The Canadian government on January 30 announced that it intends to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia. The appointment will be part of the country's Anti-Racism strategy, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion said.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that there is a dire need to put an end to hate and make communities safer for Muslim citizens.
Last year, the country had announced its intention to make January 29 a National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia. This year, on the five-year anniversary of the terror attack, it supports Muslim communities and reaffirms its commitment to denounce and tackle Islamophobia and hate-fuelled violence, the government said in a statement.
It noted that Islamophobia is a concrete and daily reality for Muslim communities across Canada and worldwide, adding that it is the government's responsibility to combat discrimination and continue to build a more inclusive society.
In July 2021, the federal government had held a virtual National Summit on Islamophobia and a special representative appointment was one of the recommendations put forward during the Summit. It is regarded as an additional step in the government's ongoing work through Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy to tackle Islamophobia in all its forms.
A Welcome Step!
Welcoming the decision, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted that Trudeau's timely call to action resonates with what he had long argued.
On January 29, 2017, six worshippers were killed and five others got severely injured after a 27-year-old opened fire in a mosque during evening prayers. The shooting, which Prime Minister Trudeau denounced as a terrorist attack, provoked debate over the treatment of new arrivals when Canadians were being tested by a growing number of migrants crossing from the United States into the province of Quebec, Hindustan Times reported.
In the same year, an anti-Islam rally was held in the London city of Ontario, which a group organised, called the Patriots of Canada Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA).