Absolutely. I think everybody in this room remembers the tragedy that took place in London, Ontario, with the Afzaal family. One thing that I like to point to is that, even though that was an incident of Islamophobia, we know that the person who committed the crime was coming from a place of Islamophobic hate. However, one thing that people tend to not understand is that he actually didn't know if they were Muslims. He suspected they were Muslims, simply by the way they were dressed. They were dressed exactly the same as a Sikh family would have been or a Hindu family would have been.
Islamophobia actually impacts people from across regions around the world. There's a misunderstanding of who's Muslim and who's not Muslim. The first man to be attacked after 9/11 in the U.S., in New York, was a Sikh man who was mistaken for a Muslim man. He was shot and killed. The point I'm trying to make is that South Asians, because of Islamophobia and because of anti-South Asian, anti-immigrant hate, are on the receiving end of a lot of discrimination.
Young people especially, with coming of age and identity, are even more so affected. We are finding, even in my research, that young people are very troubled. They're very scared. If somebody's scared to even go out for a walk with their family, what does that say about their sense of well-being and belonging in Canada?
Yes, I agree with you that those types of programs are very necessary, and we need to focus on them.