Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists who work on Muslim-majority communities, it’s clear that the threats are still just as deadly as they were 10 years ago.
As CBC News reported Monday, the recent wave of attacks include threats of rape, death, and violence against women who cover Muslim communities in Canada.
These acts of violence come at a time when the conversation on both the federal and provincial levels is ramping up.
We are living in a tense and unsettled time. I’m reminded of the way the world looked in the midst of the civil right movement, because there was such fear that changed the world. – Sarah Tremblay, executive director of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
A recent Globe and Mail investigation showed that hundreds of incidents of hate crimes and acts of vandalism in Canada have been reported since the beginning of this year to the national Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
On top of that, the federal government has begun a number of conversations with a number of Muslim organizations as part of an ongoing consultation process. In Ottawa, there’s an open dialogue between government and civil society organizations as well as the federal Muslim community through a consultation with the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
That’s how open the conversation already has been within the Muslim community.
When women who are working on minority communities feel as if they’re not welcome, and are often treated as second-class citizens, they need to ask themselves why.
Sarah Tremblay, executive director of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, says there is a greater willingness for public discussion now, because it’s being driven — or at least emboldened — by communities that have been through difficult moments.
“Now is the time for the conversation to begin,” Tremblay told CBC News. “We are living in a tense and unsettled time. I’m reminded of the way the world looked in the midst of the civil rights movement, because there was such fear that changed the world.”
When the discussion is happening, it’s not just a fear that the conversation will devolve into hate