January 29 is the Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia in Canada. Established in 2019, the day marks the anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City Mosque Shooting, where a domestic terrorist motivated by Islamophobia killed six people and injured 19. This day is an opportunity to commemorate the tragedy, but also to recommit to the elimination of existing stereotypes, biases, and acts of hostility towards the Muslim community.
Four years since the Quebec mosque shooting, acts of hate fueled by Islamophobia continue to impact the GTA and the University community. The incident on October 10, 2020 involving a Toronto mosque, which received violent messages threatening the lives of its members and quoting the deadly Christchurch attack, is a reminder of this reality. No one should fear for their safety in their place of worship or face discrimination because of their faith.
The University of Toronto does not condone hate speech, harassment, or discrimination of any kind. As part of our efforts to address Islamophobia and its intersectional manifestations, the University of Toronto has established the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group. This Working Group provides strategic recommendations to the University on initiatives that address systemic and attitudinal barriers and foster a sense belonging for the diverse communities of Muslim students, staff, faculty, and librarians.
The U of T Anti-Islamophobia Working Group is currently in the process of finalizing its structure and Terms of Reference. Members of the U of T community will be invited to engage with the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group in a variety of ways in the coming months. For more information, please contact the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office.
Scholarship, teaching, and learning can only thrive in an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all. It is our collective responsibility to challenge and act against Islamophobia in our communities. At the University of Toronto, the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion offices at the University of Toronto Scarborough and University of Toronto Mississauga, the Multi-Faith Centre, and the Community Safety Office, in partnership with stakeholders across the tri-campuses, are key drivers of ongoing initiatives that address faith-based discrimination and racism. These offices all provide support, services, and education to our community.