The Canadian Muslim Lawyer’s Association (CMLA) unequivocally denounces and condemns anti-Black racism in Canada, around the world, and within our own Muslim communities and acknowledges the responsibility we have to directly confront all aspects of this menace. AntiBlack racism is a form of discrimination against Black people that takes on both overt and covert forms and seeks to ultimately relegate Black people to a dehumanized and inferior status of life and opportunity. We stand firmly against any such practice - both within and outside of our communities - that consciously, subconsciously or in its effect, results in such prejudice and impact.
Recently, and within the criminal law context, the CMLA intervened in R v. Le in October 2018, where the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the impact of racial profiling and carding on minority groups -- particularly in the Black community. The CMLA has also intervened at the Court of Appeal in a case entitled R v. Morris in which we were advocates for a more critical understanding of the ways in which systemic racism impacts the lives of Black accused and should be therefore factored into sentencing.
Additionally, in an effort to assist our members and the broader community to become better informed about systemic anti-Black racism in policing as well as empower individuals to protect themselves, the CMLA, in collaboration with The Black Muslim Initiative, hosted a special public session entitled ‘Know Your Rights: Interacting with Law Enforcement’ on Saturday, June 13th. The session was live-streamed to over 70 participants and offered context for understanding recent events and protests and offered practical strategies to preserve legal rights when engaging with law enforcement officials.
In light of recent events, the CMLA would like to express its support of Black communities and the Black Muslim community in their continued struggle to address and eradicate anti-Black racism. We recognize that there is much more work to do and we are committed to renewing our efforts in this fight.
We encourage our members to stand in solidarity with our equity-seeking partners and to work together through learning, volunteering, or donating. You can begin by supporting and amplify the work of Black organizations such as the Canadian Association for Black Lawyers (CABL), the Somali Lawyers Association, the Black Muslim Initiative, Black Lives Matter Toronto, and Sistahs in Law. These are just a few of the many active organizations that are working to eliminate anti-Black racism in our community here in Canada.
For more on the CMLA or if there is more that we can do, please visit our website at www.cmla-acam.ca and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMLA Board of Directors