Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-racism Initiatives, has released the following statement in celebration of Islamic Heritage Month:
“October is Islamic Heritage Month – an opportunity to celebrate the generosity of Muslim communities and to learn about the history of Islam in Canada. It is also a chance to stand in solidarity against anti-Muslim hate, Islamophobia and all forms of hate, and to foster greater understanding, acceptance and social cohesion among people of diverse faiths in British Columbia.
“British Columbia has a growing Muslim community, with more than 79,000 now calling the province home. We are grateful for the continued contributions of Muslims to all areas of this province. From arts and culture to business and philanthropy, these contributions bring a richness and diversity to our communities.
“While this is a time for celebration, we know that the community has experienced significant challenges over the past year. We’ve seen a notable increase in hateful attacks against Muslims across Canada and in B.C. we’ve also seen a rise in anti-Muslim comments on social media and women attacked by white supremacists for wearing a hijab. This is unacceptable and cannot continue.
“Racism and hate are hurting people in our communities, and it takes all of our collective voices to stand in solidarity against hate in any of its forms. Our government is committed to tackling race-based and faith-based hatred, as well as discrimination of all kinds in the province.
“We have moved quickly to provide funding to grassroots anti-racism projects. In spring 2022, we’ll be introducing anti-racism data legislation to help pave the way to a more equitable and inclusive province.
“As we celebrate Islamic Heritage Month this October, I encourage you to take the time to participate in local events in your community and learn more about the various cultures and traditions that Muslim Canadians bring to our province.”