Guarding Canada Against Intolerance: Our Right and Our Responsibility

This post is part of The Exchange. The opinions expressed by contributors shared on The Exchange do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of CIJA, its staff, or Board of Directors.

Throughout history, religious minorities — particularly the Jewish community— have faced discrimination. Though it is often concealed in a subtle, not overtly racist fashion, all racism has the same negative repercussions on its victims. On campuses today, we are seeing a resurgence of faith-based hate that seeps through the fabric of our warm and tolerant society. On the surface, it may present as a BDS motion or preventing the involvement of certain students in campus politics, but when we scratch below that surface, we see the abhorrent attitude of intolerance coming back. We, as Canadians, must not accept such threats to our diversity. We must continue to fight against intolerance in all its forms, be it antisemitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, or any other actions or words that directly or indirectly seek to cause harm to our population.

On October 23rd, two allied members of the Board of Directors to McGill’s Student Union and its only Jewish member were targeted for impeachment on the basis of their opposition to antisemitism or their support for pro-Israel activities. These members were not only stigmatized and banned because of their political views, they were also disenfranchised on the basis of their Jewish identity. What happened at McGill, and what continues to occur on a daily basis on campuses across our country is instigated by people who seek to tear our society apart because they do not like the Canada they see, where neighbour lives in peace with neighbour and all are welcome.

Our country, at its core, is multicultural.  As citizens, it is our responsibility to guard against those who aim to change that. As the youth leaders of today, it is our responsibility to continue to ensure that all peoples have a space here in peace.

© Copyright 2015 CIJA. All rights reserved.
Legal and Privacy Information