Muslim community presses government to turn words into action

A day after thousands held a vigil outside the London Muslim Mosque, expressions of sympathy are being joined with calls for action to end Islamophobia.

After imploring Londoners to become ‘Ambassadors of Love’ during the vigil, Nawaz Tahir describes how people can combat hate.

Tahir explains, “If people see online hate and they feel comfortable confronting it, to confront it. If they can report it, report it.”

He also recommends more educational tools to dispel the underlying ignorance that spawns hate.

Tahir adds that ending Islamophobia is not just the responsibility of Londoners, “London isn’t unique in Canada, that we have a very small segment of the population that wants to divide us.”

In the wake of Sunday’s tragedy, the National Council of Canadian Muslims has launched a petition calling for a ‘National Action Summit on Islamophobia’.

It has already exceeded 25,000 signatures.

On Wednesday morning, London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos put the idea of a summit to his fellow MPs and the Prime Minister.

“I think as part of that national summit, I would hope we address the issue of hate more generally,” explains Fragiskatos. “We do need to keep focused on anti-black racism, antisemitism, I also hear from Sikh and Hindu constituents.”

Fragiskatos says the goal of a summit would be to ingrained some of what’s learned directly into federal policy.

Tahir is optimistic.

“We will follow up with them. We heard some positive feedback about a national summit, but we are going to continue to push for that.”