As Canada prepares for upcoming elections, Muslim community leaders have launched a new organization to promote and protect the rights of Muslims in Canada as well as helping them make an informed decision at the ballot box.
The new organization, called the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC), will work to engage and educate decision-makers about Islam, influence public policy, and mobilize Muslims across Canada.
“Driven by both legacy national security legislation that is problematic, the rising tide of Islamophobia, and inadequately addressed systemic racism in government institutions, CMPAC will focus on lobbying all levels of government to address systems, policy and legislation that negatively impact the Muslim community,” Dr. Yaser Haddara, CMPAC’s interim chair, said in a statement shared with AboutIslam.
“CMPAC’s priority is to promote and protect the rights and interests of Muslims, Muslim organizations in Canada, as well as speaking up for justice and human rights for Muslims around the world.”
Launched a few days before the elections, the organization has developed a 44th Federal Election Centre with resources that community members and organizations can use to make an informed decision.
“The level of democratic participation from Muslim Canadians has exponentially grown since 2015. This election is about deciding how committed political parties are to addressing top issues for Canadian Muslims,” says Sarah Mushtaq, CMPAC’s spokesperson.
“We expect parties to move beyond nice words and make specific commitments to address the top issues: escalating hate crimes, systemic Islamophobia still embedded in government institutions, an outdated security regime, discriminatory laws in Quebec, and glaring gaps in Canada’s foreign policy when it comes to standing up for human rights,” she added.
The resources offered by CMPAC include:
- A Party Platform Comparison on Canadian Muslim issues.
- A Federal Elections Issues Guide.
- A Mobilization Resource Kit.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade. Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.