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Muslim Women making change!

Together Against Islamophobia

A core program of CMW, “Together Against Islamophobia” encompasses all of the programs, trainings, services, community outreach and partnerships, and bridge building activities that CMW is able to offer with its limited resources to address the challenge of growing Islamophobia and resulting hate crime and hate incidents that members of the Muslim community, particularly Muslim women are facing in Waterloo Region.

History & Background

The Coalition of Muslim Women’s ‘Together Against Islamophobia’ project was previously known as ‘Hate Crimes and Incidents’ (HCI) project which started in 2012 with Newcomer Partnership Grant in the amount of $3000 from Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and United Way Waterloo Region. HCI was a pro-active response to the many experiences of Islamophobic hate crimes and incidents shared by the CMW membership and volunteer base. Various workshops and training sessions were conducted to bring awareness to the local Muslim women on how to identify hate crimes as well as how to respond and heal. A major goal at the time was to encourage documentation of hate incidents. The project was wrapped up and the final report of the pilot project was released in Spring 2015 and can be found here.

In October 2015, the experience of having Muslim women’s choice of clothing as a divisive issue during Canadian federal elections and the retaliatory hate crimes to a terrorist attack in France compelled CMW to continue the project and set up a hotline to report hate incidents. The attack at the Quebec City Mosque in Quebec in 2017 that killed six worshippers cemented the need of the project and CMW started looking for funding. Together project is now primarily funded by Inspirit Foundation to support CMW to continue the organization’s primary mission of building understanding between the Muslim community (with a focus on Muslim women) and the broader community and strengthen the voices of Muslim women in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. This includes developing a pool of Muslim women leaders of diverse backgrounds and ages to serve on the board and committees, hiring a coordinator for an Islamophobia awareness project and securing additional resources to evaluate and document the CMW model for scaling and replication.

Four major goals of the Together Against Islamophobia are to:

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

CMW and Community Justice Initiatives are proud to work together on a new project titled “Together” to explore the applications of restorative justice approaches at prevention and intervention levels as alternative responses to hate crimes / hate incidents motivated by Islamophobia. This one year demonstration project is funded by Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation.