Muslim community calls for increased efforts in combating racism and discrimination after recent CBC pollMarch 15, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, March 15th, 2010- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) notes the persistent existence of discrimination against Muslims in Canada and calls on the government to act progressively to combat racism and discrimination against all people. According to the CBC-commissioned poll, one in three Canadians believes that Muslims and Aboriginal Peoples are frequent targets of discrimination.
“This news is certainly not a surprise for us, rather it reinforces what we have been stating all along,” said Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “It is time for the government to get serious about eradicating racism and discrimination against all people, instead of inflaming the issue and making matters worse. Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it and it is now time to stop merely talking and starting acting.”
MCM notes that while a lesser percentage of people in Quebec recognized the existence of discrimination against certain visible minorities, a large number of the province’s Muslims suffer racism and discrimination on a regular basis. The poll found that Quebecers were more likely to say that blacks, Chinese, Pakistanis, East Indians and Aboriginal Peoples do not face discrimination.
“For years, Canada has been boasting of its multicultural identity, but in reality there remains much to be desired in terms of understanding, tolerance, justice and equality,” Elmenyawi said. “A recent report from Statistics Canada stated that by 2031, one-third of Canadians will be visible minorities. Thus, the onus is on all Canadians, as well as our government, to ensure we are heading towards a future based on respect, tolerance and social harmony, as opposed to one where racism and discrimination continue to plague our nation.”
MCM will be conducting its Annual Mosque Open House program with mosques around the city this spring, to continue its efforts of fostering social harmony, respect and understanding.
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
Fax: (514) 747-9139
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 200,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 900,000 in Canada and 1.7 billion worldwide.