On January 29, 2017, a brutal act of Islamophobia claimed the lives of six worshippers at a Québec City Mosque and wounded 19 others. The National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia urges all of us to remember and honour the sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, and community members senselessly killed and to actively oppose the myriad ways, both blatant and subtle, that Islamophobia expresses itself in our public and private lives.
This year, we mark the National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia with painful reminders that we cannot be complacent. Hate-based attacks against Muslims—including the very recent bomb threat at a Hamilton mosque—persist across this country. Muslim women continue to be frequent targets of Islamophobia in Canada, a disturbing trend that rose sharply during the pandemic.
As students, librarians, faculty members, and staff, we can do much to advance mutual understanding and mutual respect at the University of Toronto. We can encourage and participate in conversations about Islamophobia on our campuses. We can build on opportunities for collaboration—like the recent conference “Islamophobia and Higher Education: Intersectionalities and Critical Conversations” organized by UTSC staff and faculty—that help us explore strategies to address Islamophobia on an institutional and individual level and deepen our community’s understanding of how Islamophobia intersects with other forms of discrimination. Our efforts need to encompass all the activities we engage in as a University community, from curriculum design, teaching, and learning to research, hiring, and policy-making. We need to take actions that impact the spaces in which we learn, work, and gather. What is more, we need to provide strong and meaningful support to those impacted by Islamophobia in their daily lives.
On January 29, renew your commitment to standing firm against the hatred, fear, and ignorance that fuel Islamophobia in all its forms.
If you are a student who needs immediate support, please call the Health & Wellness Centre at (416) 978-8030 to speak with a counsellor. Counselling is also available through the U of T My Student Support Program (U of T My SSP) 24/7 by calling 1-844-451-9700.
Staff and faculty members can access mental health resources and supports through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP). The 24/7 helpline at 1-800-663-1142 provides support for those experiencing grief, stress, and trauma.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office (EDIO) at UTM: The EDIO at UTM is a campus service for all UTM community members (students, staff, faculty, and librarians) that facilitates equity, Indigenous, and human rights-related programming, training, community engagement opportunities, and systemic change initiatives.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office (EDIO) at UTSC: The EDIO at UTSC is a central resource for all UTSC community members (students, staff, faculty, and librarians) to provide training, programming, and engagement initiatives related to equity, access, discrimination, and harassment.
Community Safety Office: CSO staff are available to provide support to all members of the U of T community.
Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO): provides services to support University members in their efforts to foster environments that are intentionally racially diverse and inclusive through the advancement of equitable practices, education, and training and the provision of complaints resolution supports on matters of race, faith, and intersecting identities as guided by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice: provides an inclusive space for members of the U of T community to engage in community and to learn, grow, and explore diverse cultural and spiritual perspectives.
Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto: Religious and spiritual support and counselling can be found with the Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto, which engages Muslim students and staff by providing an inclusive space for them to foster a meaningful Muslim identity, enriched and supported by quality educational and counselling services.
RAISING A CONCERN OR COMPLAINT
If you are experiencing workplace incivility, harassment, or discrimination, you may raise it with the University by contacting any of the University’s 13 Divisional HR Offices or any of the University’s equity offices on the St. George, UTM, and UTSC campuses.