Progressives in the subcontinent have long played a leading role in the struggle against discrimination targeting any group of people as well as in the struggle for the equality of all regardless of religion, gender, nationality and ethnicity.
Today, too, they are in the forefront of the fight to protest and condemn the discrimination, violence, destruction of property and murder that is increasingly being inflicted upon Muslims, especially since the rise to power of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in 2014.
In solidarity with rallies throughout India against the wanton murder of Muslims on one pretext or another, progressive Indian-Canadians have organized a vigil on Wednesday, June 28 in front of the Consulate General of India at 356 Bloor Street in downtown Toronto (between Yonge and Sherbourne subway stations).
The Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians which, since its inception in the early 1980s, has high-lighted the discrimination and violence against the Hindu, Christian, Ahmedi and Shia religious minorities in Pakistan, extends its hand of solidarity to Indian-Canadians fighting the scourge of religious fanaticism.
The fomenting of religious prejudice and hatred seeks to divide people, to see each other as enemies so that their attention is diverted from the problems facing them – problems caused first and foremost by an exploitative profit seeking system and those who benefit from it. We see Islamophobia and bigotry and discrimination against Muslims in Canada and the Western world as part of the effort of rightwing forces to find scapegoats for the hardships created for the people by the ruling elites.
We are for peace and against wars, terrorism and fundamentalism. We stand for a secular society in which state and religion are separate, where people are free to follow the faith of their choice so long as it does not harm others, where all are equal irrespective of creed, gender, colour or ethnicity in Pakistan, and in Canada.
Statement of Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians, June 28, 2017
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