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'We have to do something about it': Winnipeggers to mark day of action against Islamophobia

Shahina Siddiqui with the Islamic Social Services Association. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg) Shahina Siddiqui with the Islamic Social Services Association. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
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Winnipeggers are getting ready to take action against Islamophobia as they remember victims of hate in Canada.

Monday is the National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Islamophobia in Canada. To mark the day, several Muslim and interfaith community groups are planning a vigil.

"It's a way of honouring those who are victims of hate, but at the same time making a pledge as citizens of Canada as to what we will do about it – that we have to do something about it," said Shahina Siddiqui with the Islamic Social Services Association.

Siddiqui pointed to recent deaths in Canada.

In 2017, six men were killed and five other people were critically injured when a man began shooting while they were praying in a Quebec City mosque. The judge in that trial said the shooter had a "visceral hatred for immigrants who are Muslims."

In 2021, four members of the Afzaal family were hit and killed by a truck in London, Ontario, that ran them down while they waited to cross the street.

"To us, Islamophobia is not just an individual act, it is also political, it's also social, it's also systemic," she said.

The vigil on Monday, which is being held virtually by Zoom, is set to begin at 7 p.m. and will include Indigenous and Muslim prayers. It is being organized by the by Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA), Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW) and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) Winnipeg.

"Yes, we may be talking about Islamophobia, but there are so many communities that are targeted by hate today. So I think it should be a mutual commitment to anti-racism and anti-hate," Siddiqui said.

Those looking to register for the vigil can email the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg

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