Together Against Islamophobia
Together Against Islamophobia (TAI)
As a core CMW program, TAI is designed to counter Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia and gendered Islamophobia at societal, structural, institutional and interpersonal levels. The program addresses complex race-related issues, such as gendered Islamophobia through a multipronged strategy, relying on community outreach, public education, bridge building, and advocacy.
TAI’s major goals
- Empower Muslim Community (with a focus on women and youth) through education and connections
- Engage the larger community in the discussions about Islamophobia and how to be an ally
- Encourage connections between Muslim community and the larger community through acts of kindness
- Advocate work for systems level change
TAI activities, Tea and Tales with Muslim Women and Brace Circles, promote peace using a bridge building, advocacy, training, education/awareness, and service (B.A.T.E.S.) model.
These flagship programs provide culturally safe platforms for Muslim women to share their narratives and interact with people. The aim is to generate conversations and break down perpetual misperceptions and stereotypes about Muslim women and their roles in society. Tea and Tales offers this interaction in a social setting, in which diverse Muslim women serve as hosts, inviting visitors to learn more about their cultures. Brave Circles relies on panelists sharing their experiences in a safe space in which audience members can also ask tough questions about Muslims and their faith.
Our Anti-Islamophobia training, developed in-house, is regularly provided to organizations in Waterloo region. The training helps organizations, municipalities, and corporations come up with individual and systemic frameworks addressing hate and discrimination that racialized Muslim women experience due to their intersectionality.
One of the main services offered under the TAI banner is the Anti-Hate Services, launched in April 2021. At that time, the reporting line was one of its kind in the province. Its success has laid the grounds and provided framework to other organizations in Ontario to follow suit.
The project addresses the gap in the need for a support system for those experiencing hate-related, racist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic (anti-immigrant) incidents that largely go undocumented. The service offers victims and witnesses an opportunity to record cases anonymously. If residents are uncomfortable having the conversation themselves, someone else can record the case on their behalf. If there is a language barrier, CMW has multilingual staff that can clearly communicate in various languages, not only with those affected by hate incidents but also with service providers.
Through its Anti-Hate Services, CMW provides various one-on-one support services.
Addressing victims’ concerns by connecting with appropriate service providers, such as the police, housing managers, school staff, and healthcare professionals
Helping victim(s) file complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
Providing language interpretation and referrals to culturally competent counsellors
Working with Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) to provide restorative justice as an alternative response to hate crimes and hate incidents motivated by Islamophobia.