Scarborough politician wants action on Islamophobia

News Jan 13, 2018 by David Nickle Scarborough Mirror

Toronto should officially recognize January 29 as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, says a city councillor who will ask his colleagues to do so at an upcoming meeting.

Neethan Shan, who represents Scarborough-Rouge River at city hall, said in an interview that it's appropriate to recognize the day, which marks the anniversary of the Quebec City attack on a mosque that left six dead.

“I've been getting calls from various organizations asking for a day of action on Islamophobia, and I want our city to take a leadership role in accepting that, along with the provincial and federal governments,” said Shan. “Islamophobia has existed for many decades in the west and Canada, but recently there's been a lot more incidents happening because of the fact that certain media outlets and political representatives have made it seem as though it's acceptable to target certain communities.”

Shan introduced the motion Jan. 12, the same day as reports that a Scarborough teen was attacked and her hijab cut away with scissors.

“It's time we take this seriously – there's denial in many circles that it even exists,” he said. “This is our way to say we accept this as a problem.”

The motion will be going to the Jan. 31 meeting of Toronto Council. But since introducing it, Shan said he's been faced with feedback that crosses the line into anti-Islamic hate speech. 

“Personally, I've been in political organizing for a couple of decades so I've developed a thick skin to people's hateful remarks, but these remarks are evidence we've got to do this,” said Shan, who noted that he himself is not of the Muslim faith. “People write those things, then at the end say Islamophobia doesn't exist.”

Since his election to Toronto Council in 2016, Shan has been an outspoken critic of hate speech. In 2017, he was critical of the display of a car, modelled after the old Dukes of Hazzard television show, that featured a confederate flag.

He said that declaring January 29 as a day to remember and act against Islamophobic behaviour is just a start.

“It ranges all the way from funding public education campaigns to supporting the grants we provide to organizations ... that take into account the type of discrimination that's happening, all the way to hiring programs,” said Shan.

Commenting on this article has been closed as of 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, due to violations of the terms of use.

Scarborough Councillor Shan wants day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia

News Jan 13, 2018 by David Nickle Scarborough Mirror

Toronto should officially recognize January 29 as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, says a city councillor who will ask his colleagues to do so at an upcoming meeting.

Neethan Shan, who represents Scarborough-Rouge River at city hall, said in an interview that it's appropriate to recognize the day, which marks the anniversary of the Quebec City attack on a mosque that left six dead.

“I've been getting calls from various organizations asking for a day of action on Islamophobia, and I want our city to take a leadership role in accepting that, along with the provincial and federal governments,” said Shan. “Islamophobia has existed for many decades in the west and Canada, but recently there's been a lot more incidents happening because of the fact that certain media outlets and political representatives have made it seem as though it's acceptable to target certain communities.”

Shan introduced the motion Jan. 12, the same day as reports that a Scarborough teen was attacked and her hijab cut away with scissors.

“It's time we take this seriously – there's denial in many circles that it even exists,” he said. “This is our way to say we accept this as a problem.”

The motion will be going to the Jan. 31 meeting of Toronto Council. But since introducing it, Shan said he's been faced with feedback that crosses the line into anti-Islamic hate speech. 

“Personally, I've been in political organizing for a couple of decades so I've developed a thick skin to people's hateful remarks, but these remarks are evidence we've got to do this,” said Shan, who noted that he himself is not of the Muslim faith. “People write those things, then at the end say Islamophobia doesn't exist.”

Since his election to Toronto Council in 2016, Shan has been an outspoken critic of hate speech. In 2017, he was critical of the display of a car, modelled after the old Dukes of Hazzard television show, that featured a confederate flag.

He said that declaring January 29 as a day to remember and act against Islamophobic behaviour is just a start.

“It ranges all the way from funding public education campaigns to supporting the grants we provide to organizations ... that take into account the type of discrimination that's happening, all the way to hiring programs,” said Shan.

Commenting on this article has been closed as of 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, due to violations of the terms of use.

Scarborough Councillor Shan wants day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia

News Jan 13, 2018 by David Nickle Scarborough Mirror

Toronto should officially recognize January 29 as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, says a city councillor who will ask his colleagues to do so at an upcoming meeting.

Neethan Shan, who represents Scarborough-Rouge River at city hall, said in an interview that it's appropriate to recognize the day, which marks the anniversary of the Quebec City attack on a mosque that left six dead.

“I've been getting calls from various organizations asking for a day of action on Islamophobia, and I want our city to take a leadership role in accepting that, along with the provincial and federal governments,” said Shan. “Islamophobia has existed for many decades in the west and Canada, but recently there's been a lot more incidents happening because of the fact that certain media outlets and political representatives have made it seem as though it's acceptable to target certain communities.”

Shan introduced the motion Jan. 12, the same day as reports that a Scarborough teen was attacked and her hijab cut away with scissors.

“It's time we take this seriously – there's denial in many circles that it even exists,” he said. “This is our way to say we accept this as a problem.”

The motion will be going to the Jan. 31 meeting of Toronto Council. But since introducing it, Shan said he's been faced with feedback that crosses the line into anti-Islamic hate speech. 

“Personally, I've been in political organizing for a couple of decades so I've developed a thick skin to people's hateful remarks, but these remarks are evidence we've got to do this,” said Shan, who noted that he himself is not of the Muslim faith. “People write those things, then at the end say Islamophobia doesn't exist.”

Since his election to Toronto Council in 2016, Shan has been an outspoken critic of hate speech. In 2017, he was critical of the display of a car, modelled after the old Dukes of Hazzard television show, that featured a confederate flag.

He said that declaring January 29 as a day to remember and act against Islamophobic behaviour is just a start.

“It ranges all the way from funding public education campaigns to supporting the grants we provide to organizations ... that take into account the type of discrimination that's happening, all the way to hiring programs,” said Shan.

Commenting on this article has been closed as of 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, due to violations of the terms of use.