Muslim Organizations Respond to Expressions of Anguish and Disappointment of Muslim Students in the Public Schools of Ontario
The leadership of the Canadian Council of Imams, the Islamic Circle of North American and the Muslim Association of Canada came together in response to the incidents that impacted many Muslim students in several public schools in Ontario, and issued the following statement.
Mississauga – May 19th, 2022: Recently, it was brought to our notice that as part of the International Day Against Homophobia, a campaign aimed at combating homophobia was carried out in some public schools and post-secondary schools across the province of Ontario.
Many Muslim students were offended by the campaign because it made improper use of Islamic symbols, which was disrespectful to their Islamic beliefs. As a result, the campaign prompted disappointment and a reaction from Muslim students.
According to the Quran, the prophetic traditions, and authentic and mainstream scholarship, engaging in homosexual behaviour is prohibited.
Inclusion efforts should ensure that all individuals are valued, respected, and are equally supported. Equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) initiatives should not result in the Islamic faith being reinterpreted or distorted and thereby undermining the religious values of Muslim students.
We welcome the decision of post-secondary institutions and other organizations who have removed the poster. We call on school boards and post-secondary institutions who displayed this poster to remove the poster and apologize to the Muslim students who have been impacted by it.
We further call on public school boards and post-secondary institutions to conduct consultations with the Canadian Council of Imams to better understand the Islamic faith.