Statement of Support to Muslim Members of the Temerty Medicine Community

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The unspeakable tragedy that occurred Sunday evening, June 6, in London, Ontario, is a sad reminder of the presence of Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim hate in our society. As has been noted by many, this act of terrorism was not just perpetrated against one family, but an entire community. On behalf of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, we wish to express our support and solidarity with Muslim students, faculty, and staff. We acknowledge that many TFoM community members have been completely shaken by this Islamophobic hate crime. We would like to reiterate a key message from the recent Statement on Religious and Racial Intolerance, “as a Faculty we must emphasize there is no place for dehumanizing language, stereotyping or hatred of the ‘other’. We will not tolerate discrimination on any basis. This includes Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia or any form of race-based or religious-based discrimination.”

Muslim learners and colleagues are experiencing complex emotions after this appalling and catastrophic event; we acknowledge their grief and pain. We want to remind you of services that are available to support you at this difficult time.

Learners can contact the Office of Health Professions Student Affairs, the Postgraduate Wellness Office, or the Health & Wellness Centre. Counselling is also available through the U of T My Student Support Program (U of T My SSP) 24/7 by calling 1-844-451-9700 or residents and medical students can contact the PARO 24 Hour Helpline.

Staff and faculty members can access mental health resources and supports through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP). The 24/7 helpline (1-800-663-1142) provides support for those experiencing grief, stress, and trauma. Physicians can also contact the OMA Physician Health Program hotline (1-800-851-6606).

Muslim students, staff, and faculty can access the counselling services of our Muslim Chaplaincy.

We note that the University of Toronto has lowered its flags today, June 9, on all three campuses in memory of the Afzaal family, and a message was shared yesterday by Kelly Hannah-Moffat, the University of Toronto’s Vice President of Human Resources & Equity. In the coming weeks, the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) at the University of Toronto will be organizing healing spaces for members of the U of T Muslim community, and we will be circulating further details about these events as they become available.

This most recent act of hatred and fatal violence towards the Muslim community has strengthened our resolve to fight Islamophobia and all forms of religious intolerance and hate. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

In Solidarity, The Office of Inclusion and Diversity