As-salamu alaykum. Bonjour à tous. Merci d’être des nôtres.
Thank you, Omar, for that introduction and your leadership. My friend, the work you do as our outstanding Minister of Transport, not to mention as the first Syrian-Canadian in Cabinet, is remarkable.
Now to kick things off, I want to pass it over to Mohammed Hashim to say a few words.
For those of you who don’t know him, we appointed Mohammed last year as the new Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. From his experience with so many diverse communities, I can’t think of a better leader to meet this moment and to be part of the work we’re doing to fight Islamophobia.
Over to you, Mohammed.
[Mohammed Hashim provides remarks]
Mohammed, your words remind us of what’s at stake, and that message couldn’t come at a more important time.
Because right now, we do have to fight for the kind of Canada we all want to see. A place where we celebrate diversity. Where we stand together. Where we look out for each other.
That is the promise our country must work hard to live up to.
Because too many times, and for too many people, this promise has been broken. For the Afzaal family in London. For communities in Etobicoke, in Quebec City, and across the country.
Earlier this week, I sat down with the Gurgi family in Hamilton, who were threatened because of their faith.
No one should face hatred in their own neighbourhood. We talked about why things like this happen, and how to prevent it. This includes fighting misinformation with education. And it also includes ensuring that Muslim women in particular feel safe.
Aucune femme au Canada ne devrait se sentir en danger quand elle marche dans la rue, peu importe ce qu’elle porte, et peu importe la couleur de sa peau.
Ensemble, on peut et on doit prendre un chemin différent. Ensemble, on peut se dresser contre l’islamophobie et c’est exactement ce qu’on va continuer de faire.
Already, we have taken real action to protect Muslim-Canadians and stamp out hate wherever it rears its ugly head.
We created Canada’s first-ever Anti-Racism Strategy and passed a motion in the House of Commons to condemn Islamophobia. Because there must never be any doubt that hate is wrong and has no place in our country.
To keep people safe, we’re investing in infrastructure to protect everything from mosques to community centres. And to keep violence out of our communities, we’re cracking down on online extremism and banning far-right hate groups.
En tant que pays, il ne faut pas oublier pourquoi le 29 janvier est devenu la Journée de commémoration de l’attentat de la mosquée de Québec et d’action contre l’islamophobie. Il faut se souvenir des tragédies qui ont eu lieu et s’engager constamment à ne pas laisser de place à la haine.
Partout où la division menace de s’installer dans notre pays, il faut rester forts et unis. Et à ce propos, je veux prendre un moment pour reconnaître les conflits mondiaux qui ont été très troublants pour nombre de Canadiens.
I want to acknowledge the pain and trauma of global conflicts – including in the Middle East – on Muslim-Canadians.
I know that many in our communities have worried not just about family, but about what this means here at home. So let’s be clear: there is no place in Canada for Islamophobia. Not ever.
And on the world stage, our government will always stand up for peace and democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of belief. This includes through the protection of minorities.
To young Muslims who take to the streets to advocate and protest, who call on their elected officials to do more – we see you and we hear you. We will continue to work with you on these issues close to your heart and close to our hearts.
On a encore du travail à faire pour construire le pays – et le monde – dont on rêve tous. Et c’est pourquoi on est ici aujourd’hui.
On a organisé ce sommet national sur l’islamophobie, qui réunit le gouvernement fédéral et les communautés musulmanes d’un bout à l’autre du pays, pour tracer la voie à suivre.
There’s no question that there is work to be done within government to dismantle systemic racism and Islamophobia. Because from the CRA to security agencies, institutions should support people not target them.
We hear that. In fact, on the Canada Revenue Agency, the Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthilier, who’s here with us today will have more to say a little later on.
As many of you have pointed out, part of the path forward must be a public service that is inclusive rather than just diverse. And the voices of all those with lived experiences and expertise on Islamophobia must be at the centre of our work.
Today, I’m here to listen to you on what our next steps should be to continue building a country where everyone is welcome, safe, and respected.
This is not your burden to carry alone. As a society, this is everyone’s responsibility to take on.
Over the past years, we’ve seen increasing examples of hatred and division online and in public discourse. And over the past months of this pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in anti-Black racism, in anti-Asian racism, in Antisemitism, in Islamophobia, and in attacks against women.
The range of reasons why Canadians need to continue to commit themselves to stepping up continues to grow. We all must understand that governments, that institutions, that organizations, that work places, that individual Canadians, all have essential roles to play to be friends, to be allies, but also to be part of the solution.
The politics of division cannot take root if we refuse to be divided. Hate cannot creep into the mainstream if we all speak up against it.
We are a country where we know that diversity is our strength and where we know that everyone is equal and deserving of our deepest respect.
That is what we must defend. And together, I know that we will.
Plus tôt cette semaine, quand les Canadiens musulmans se sont réunis pour célébrer l’Aïd, c’était pour célébrer des valeurs qui nous tiennent tous à cœur en tant que Canadiens: la famille, la générosité, et la communauté.
Vous nous rappelez à tous les jours qu’on est plus forts ensemble. Alors, ensemble, continuons à bâtir un meilleur Canada pour tous.
Je vous remercie pour votre présence aujourd’hui.
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada