The Region of Waterloo council last week unanimously passed a motion approving local community group, Coalition of Muslim Women K-W's recommendations to tackle Islamophobia in the region and $100,000 in funding for a year for the organization’s Hate or Discrimination Reporting and Support Program.
“Regional Council is working on a regional approach with area municipalities focused on recommendations from the Coalition of Muslim Women to help eradicate Islamophobia,” the Council stated on their website. “Among the recommendations, the Region is recognizing January 29 as the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, delivering anti-Islamophobia training to Regional staff, and funding the Coalition of Muslim Women’s Hate or Discrimination Reporting and Support Program.”
An earlier attempt to pass the policy failed around a month ago due to objections from the Coalition of Muslim Women K-W. The organization said, at that time, that no funds were attached to back up a program that is seeing federal funding pulled.
"Islamophobia happens at the intersection of racism, xenophobia, anti-Islam, anti-Muslim biases, and prejudices," said Fauzia Mazhar, Executive Director of the Coalition of Muslim Women K-W.
"For me this work is not only professional, but personal," said Fauzia Baig, the director of equity, diversity, and inclusion for the region. "Recent events continue to reinforce how important it is to acknowledge and track acts of hate, the impact on communities and families, and to find ways to act and counter these."