We are deeply alarmed by the growing reports of incidents of Islamophobia and antisemitism since the recent attack by Hamas and other armed groups in Israel and the Israeli government’s devastating, ongoing response in Gaza. As throughout all our work, we oppose all targeting of civilians and join the calls for an immediate ceasefire.
We are also monitoring with concern Canadian officials’ statements regarding protests and political expression, and reiterate the importance of not conflating support for the human rights of Palestinians and the residents of Gaza with support for terrorism. Already, governments internationally have moved to criminalize or outright ban protests and restrict speech in support of Palestinian human rights and against the decades long Israeli occupation.
These actions and sentiments are disturbingly similar to those we saw in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and in response to the protests against the so-called “War on Terror” that followed. Governments – including the Canadian government – used a climate of fear and division to justify limits on freedom of expression and assembly, to drastically increase surveillance, and to undermine the civil liberties of vast swaths of the population, particularly Muslims and Arabs.
We urge officials to act with caution and forethought in order to uphold the free expression and other human rights of all people in Canada and to support human rights, respect for international law, and justice globally.
– The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Click below to send this statement to the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Public Safety, as well as your MP. And please share widely. Thank you!