AUFA Statement on Racism and Islamophobia

The 29 January 2017 attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, which left six Muslim worshippers dead and another nineteen wounded, was a chilling reminder that Canada is not immune to violence inspired by blind hatred. The Athabasca University Faculty Association (AUFA) joins with citizens across the country in unconditionally condemning any and all actions founded on racism and xenophobia, of which Islamophobia is but one expression. We equally condemn speech that encourages such actions, whether directly or indirectly, by implying that racist attitudes are in some way reasonable or acceptable. We in Canada are rightly proud of our embrace of multiculturalism, and we must together assume the responsibility for safeguarding it, especially at a time when powerful political currents have contributed to a resurgence of racist sentiments worldwide.

AUFA reiterates its unalloyed commitment to human rights and respect for human dignity, to anti-racism, and to the pursuit of equity and social justice. We extend our profound sympathies to those whose lives have been irrevocably marred by this tragedy and express our grief that such an act of inhumanity is still possible in this country. In recognition of the implications of this attack, we have moved as an association to donate $5,000 to the National Council of Canadian Muslims in support of their efforts to protect the civil liberties of Canadian Muslims and provide needed aid to the victims’ families, to combat racism and Islamophobia, and to foster public education.