On January 29, 2017, six Muslims were killed and another 19 injured when an anti-Muslim gunman opened fire in a Quebec mosque. At the time, it was the most fatal act of ideological violence in Canada since 1989. Just months after, a national poll found that the majority of Canadians still believed the problem of Islamophobia to be ‘overblown’.
The reality of Islamophobia in Canada is marginalized in mainstream conversation. This five-part series of video shorts helps to address this gap.
The ‘Islamophobia is’ video series situates anti-Muslim hate crimes within the broader context of normalized Islamophobia – one that is sustained by dominant misconceptions about Islam/Muslims, is advanced by mainstream media, and is perpetrated by state actors and all other segments of society.
Using short, engaging and linguistically-accessible animated videos, this series bring academic knowledge and analysis on normalized Islamophobia to mainstream audiences. Its content is appropriate for student (Grades 6+) and adult audiences; Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Each video engages a different element of normalized Islamophobia:
The 2017 Quebec mosque shooting– which killed 6 Muslims and injured 19 others – was an overtly hateful and violent expression of racism that horrified the majority of Canadians. Yet, normalized Islamophobia nonetheless informed how the public, mainstream media, government bodies, and the legal system responded to the shooting. This video reflects on the continuities between explicit racism and the normalized variety, demonstrating how they emerge from a common logic and together maintain a racialized society.
Narrator: Naheed Mustafa– award-winning author, and radio/television producer
We depend upon news reporting and analysis to inform us about the state of the world. And yet, studies show that mainstream media is informed by the very social biases it is tasked with reporting on. In this way, mainstream media features heavily in reproducing Islamophobia. This video explains how Islamophobic stereotypes inform the media – most dangerously, in ways that aren’t easily recognizable.
Narrator: Desmond Cole – award-winning journalist, author, radio host, and activist
“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim” is a common refrain. And yet global statistics show that the vast majority of political violence is not committed by Muslims, and the vast majority of Muslims are not involved in militant activity. This video outlines the actual sources of violence in our world, and helps to explain how the myth of the Muslim ‘terrorist’ lives on – in spite of reality.
Narrator: Prof. Hayden King – Anishinaabe scholar, professor at Ryerson University, and Director of the Yellowhead Institute
There is a widespread assumption that Islam is a uniquely patriarchal religion, and Muslims are particularly misogynistic. Paradoxically, this assumption is used to advance government policy and practice that especially harms Muslim women. This video unpacks this contradiction, otherwise known as Gendered Islamophobia.
Narrator: Prof. Noura Erakat – Palestinian-American legal scholar, human rights attorney, journalist, author and activist
‘Shariah’ refers the diverse body of Islamic legal interpretation that Muslims draw on for guidance. It is also a major flashpoint in Islamophobic thinking and practice, with politicians across North America stoking fear about Muslims based on the threat of a ‘shariah takeover’. Yet, many US law makers working to ban shariah can’t even say what it is! This video explains the basics of shariah – beyond what is fed to us in Islamophobic discourse – and debunks the myth that it is anything to fear.
Narrator: Safiyyah Ally, PhD – Executive Producer and host of the television show, Let the Quran Speak