The Peel District School Board (PDSB) in Ontario has become the first school board in Canada to adopt an anti-Islamophobia strategy, with the help of community partners such as the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, and the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians.
The strategy, which was created in consultation with staff, students, and families at PDSB, was initially proposed by former PDSB trustee Nokha Dakroub.
According to Aasiyah Khan, Director of Education Programs at NCCM, the PDSB has set a positive example for other school boards across Canada to follow.
"About 25% of students learning within the PDSB identify as Muslim," Khan said. "Adopting an anti-Islamophobia strategy sends a strong message to the community that the board is responsive and committed to creating safe and inclusive learning environments."
The adoption of the strategy comes at a crucial time, as incidents of Islamophobia have been on the rise in Canada.
In 2021, a truck attack in London, Ontario resulted in the deaths of four members of the same Muslim family, making Canada the leader among G-7 countries in Islamophobia-related fatalities in recent years.
Additionally, Ontario's Ministry of Education has noted that both anti-Black racism and Islamophobia are persistent issues in PDSB schools.
In response to the London attack, Muslim communities came together to call for the government to convene the first National Action Summit on Islamophobia, which produced a list of policy recommendations for all levels of government.
One of the key recommendations was for school boards in Canada to adopt anti-Islamophobia strategies.
The adoption of the strategy by PDSB is a historic step forward in the fight against Islamophobia in Canada, and community partners such as NCCM look forward to working with all parties to ensure the implementation of this pioneering strategy.
Send a letter today to thank the PDSB director, superintendent, and trustees for passing Canada's first board-wide anti-Islamophobia strategy.