by Jacob Boon
Because people are the worst, ignorance and intolerance remain dangerous realities for many Canadian Muslims. The recent attacks in Paris have ignited new outbursts of islamophobia in Canada and on your friends’ Facebook timelines. Since this is all unfortunately still a thing, members of the Halifax Muslim community are taking it upon themselves to organize events addressing prejudices and misconceptions about their faith.
I’m a Muslim. Am I A Terrorist?, for instance, is a panel discussion and Q&A on islamophobia that’s being put on by Dalhousie’s Student Union and Muslim Student Association. The December 1 event is scheduled to run from 7-9pm, but—as noted below—the whole two hours might not be needed.
Tomorrow will also mark Hijab Day at the Halifax Central Library. Several members of the Halifax Muslim community are putting on the free event from 12-4pm as a way to educate the general public about Muslim faith and attire. Curious Haligonians are invited to try on a hijab and ask questions about being Muslim.
It's pretty darn quaint, y’all. But that it has to happen at all is morosely depressing.
Since last week we've seen Mosques set on fire, Muslim women accosted and attacked and teenage Muslim girls being advised not to walk alone at night in Toronto. This week also saw a Montreal man arrested after vowing to kill one Arab a week. Jesse Pelletier, 24, made the threat in a video while wearing a Joker mask like a massive knob.
Ummah Mosque imam and Hijab Day organizer Abdelkader Tayebi tells the Canadian Press his wife has been yelled at to “go home,” and some local students have stopped wearing the hijab in Halifax after repeated questioning and teasing.
“I think it’s hard for some people just because of racist comments,” Maram Saidi, another of the event’s organizers, is quoted as saying. “Through this event, we’re trying to get rid of the racism and show that we’re all human.”
The hatred isn't limited to Canada, of course. In the last week Muslims in America have been denounced and threatened by gangs of monster-men and petty thugs—many of whom are vying to be the Republican presidential nominee.
Please remember, all of this racist backlash is helping ISIS.
The hijab is a piece of fabric which is sometimes worn by some Muslim women as a form of modest attire—not unlike a big cozy sweater. It can be made of many different materials and patterns, including the American flag.
Haligonians of all religious backgrounds can gather tomorrow to learn more of these very basic facts, and challenge their own prejudices about the Muslim faith. Again, this is a thing that’s somehow still required in society.
Hijab Day will occur at the same time that star-spangled military officials from all over the world meet a few blocks over to discuss solving the very same problem, but through vastly different methods. Methods that involve fighter jets.
Humanity, it should be noted, is not complete garbage. This province’s 211 hotline is blinging off the hook with Nova Scotians offering their help to incoming Syrian refugees. Good looking out, everybody.