Rampant Islamophobia costs Canadian Muslims their peace of mind, their physical well-being and their lives, the Senate Committee on Human Rights said in a report released today.The report Combatting Hate: Islamophobia and its impact on Muslims in Canada outlines the committee’s findings from its year-long study into the sources of Islamophobia in Canada, incidents of discrimination, physical violence and online hate against Muslims and the effects of these events on individuals and communities.The committee made 13 recommendations. First on the list is “mandatory, regular training on Islamophobia and unconscious bias…for all employees throughout the federal government and its agencies and that similar training is made available to the federal judiciary.”The second recommendation is that “the Department of Canadian Heritage develop a multimedia campaign and educational resources on Islamophobia that can be incorporated into classroom activities for various age groups, as well as professional training within the federal public service.” A separate recommendation calls for Canadian Heritage to review how well the CRTC is reflecting the “needs, interests and aspirations of racialized communities.”The third recommendation calls for more money for the cause, including “direct support” for “affected individuals and communities,” national police standards and training and “dedicated hate crime units.” The federal Security Infrastructure Program (SIP) has no more capacity to protect minorities, so the committee has called for more money for SIP, and a “federal hotline for reporting hate-motivated crimes.”The committee also wants a mechanism restored to facilitate human rights complaints regarding online hate, similar to the former Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which was revoked by Parliament ten years ago.Within the Canada Revenue Agency’s Review and Analysis Division (RAD), three quarters of the decisions to revoke an organization’s charitable status were directed at Muslim charities, even though Muslim charities represent less than 1% of Canadian charities.The Senate report says the CRA “disproportionately scrutinizes Muslim charities” and calls for enhanced data collection by the Canada Revenue Agency’s charities directorate to “reduce bias.” The report also wants the Department of Justice to establish an independent civilian body to review the decisions.Senators also want “intersectionality and Islamophobia” to be included in a modernized Employment Equity Act and for Statistics Canada to invest more in “proactive collection and dissemination of data” so decision makers could take “intersectional Islamophobia” into account.The committee began its study on Islamophobia in June 2022. In total, 138 witnesses testified before the committee; many other people spoke to senators informally during the committee’s fact-finding mission to communities across Canada. Muslims represent 4.9% of the Canadian population.Ontario Conservative Senator Salma Ataullahjan, a Toronto resident appointed by Stephen Harper in 2010, chaired the committee. She was born in Mardan, Pakistan.“Islamophobia is an acute threat to Muslim Canadians and the committee believes urgent action by the federal government is needed to reverse this trend. We must commit to building a more inclusive country and to better protecting our Muslim relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues,” Atalluahjan said in a press release.Senator Mobina S.B. Jaffer, appointed by Jean Chretien in 2001, also sat on the committee. She was born in Kamapala Uganda but represents BC with the Independent Senators Group.“Violent incidences of Islamophobia have reached a disturbing and unprecedented level in Canada in recent years. Discrimination and hate-motivated attacks have long-standing and debilitating effects on individuals and communities. Concrete action must be taken to stem the tide of this rise in hate,” Jaffer said.Cameroon-born Amina Gerba also released a statement on the report. The committee member was appointed to the Senate by Justin Trudeau in 2021. Her Senate bio touts her as “the first Black woman manufacturer in Quebec.”“To effectively combat Islamophobia, it’s crucial to consider that its impact is shaped by its intersection with other forms of discrimination, including those related to gender, race, disability and sexual orientation. Our study found that this intersectionality can intensify the challenges faced by people with multiple marginalized identities,” said Gerba.Other members of the eight-person committee included Punjab, Indian-born Ratna Omidvar, now an Independent Senator for Ontario. On June 8, she made a successful motion to make Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared a terrorist entity by Parliament. She was appointed to the Senate by Justin Trudeau in 2016.