Home > News > ISNA - Canada Speaks at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

ISNA - Canada Speaks at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Posted on: 13 February 2017

On January 13, 2017, two representatives from ISNA Canada (Safiah Chowdhury, Executive Committee and Katherine Bullock, Majlis) spoke at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.  This committee comprises MPs from the Liberal, NDP and Conservative Parties tasked with informing Canada's national security.

ISNA Canada spoke alongside B'Nai Brith, Amnesty International Canada, and Dr Christian Leuprecht, a Professor from the Royal Military College of Canada. Each group was given ten minutes to present, with 40 minutes allotted for questions and answers. 

After introducing ISNA and the work of the organization, our presentation addressed the human impact that Canadian securitization efforts, including Bill C51, has had on the Canadian Muslim community, particularly its affect on our safety and freedom. We pointed out that Muslims have been the prime targets of discourses around national security, which has led to a rise in hate crimes against the community. Additionally, we posited that fear of being criminalized for expressing views on social and political issues that may be unpopular is leading to a chill on freedom of speech for Muslims, and that this is especially pronounced amongst the youth, which is negatively affecting their sense of ‘belonging’ to Canada. We spoke about the need to fairly and equitably represent the true underpinnings of terrorism instead of constant scapegoating of the Muslim community. 

Afterwards, we were asked a series of questions from different MPs. The questions ranged from general inquiries about what the government can do to assist the youth, suggestions on improving the provisions around the 'no fly list', the implications of certain Bills on our freedom of movement, as well as questions on whether we support shari'ah. 

 

We hope that the MPs present were heedful of our remarks and that Canada's national security framework will reflect one that is truly protective and inclusive for all Canadians, including Muslims

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