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Calgary students battle Islamophobia during Islam Awareness Week – Calgary


Students at Mount Royal University in Calgary are fighting Islamophobia by educating themselves and others about Islam.

It’s all part of United Islam Awareness Week, an event that runs from Jan. 20 to 24 and is designed to dispel Islamophobia.

The Muslim Student Affiliations, an on-campus group for Islamic students, is marking UIAW by hosting a speaker series featuring scholars with real-life experiences dealing with racism.


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Dilly Hussain, the deputy editor of Muslim news website 5 Pillars, was the first speaker of MRU’s weeklong series.

Hussain said he has seen a rise in Islamophobia in Europe and the United States, and hopes more people start having tough conversations about religious differences.

“If there is a growing sentiment among non-Muslims in the Western world that Muslims believe in x, y and z or they find certain rituals or beliefs problematic or in contradiction with secular liberal values, then we need to have that conversation,” said Hussain.

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He said his presentation on Monday night focused on Muslims becoming more vocal, especially during tenuous political times.

“The situation isn’t getting any better,” Hussain said. “So the best thing to do is not to become shelled inside. You actually need to be out there and engaged.”

Lectures on combating Islamophobia run through the week at MRU’s Jenkins Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming topics include “Quran Burning Doubt” and “Is Jihad Lit.”




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Vancouver School Board to vote on anti-racism motion at Monday meeting



The Vancouver School Board will revisit an anti-racism motion at Monday’s meeting before heading to a vote.


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The Vancouver School Board will revisit an anti-racism motion at Monday’s meeting before heading to a vote.

The motion, put forward by Trustee Jennifer Reddy and developed in consultation with parents and community groups, seeks to create a strategic plan for both the short, medium and long term on how the district should handle and prevent racism and discrimination in Vancouver schools.

An interim report on the progress of the plan is expected in June 2020.

The motion comes after multiple incidents in the previous school year, including one that involved a racist video that prompted a Black student to transfer out of Lord Byng Secondary.

Another aspect of the motion to be discussed Monday looks at hiring an expert to advise the school board on how best to handle such incidents in the immediate aftermath of hate-motivated acts.

The B.C. Community Alliance is among those in support of the motion and will be in attendance at Monday’s meeting, alongside members of the Byng community.

“As we have recently seen several racist incidents at Vancouver schools and the way these incidents are currently being handled, it is urgent that it passes now. If it doesn’t pass, racialized Vancouver students will not see any significant change in the 20/21 school year, as it will not make it into the budget,” read a statement shared by Marie Tate of the BCCA.

“These motions also benefit the broader spectrum of students who need support when incidents of hate arise, such as homophobia, anti-Semitism, gender violence and more.”

The meeting takes place Monday at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Board of Education office’s boardroom.



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