The Council of Canadians Prince Edward Island chapter organized a ‘Human Rights Day Solidarity Rally for Refugees & Muslims’ in Charlottetown yesterday.
CBC reports, “About 40 people attended a rally [outside Province House] organized by the P.E.I. Chapter of the Council of Canadians. Speakers included Muslim, Mi’kmaq and union leaders. Participants held handmade signs with slogans like ‘Solidarity With Muslims’ and ‘Refugees Welcome Here’, and talked about welcoming refugees from Syria in the coming days.”
In their outreach for the rally, the chapter stated, “The Council of Canadians PEI Chapter has invited speakers from diverse backgrounds in Human, Environmental and Democratic rights. We will discuss the work that has been done, the work left, and what new steps that we can take as a community to be more inclusive and welcome to our new community members.” They highlighted, “An inclusive society is one that benefits us all. Let us work towards equity through action, reflection and understanding. Together, we will stand in solidarity with Muslims, Syrians and refugees from around the world and not only welcome them but honour the fact that they have been in Canada (Turtle Island) for centuries.”
On Nov. 23, CBC reported, “Nouhad Mourad and Sarah Tamula are members of the Council of Canadians and are organizing a rally in support of Muslims and refugees in front of Province House in a couple of weeks, as well as a series of workshops aimed at helping the public understand and accept newcomers.”
That article noted, “Some of Mourad’s extended family are refugees who were forced out of their homes in Syria and are waiting in hopes of being accepted into Canada. But Mourad said she’s seen and heard countless comments from Islanders online and in person who don’t want them here.” She says, “There’s been security concerns over Syrians coming here on behalf of ISIS or on behalf of terrorism. There’s definitely some racism happening there, and some anti-Muslim sentiments which is just appalling. It’s just ignorance and a lack of education.”
And it adds, “Sarah Tamula, whose husband immigrated here from Malawi, worries about her family.” She says, “You can’t help but wonder, are we welcome here? I mean I think about my children who are six and things they might have to come up against because of their background.”
The Council of Canadians supports diversity and inclusion, and rejects racism and Islamophobia. This past September, Council of Canadians chapters in Kamloops, Chilliwack, Victoria, Quill Plains, South Niagara, Ottawa, London, Charlottetown, Fredericton and St. John’s took part in #RefugeesWelcome rallies.
PEI chapter to challenge Islamophobia and racism with rally and workshops (Nov. 23, 2015)
Peterborough chapter expresses solidarity with the Al-Salaam mosque (Nov. 22, 2015)
Council of Canadians chapters say #RefugeesWelcome (Sept. 11, 2015)
Photos by Ann Wheatley.