The Urban Alliance on Race Relations joins many Palestinian, Muslim, Arab and Jewish organizations in condemning the exponential rise of discrimination against Palestinian, Muslim, Arab and Jewish communities across Canada.
As an organization committed to fighting racism, we oppose the criminalization of peaceful anti-racist advocacy and protest. Currently, we are seeing the targeting and demonization of racialized communities, with several Canadian leaders making statements equating them with “terrorism”. As we’ve previously seen during the so-called “War on Terror '' after 9/11, and Canada’s seige of Kanien’kehá:ka, this framing promotes state policies and practices severely limiting human rights and civil liberties for Indigenous and racialized populations. We also observe that suppression and reprisal against anti-racist and anti-colonial advocacy is a hallmark of the system of white supremacy. We call on Canadian leaders to acknowledge, apologize for and address harms caused by such statements. These harms include drastically rising anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab hate incidents on our streets, in workplaces, and in schools.
We simultaneously condemn the recent violent and hateful attacks against Jewish schools and places of worship. We should all be concerned when the safety and wellbeing of Jewish communities is threatened as they exercise their rights to freedom of worship, and freedom to visibly express their religious affiliation and identity. An attack on one of us as we exercise these rights is an attack on us all.
Canada is a member state of the United Nations and as such has an obligation to uphold international law. We believe this is a time for empathy, dialogue, and learning about the detrimental impacts of settler colonialism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia.