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Canada: Muslim women file human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia

16th Jun 2017
Canada: Muslim women file human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia

By Barry Ellsworth


RENTON. Ont. (AA): Three Muslim workers have filed a human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia after they were fired from a maintenance project in western Canada, Canadian media reported Thursday.

Amino Rashid told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that she and two of her colleagues were dismissed from a maintenance project at the Husky Energy facility in Lloydminster, along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, after reporting incidents of harassment from other staff.

Rashid said two male workers told her “there are people who feel uncomfortable” with her wearing a hijab, and the one of the pair told her to take off the “hoodie”, the CBC reported. She told them it was not a hoodie, but a religious headscarf.

Rashid said she reported the incident to management at her employer, Newcart Contracting Ltd. – the firm had been contracted by Husky Energy to do the maintenance work at the Lloydminster facility – but the harassment continued. The two other Muslims were also targeted with remarks a few days later on June 3.

That same day, the three were dismissed.

“I was shocked,” Rashid told the CBC, “because usually in a situation like that you fire the person who was the one who was being the bully. You don’t fire the victim. You don’t fire the person who was trying to stand up for themselves.”

Rashid said that when she was hired, supervisors for both Husky and Newcart said they had no problem with her wearing a hijab.

On Tuesday, the three filed complaints with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, as well as Husky, and when informed of the incident, Husky launched an investigation.

“Given the seriousness of these allegations, we will be investigating with the contractor to ensure all of Husky’s policies and procedures were being followed,” company spokesman Mel Duvall told the CBC. Husky, a large energy company in the Alberta Oilsands, requires all its contractors to follow a workplace diversity policy.

Newcart officials declined direct comment on the situation, but did note that more than 30 percent of its workforce is born outside of Canada.

Reaction on a Facebook page dedicated to the incident was mixed, with some citing safety rules regarding headgear on a work site.

One person wrote: “Safety rules apply to everyone, there’s no religious exceptions. Do Muslims want to be treated equally or are they asking for special privlages (sic) here??”

Another commented: “Not a safety concern: the employer clearly says it’s not an issue.”

[Map of Canada. By E Pluribus Anthony/Wikipedia/Public Domain]

6 Responses to “Canada: Muslim women file human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia”

Thomas PalopoJune 27, 2019

The hijab is NOT REQUIRED by ANY religion. Safety first!


Patricia WeistJune 27, 2019

You chose to come to Canada,so you should be willing to try to fit in with your co workers,Canadians nit allowed to wear head gear,using religion as a excuse fir wearing the hijab doesn’t cut the mustard,what you consider,nit a religion it’s a way of life either confirm to our rules and regulations or go back we’re you come from,wear your headgear in your homes nit in our business places,could I do whatever I wanted in your country,no I likely would be beheaded!thank us fir nit doing that to you.


Dale PawlickJune 27, 2019

Definitely a safety issue!


Craig FarrowJune 28, 2019

This looks more like a safety issue with people not trusting anyone who covers their faces. From what i know of the Koran headscarfs are not part of the religion!


Mary NJune 29, 2019

if you start to lose business because of the employees clothing or religious wear, then this person must think first about the business, as the employee has no investment in the business where the employer stands to lose several dollars, but when we start mixing religion with our business then it becomes a burden for the employer ,in Canada several employers just want an employee to do an 8-5 working time and has very little interest in that persons home life ,when you start bringing in the persons home life into the work place you do cause a lot of friction ,best to find work that will except you and your home life as one package, that way there will be no ill feeling either way, the employer has encased a fair amount of time and money to be able to start his own business, tough as it is and we really don’t need to get caught up in a personal argument you have with the country you chose to live in


BarryJune 29, 2019

There is no place for religious attire in the workplace


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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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