Islamophobia hotline receives almost three dozen calls since launch

Original News1130 article by Renee Bernard

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s been six months since Canada’s first Islamophobia hotline was launched right here in BC.

The people who helped set up the service say it’s been useful in filling a void.

The phone line was opened because of an increase in cases across the country of Muslims being targeted.

Since the March launch, the line has received 32 calls, nine of which saw the callers get advice about pursuing their cases legally.

Sarah Allan is with Access Pro Bono, an organization that helps operate the service. She says most of the time people just want to talk about being a victim of racism.

“Sometimes it’s nice to have someone hear about your experience, having someone listen to something that happened to you. We do track the type of calls that come in. We can give advice about what to do about abuse.”

The hotline itself received racist rants.

“A lot of them were discriminatory or included racist language, which definitely reinforces the need for such a service. And when you hear from people who are having these negative experiences when they’re going about their day-to-day life, it shows a need,” says Allan.

Alberta’s Islamophobia hotline was launched about a month after BC’s. It received 53 calls in its 3 weeks.