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Woman wearing a purple headscarf is in the foreground. Behind her is a women wearing white headscarf and holding a placard that says, "Stricter laws for white supremacy hate".
Supporters gather to demand action against anti-Muslim hate after a white man attacked two Muslim women wearing hijabs in June 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Niqab bans boost hate crimes against Muslims and legalize Islamophobia — Podcast

Last year, as a Muslim Canadian family took their evening stroll during lockdown in London, Ont., a white man rammed his pickup truck into them. Four of the five family members were killed.

The incident sparked horror and outrage. But the truth of the matter is anti-Muslim sentiment has been on the steady rise in the 20 years since 9/11.

According to a report from July 2021 by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, more Muslims have been killed in Canada in targeted attacks and hate crimes than in any other G7 country.

Our guest on today’s episode of Don’t Call Me Resilient says that instead of deterring anti-Muslim hate, Canadian laws are actually making it worse — in essence, legalizing Islamophobia.

Natasha Bakht is an award-winning legal scholar who has spent the past five years researching the rise in anti-Muslim attitudes in North America. She is a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa and the author of In Your Face: Law, Justice, and Niqab Wearing Women in Canada.

In her book, Natasha explores the stories of niqab-wearing women who have faced discriminatory laws.

Read more: Muslim family killed in terror attack in London, Ontario: Islamophobic violence surfaces once again in Canada

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Listen to this episode — and subscribe to Don’t Call Me Resilient — on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.

We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes. Join The Conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #DontCallMeResilient.

To access a full transcript of the episode, go here.

At the centre of the image are three women wearing the hijab holding placards and protesting against the rising Islamophobia in Canada
A group of people protest after an attack on two hijab-wearing women in Alberta in June 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

ICYMI — Articles published in The Conversation

Read more: Quebec's niqab ban uses women's bodies to bolster right-wing extremism

Islamophobia and hate crimes continue to rise in Canada

Muslim family killed in terror attack in London, Ont.: Islamophobic violence surfaces once again in Canada

Remembering the Québec City mosque attack: Islamophobia and Canada’s national amnesia

Media portrays Indigenous and Muslim youth as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’

Islamophobia in western media is based on false premises

Art show takes on the misrepresentation of Muslims

Additional Resources

Under Siege: Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation by Jasmin Zine

Discourses of Denial: Mediations of Race, Gender, and Violence by Yasmin Jiwani

Natasha Bakht proclaims her Muslim identity in dance, in the Toronto Star

“Canada’s glaring Islamophobia problem” in The Tyee

‘I own all parts of my identity’: 3 generations of Muslim women reflect on hate in Canada, Global News

Canada’s homegrown Islamophobia, Al Jazeera

To report a hate crime, go here.


Don’t Call Me Resilient is a production from The Conversation Canada. This podcast was produced with a grant for Journalism Innovation from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The series is produced and hosted by Vinita Srivastava. The co-producer on this episode is Vaishnavi Dandekar. Our other is producers are: Haley Lewis and Nahid Buie. Reza Dahya is our sound designer. Our sound producer is Lygia Navarro. Our consulting producer is Jennifer Moroz. Lisa Varano is our audience development editor and Scott White is the CEO of The Conversation Canada.

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