Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks and the “war on terror” it is important to take stock of the conditions that have shaped our national context during this period. Islamophobia has continued to impact Canada’s social and political landscape in profound ways. In the past 4 years there have been two terror attacks against Canadian Muslims. The first took place on Jan. 29, 2017 in a Quebec City mosque when a white nationalist gunned down 6 men after evening prayers. The second terror attack took place on June 6, 2021 when a Pakistani Muslim family- targeted because of their faith and identity- were mowed down by truck killing 4 members of the family and leaving an injured nine-year old boy fighting for his life. These horrific incidents are the outcome of Canada’s “home grown” Islamophobia. Since the 9/11 attacks, public opinion polls have demonstrated that most Canadians hold unfavorable views about Islam and Muslims, and many have shown support for policies that would single out Muslims for heightened regulation and monitoring. Increasingly “Islamophobia industries” are organizing and monetizing campaigns of hate. Outside these fringe groups, liberal forms of Islamophobia are part of the political mainstream, where values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are espoused and celebrated, yet at the same time, policies and practices are enacted that target Muslims as suspect and illiberal minorities further authorizing and normalizing Islamophobia.
This panel will address how anti-Muslim racism has manifest in Canada and created the social, political, and cultural breeding ground for violence and hate. Panelists will examine the context of racial secularism and gendered Islamophobia in Quebec; the racial securitization of Muslims as “suspect citizens” and how the 9/11 generation of millennial Muslim youth have navigated the fraught conditions under which their faith and identity have come under siege.
Abdie Kazemipur, University of Calgary and Canadian Sociological Association President
Panelists and Presentations:
Leila Benhadjoudja, University of Ottawa
Baljit Nagra, University of Ottawa and Paul Maurutto, University of Ottawa
Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University
Organizer: Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Lauier University