Action must follow words on racism, says Muslim Society of P.E.I.

The Muslim Society of P.E.I. is one of 40 Muslim groups across the country urging MPs to support a motion to strike a parliamentary committee to study systemic racism and religious discrimination.

Letter calls for action on Islamophobia and racism

'Where do we go from here? We have to do something,' says Zain Esseghaier. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

The Muslim Society of P.E.I. is one of 40 Muslim groups across the country urging MPs to support a motion to strike a parliamentary committee to study systemic racism and religious discrimination.

The group has co-signed a letter to MPs about Motion 103, introduced in the House of Commons in December, which calls for the establishment of the committee.

Zain Esseghaier, spokesman for the Muslim Society of P.E.I., said the importance of Motion 103 has grown since the attack on a Quebec City mosque in January.

"There was a lot of support, actually an overwhelming support. A lot of kind words were said. People were very supportive of the Muslim community. And that's great, that's fantastic, that's really heartwarming," said Esseghaier.

"But where do we go from here? We have to do something. There should be some action taken so that our words are followed by action."

Beyond Motion 103

Motion 103 will be debated in the House of Commons this week.

The open letter also calls for cities to fund police training for hate crimes, and for provinces to create anti-racism directorates and a mandatory high school class on systemic racism.

It also asks that Parliament declare a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia on Jan. 29, in memory of the Quebec shooting victims.

With files from Sarah MacMIllan