CUPE Ontario’s 280,000 members join Muslim communities and allies in expressing outrage over the news that a Toronto mosque was the victim of despicable threats of violence.
No one should have to be subjected to the kind of cowardly vitriol these worshippers experienced – least of all Muslims, members of a community that has long faced both systemic and explicitly violent forms of Islamophobia.
This is a community which has seen that these threats are not empty. In Toronto just last month, Mohamed-Aslim Zafis was killed outside the International Muslim Organization (IMO). The 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting left six worshippers killed and 19 injured. And the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand, cited as a model for an attack against the Toronto mosque, left 51 worshippers dead and 40 injured.
We can’t stand by and allow this to continue. And with white supremacist organizations on the rise, the urgency of this moment is beyond measure.
We must immediately look inward and talk with our neighbours, but we must also collectively organize and call on our elected representatives to do more. We support the National Council of Canadian Muslims in its call for the federal government to develop a national action strategy to eliminate white supremacist organizations, and we call on our provincial government to reverse its cuts to the Anti-Racism Directorate.
As CUPE Ontario, we also support the calls of the Ontario NDP to have the Ford Conservatives move to action, which includes providing funding, to fully keep Muslim Communities safe in our province. The City of Toronto also has a responsibility to act – and we call on Mayor Tory to do more than offer words of support.
In this moment, we need government to play one of its most important roles, to keep communities safe. Our members in CUPE Ontario commit to redoubling our efforts to fight and root out Islamophobia wherever we find it, before its seeds of hate grow any more.