Black Lives Matter Globally
As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests
Pregnant Muslim woman targeted by youth in Montreal
- Oumessad Khoufache, 31 and four-months pregnant, was approached by two teenage boys on bikes, who tore at her hijab, causing her to lose her balance and fall.
- Police are reluctant to investigate it as a hate crime because no hateful words were expressed, but Khoufache’s husband believes the teens’ specific attack on her hijab says otherwise.
- The incident takes place in the midst of a national debate on the ability of Muslim women to wear niqabs during citizenship oath ceremonies, with public vandalism and other forms of anti-Muslim sentiment having appeared as the debate has worn on.
«Reste qu’il y a une montée médiatique ces temps-ci qui peut alimenter [la haine contre les musulmans]. J’espère que ce n’est pas un acte haineux, car cela voudrait dire que des enfants sont déjà alimentés sur des fausses idées sur le voile»
Translation: “The fact remains that lately there has been a rise in media that can feed [hate against Muslims]. I hope that this isn’t a hateful act since that would mean that some children are already fueled by mistaken ideas about the veil.”
“Une femme voilée et enceinte agressée par deux ados” (Le Journal de Montréal, in French)
“Pregnant Muslim woman attacked by Montreal teens, police say” (CBC News)
“Montreal’s Muslim community feels ‘used’ by political parties” (CBC News)
“Has the NDP’s campaign become tangled up by a niqab?” (Montreal Gazette)
Quebec premier defends proposed legislation banning face-covering attire for certain civic employees and toughening consequences for hate speech
- Premier Philippe Couillard indicated that the legislation under consideration by Quebec lawmakers would ban face coverings on public servants in roles requiring face-to-face engagement with the public.
- The draft legislation is a narrower version of the previous government’s proposal to ban the wearing of religious symbols by all public servants.
- The current draft of the hate speech law creates a Human Rights Tribunal, which would oversee investigations and punitive actions for individuals inciting violence against vulnerable groups.
“The role of the government is to draw a line in the sand. … This issue of face covering for me has very little to do with religion, and a lot to do about the image of women, the status of women in our society. Showing your face is the essence of communication.”
Read the full story at the New York Times.
(Image Credit: Mary Altaffer/Associated Press, via the New York Times)
Report indicates dramatic spike in anti-Semitic incidents in Canada in 2014
- The 1,627 reported incidents for the year represent a 28% increase over 2013, with harassment comprising 84% of reports, vandalism 15%, and violence 1% of reported activity.
- Ontario had the most reports of anti-Semitism (960) followed by Quebec and Atlantic Canada (259).
- Major spikes coincided with Israel’s campaign in Gaza and the December holiday season, both of which are consistent with previous spikes.
“In 2014, ‘a clear pattern emerged. It has become too easy to deny anti-Semitism, as long as it is reframed under the legitimizing veil of anti-Zionism. … The landscape for spreading anti-Semitic messages has grown exponentially, so it is only reasonable to expect the actual number of incidents to have increased along with it.’”
More on this story at The Times of Israel.
(Image Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90, via The Times of Israel)
Former Quebec premier and separatist leader Jacques Parizeau dies at 84.
- As premier, he organized the second referendum on Quebec’s secession from Canada, which was narrowly defeated in 1995.
- His speech condemning ethnic voters as having contributed to the defeat outraged many, and he resigned the following day.
- In addition to his separatist campaign, his legacy includes his commitment to pay equity and contributions to the nationalization of Quebec’s hydroelectric system.
More on this story at The New York Times.
(Image Credit: Reuters, via The New York Times)
Officials and advocates of player inclusivity express optimism at openly gay American football player Michael Sam’s signing by the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. More from La Presse (in French).