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30.11.2009, 22:53
Muslim Migrants in Canada - Victims of Undeclared Racism and Discrimination

By Syed B. Soharwardy

Most of the Canadians do not know the secret of Canada's strong economy. The strength of Canadian economy is in its immigrant workforce. Every year Canadian government brings hundreds of thousands of new immigrants to Canada. These new immigrants choose Canada to be their home. They come from various countries under various immigration categories. This article discusses the issues and problems of Muslim immigrants who migrate to Canada under the independent professional category. This article does not talk about the refugees, the business investors, or other categories of immigration.
During the immigration process most of the immigrants from Muslim countries were never informed about the real situation in Canada. The Muslim immigrants are highly trained and highly educated professionals, but when they come to Canada most of them find themselves betrayed and humiliated. Some of them go back to their own countries within a few months after loosing their savings. But most of them can not go back because of the long, expensive struggle they had just gone through for relocating in Canada. They would have consumed all their savings within the first few months while searching for jobs. They would have sold all the investments and properties in their own home countries. They cannot go back to their old jobs in their own home countries. They do not get any financial support from the government of Canada.
In search of better opportunities, these Muslims come to Canada. Many recent immigrants from Pakistan, India, Egypt and other Muslim countries were working in Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries. They not only brought very strong work experience and higher education with them but they brought their life savings with them. They were encouraged and accepted by the Canadian government to make Canada their home. These Muslims were promised by the Canadian government not to be discriminated based upon their religion and colour as per the Human Rights Charter of Canada. In reality the situation is that the Canadian government failed to protect the rights of these minority migrants and is responsible for physical and mental torture of hundreds of Muslim families. After the 9/11 tragedy every Muslim is seen as a suspect. There is a very little trust for Muslims. Just having a Muslim name is enough for discrimination regardless whether a person practices Islam, or not. Even those Muslims who try to be secular and completely absorbed by the western values are finding out that even they are not immune from discrimination. After the 9/11 tragedy the Jobless rate among Muslims has risen very high.
In a recent survey conducted by ISCC in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) it was found that 75% percent of new Muslim immigrants could not find jobs in their professions since the last 12 to 24 months. They are unable to find any reasonable job. Even odd jobs are not available for Muslims. These new Muslim immigrants are professionals, engineers, geologists, computer programmers, medical doctors, bankers, accountants and business professionals, but most of them are working on daily wages as security guards, cleaning workers, at McDonalds, at KFCs, at Burger Kings, taxi drivers, etc. Whenever a lucky, highly qualified Muslim worker finds an odd job, the job does not last more than few weeks. These immigrants are purposely kept on probation for a period of time and then let go. Companies do not want to make them permanent in order to save benefit costs and higher salaries. This is called abuse under the cover of freedom.
In the name of security the Muslims and the non-western minorities have been the targets of racism and discrimination. The discrimination against non-western people has increased many folds. A person from the Sikh community was murdered in USA because he apparently looked like a non-western. A Hindu temple in Hamilton, Ontario was burnt to ashes because the people who worshipped there did not look like main stream Canadians. Many mosques were attacked after 9/11. Although things have apparently settled down, but hidden discrimination against Muslims and other visible minorities is on the rise. Hundreds of Muslims have been laid off from work. If a Muslim worker gets laid off from work it becomes an impossible task for him/her to find a new job.
These new immigrants are not refugees. They came to Canada under the independent professional category. These highly qualified professionals were drained from the poor countries. The Canadian immigration policy serves two purposes. On one side it removes the best brain from poor Muslim countries and on the other side it keeps the best of Muslim brain away from learning and professional growth. Regardless how qualified these new immigrants are, they are denied jobs because "they do not have Canadian experience". Why does the Canadian immigration officer not inform the new migration applicants that they have to work as a taxi driver, security guard or at a fast food restaurant in Canada for an indefinite period and if they are lucky they may find a professional job later?
For privacy reasons I cannot write the horror stories of Muslim immigrants in Canada. These young Muslim immigrants who had good jobs in Pakistan and other Muslim countries came to Canada because of western charm and now they are paying the price. Were these Muslims brought to Canada for humiliation and discrimination - a form of modern slavery? In fact, the Muslims in USA and Canada are constantly under verbal and mental torture. As the media campaign against Muslims is getting wider and wider in the United States and Canada the discrimination against Muslims is becoming popular. Many Muslims are fearful about their safety. They suspect that very soon the Muslims in USA and Canada will be treated the way Nazis treated Jews during World War II. A new Holocaust may emerge in North America very soon. People are already talking about concentration camps and the Holocaust of more than 10 million Muslims in North America. The TV Evangelists are routinely making speeches to motivate people against Muslim minority of North America. Where is the Canadian government to stop it? I do not want to ask the US government because it will be useless.
Recently, the verbal and mental abuse of Muslims has reached to another high level. As the Majority of Christians are emotionally attached with Jesus Christ, the Muslims are also very emotionally attached with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), more than their own parents and children. Any insult and ignorant remarks about Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and Islam brings mental torture to Muslims. Muslims are going through this torture everyday. There is not a single day when an TV Evangelist or a reporter or an analyst or a columnist does not badmouth Islam, Muslims, Qur'an, and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Muslims are constantly abused through this mental torture. Just few weeks ago CBC televised an interview of Taslima Nasrin. This woman from Bangladesh not only used a very vulgar language about Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) on national television but she also broke all the Canadian ethic laws. National Post constantly writes and inspires hate against Muslims? Several other newspapers and media reporters run stories on daily basis against Islam and Muslims. Where is the Canadian government to protect its minorities? Is this freedom of speech to abuse and mentally torture minorities?
We wrote letters to the Prime Minister, politicians, and law enforcing agencies but it seems that no one cares. It looks like people are waiting for another Holocaust, but this time it will be in North America and the victims will be Muslims. There is still time to prevent this potential holocaust of Muslims. Canadian government must safeguard the rights of visible minorities. Discrimination and racism must not be tolerated at any cost. Badmouthing about religious figures like Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, etc.. (Peace be upon them) must be forbidden. The new immigrants must be helped in finding their professional jobs. Minority organizations like ISCC should be given a chance to start their own television programs, radio stations and newspapers.
A prosperous society is a society where all the members of the society are prosper not just a few. May God keep Canada on the path of justice, peace and prosperity? Amen.