The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) stands in solidarity with refugees, immigrants, and all communities targeted by acts of violence and intolerance. OCUFA is deeply saddened by the attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec and extends condolences to the victims, families, and communities suffering in the aftermath of this hate crime.
In response to this act of senseless brutality in Quebec City, and the misguided and discriminatory actions taken by the US government under President Trump, it is crucial that we stand together and condemn all forms of hate, racism, and Islamophobia. We must safeguard the rights of those who are persecuted.
We urge the U.S. government to rescind immediately the discriminatory bans on entry to the United States for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as on Syrian and other refugees. Like the Canadian Association of University Teachers, we are also asking the academic community to sign the AAUP petition against the Trump administration’s ban.
By restricting the movement of scholars, the US government is compromising academic freedom and damaging the fabric of international collaboration that is so important to the pursuit of knowledge.
The university community must be one of diversity and inclusivity. Our campuses should be vibrant spaces where faculty, students, and staff from all backgrounds develop a deeper understanding of the world we live in, and work together to make it a better place.
While some may attempt to spread fear and anxiety, Ontario’s faculty will continue to foster compassionate, welcoming campus communities, and speak out in support of inclusiveness and human rights.