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Islamophobia In Canada Essay

2207 words - 9 pages

Canada has a reputation of being one of the most multicultural countries in the world and unlike the United States, which is a melting pot for cultures; Canada embraces people’s backgrounds and ethnicities. However, that idea has become a very arguable and debatable issue. Although not many people want to admit to it, there is a lot of racism and oppression that go on in Canadian society today. Many people of visible minorities and people who are new immigrants live their lives facing racism and culture bashing everyday. Even though Canada has a reputation of welcoming people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds into the country, there is a lot that goes on that is not known or reported and is covered up. However it is one thing to face racism from individuals on the street and another thing to face it from the system that you thought would grant you a better standard of living. Unfortunately, individual and systemic racism and oppression happen everyday in our society and many find reasons and ways to justify it. One group of people that faces a lot of racism and discrimination are Muslims. Since the 1980s Muslims have been portrayed in society and by the media as terrorists and extremists. This essay will look at the definition of Islamophobia, the representation of Muslim women in Canada, and the case of Maher Arar and its affects on Muslims in Canada.Islam is one of the largest religions in the world today. Muslims are spread in countries all over the world and have huge religious bases in many regions. Although many may think that Muslims only come from the Arab world, there are actually Muslims that come from Africa, and Eastern and Southern Asia. Due to modern day immigration, Muslims have established communities in many Western countries as well. In 2005 in Canada , 2% of the population is Muslim. That is approximately 667,803 people. The Muslim population is constantly growing due to immigration rates and increasing birth rates among the Canadian Muslim community (Statistics Canada, 2005). After the events of September 11/ 2001, people began viewing Muslims in a different light and the growing Muslim population became a cause for intimidation for many Canadians.Islamophobia was a term coined in the 1980s but first appeared in print in a newspaper in 1991. The term refers to hostility against Islam and a general fear of the religion and its followers. There are eight components of Islamophobia as stated by Runnymede Trust in their article Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All (1997). These components are:“(1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change; (2) Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them; (3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist; (4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a...

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