocating more for their Muslim communities than their own country, should not appear as hypocrites by asking Canadians to change their mindset while not asking their own communities to leave certain hateful practices behind.

 

Tahir Gora is originally from Pakistan and is the director of the Canadian Thinkers’ Forum, a member of the Coalition of Progressive Muslim Canadian Organizations. He can be followed on Twitter at Twitter.com/TahirGora.

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Tahir Gora

Tahir Gora is a Pakistani and the Director of the Canadian Thinkers’ Forum, a member of the Coalition of Progressive Muslim Canadian Organizations.