“Madam Speaker, Islamophobia is a heavy word in today’s discourse, but it is heaviest for those who are on the receiving end of it,” said Srosh Hassan, who is studying sociology and political science student at the U of A.
“As a Muslim woman of colour, in a time of overwhelming stigma, I fear of being othered, profiled and killed in a country I call my own.
“My identity is challenged and my actions are heavily scrutinized. I’m simultaneously silenced into shame while being expected to apologize for the actions of a small group of people that do not represent me or any Canadian,” she continued, as members of the House rose to their feet.
The emotional Hassan was one of 338 young women in the House of Commons Wednesday as part of Daughter of the Vote, an Equal Voice Canada initiative dedicated to getting more women involved in all levels of politics. Young women representing every riding in Canada emerged on the nation’s capital on International Woman’s Day (Wednesday).
Hassan represented Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan. She is passionate about human rights, education, mental health and the struggles of women and minorities, according to her profile on the Daughters of the Vote website.
“We are all shaken from acts of terrorism, but they affect our communities most because they divide us from within as well as from other Canadians,” Hassan continued. “Whether we have been contributing for generations or whether we’re new immigrants seeking refuge or opportunities, we are Canadians.
“We all have a responsibility to challenge a growing culture of ignorance rather than justifying xenophobia and prejudice under the veil of free speech. My heritage is not a political platform to campaign on, unless cherished as complex and as rich as its people. This is my Canada and there is no seat for hate here.”
A 30-second standing ovation followed Hassan’s emotional speech.