OCDSB Statement on Celebrating Islamic Heritage and Combating Islamophobia

OCDSB Statement on Celebrating Islamic Heritage and Combating Islamophobia
Posted on 10/01/2021
OCDSB Statement on Celebrating Islamic Heritage and Combating Islamophobia

In Ottawa, Muslim students, families, staff and community members reflect a broad range of individual and collective experiences. They bring a vibrant range of talents and perspectives that enrich the social, economic, political and cultural fabric of the OCDSB community. 

Every year for the month of October, Islamic Heritage Month is recognized in Canada. This is a time to reflect and learn together about Islamic excellence and the rich, longstanding contributions Muslim people have made to literature, math, science, art and history both around the world and right here in Ontario. 

At the OCDSB, we will be reflecting, celebrating and learning about Islamic history and culture through:

  • Sharing classroom resources and activities that explore Islamic excellence across all areas of life
  • Encouraging engagement with Muslim community partners and virtual guest speakers
  • Supporting schools in developing awareness and understanding of the contributions of Muslim Canadians through announcements, displays and activities
  • Ensuring that Muslim students and staff have easy and safe access to spaces for performing the Salah and engaging in reflection during the school and work day
  • Developing staff awareness of cultural practices, festivals and observances and how they are to be accommodated
  • Providing opportunities and resources to support staff and students in standing up to Islamophobia

As we learn, we must also reflect on our shared responsibility to identify, challenge and eradicate Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination and hate. 

In September, we marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. As we recalled these dreadful attacks, for many Muslim families it also served as a reminder  of a rising tide of Islamophobia that continues to impact our society. We saw this in Quebec City in 2017 and last June with the murder of a Muslim family out for a walk in London, Ontario. 

Education plays an important role in stamping out Islamophobia and other forms of racism and hate. The OCDSB recognizes our obligation to ensure learning and working spaces are free from discrimination and hate and safe and welcoming for Muslim students, staff and communities. We will not tolerate Islamophobia in the OCDSB.

If you see or experience Islamphobia or any other kind of hate or discrimination we encourage you to report it to a trusted staff member, your principal or vice principal or to the Office of the Human Rights and Equity Advisor. The OCDSB is committed to protecting and upholding the human rights of all students, staff and families.

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