The Association of Ontario Health Centre’s statement on the rise of Islamaphobia deserves wide reading. Full disclosure, I work at a community health centre and live happily with Muslims, a mosque and recent immigrants as neighbours.
“The attack on the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre this past weekend left us shocked and saddened, and our thoughts and hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific hate crime.
Unfortunately, the shooting in Quebec City is not an isolated incident but rather an extreme manifestation of the growing Islamophobia and the rise in anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric both in Canada and around the world.
AOHC represents primary health care organizations across the province that work with people and communities facing multiple social injustices and health disparities. We know how this type of violence reverberates across the country, and indeed the world, and impacts Muslim and other racialized communities in Ontario.
In the aftermath of this attack, we want to reaffirm our commitment to social justice and health equity and we urge you to do the same. Here are three actions you can take:
Health Equity Charter for our members https://www.aohc.org/Health-Equity-Charter?lang=en : If your organization hasn’t endorsed the Health Equity Charter, please contact Gabriela Panciu at Gabriela@aohc.org to do so.
Charter for Inclusive Communities http://www.nccm.ca/charter/ : We encourage you to endorse the Charter for Inclusive Communities by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, supported by AOHC among other organizations.
Break the Behaviour http://breakthebehaviour.ca/ : Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants also invites you to sign their Break the Behaviour pledge as a first step towards building a racism-free Ontario.
We, at AOHC, pledge to continue working with our members to recognize and confront barriers to equitable health, as well as support ongoing efforts to build healthy, vibrant and inclusive communities.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017″