Islamophobia – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students Thu, 02 May 2019 23:54:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://www.langaravoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LOGO-100x100.png Islamophobia – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca 32 32 Islamophobia erodes sense of self https://www.langaravoice.ca/islamophobia-erodes-sense-of-self/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 02:00:30 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=41826 The impact of Islamophobia on students’ sense of well-being can affect their ability to succeed in school, according to a Langara sociology instructor]]>

Reported by Missy Johnson

The impact of Islamophobia on students’ sense of well-being can affect their ability to succeed in school, according to a Langara sociology instructor.

Here, and the world over

Last Thursday, Langara held its 15th-annual Stop Racism event on campus. In an impassioned speech, Fatima Jaffer, an anti-racism activist and PhD candidate at UBC, said the recent shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, shows how the Muslim community is still targeted by racists.

“Homogenizing our approaches to racism, to activism, have failed Muslims on the basis of race and religion,” she said.

Battling with identity

Langara sociology student Vicky Malonda said victims of Islamophobia are forced to downplay their Muslim identity.

“They’re not as open as they can be. They have to portray a different self than their actual self,” Malonda said.

Indira Prahst, a Langara sociology instructor who specializes in race and ethnicity, said students who are affected by racism often remain silent.

“Racism has consequences in the lives of individuals and in shattering the self,” she said.

Hope for the future

In an effort to combat Islamophobia and other forms of racism in the city, Vancouver councillor Pete Fry said they are taking applications for a new racial and ethno-cultural equity advisory committee.

“This is a great opportunity to actually truly reflect some of the diversity of our city,” he said.

Malonda said combatting racism on campus requires everyone to be more open minded.

“If you do see something, if you see someone making negative comments, just help and try to stop it,” she said.

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Vancouver mourns for New Zealand https://www.langaravoice.ca/vancouver-mourns-for-new-zealand/ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 21:38:29 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=41565 Hundreds of people gathered at a somber vigil Sunday at the Vancouver Art Gallery to show solidarity with the victims of New Zealand’s recent terrorist attack, and members of the Muslim community.]]>

Correction March 26, 2019: A previous version quotes a Keegan McIntosh, the proper attribution was Bill McIntosh.

Reporting and photos by Liam Hill-Allan

Hundreds of people gathered at a somber vigil Sunday at the Vancouver Art Gallery to show solidarity with the victims of New Zealand’s recent terrorist attack, and members of the Muslim community.

More than 11,000 kilometres from New Zealand, throngs of Vancouverites mourned the deaths of the victims, and pledged intolerance of these targeted attacks.

Langara student Noor Fadel recited a poem to those at the vigil, from the perspective of the victims to an emotional crowd, leaving many in tears.

“Bodies fall, all around me, screaming loud, I’m down on my knees,” Fadel recited. “Nowhere to run, no place to hide, I’m stuck in this place, prepared to die.”

On March 15, an Australian white-nationalist armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle, entered two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch and murdered 50 worshippers before being stopped by police officers.  He livestreamed the entire attack.

Fadel described her anger at the gunman’s racist motives which he laid out in a manifesto before the attack.

“Because of our colour, because of our race,” Fadel said. “Because of the fear he hears in the news, he never bothered to ask so he continued to shoot.”

Ignorance and hate still exists

Adnan Akiel, an organizer from the Bridging Gaps Foundation, said the event was created to draw attention to spread of racist violence.

“[The New Zealand terrorist attack] woke us up to the reality of ignorance and hate that exists in our society,” Akiel said. “I wanted to use this as an opportunity to address it.”

The terrorist’s manifesto, which was published on the internet, referenced many popular alt-right internet personalities, whom he said influenced his ideology.

The event brought both Muslim and non-Muslim supporters together.

“People from all walks of life, from all faiths, all different genders, different lifestyles, they all came here for the same reason, which is to end ignorance and hate” Akiel said.

Bill McIntosh, an event attendee, said he showed up, “to be human and to be supportive.”

“Intolerance really touches us all,” he said.

Organizers at the vigil offered information on Islamic culture and free copies of the Qur’an.

Naveed Nadeem, an organizer handing out pamphlets, said increased education on Islam could help fight hatred.

“If it happened there, it can happen here.”

“The root cause of these acts is ignorance,” Nadeem said. “We are here to answer any questions.”

Humza Rai said he and many other Muslims in attendance showed up to express their grief with other Muslim communities around the world.

“If it happened there, it can happen here,” Rai said.  “It was really heartbreaking and really fearful, so we hope some change can come out of this.”

Even before the New Zealand attack, two alt-right personalities say they had their speaking events pushed out of various venues after activists and city councillors wrote letters expressing their concerns. Stephan Molyneux and Lauren Southern said they eventually had to cancel their events after being unable to find any venue following the attack.

Metro Vancouver has an active Muslim population of over 110,000 people and over a half-dozen mosques in the city alone.

Police officers have stepped up their patrols of Muslim worship areas to make the community feel safe.

Read Kirsten Clarke’s related opinion article about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s reaction to Friday’s terrorist attack.

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