Mr. Ibrahim El-Sayed

Toronto District Muslim Education Assembly


To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept this submission in response to the current debate regarding the Anti-racism and Ethno-cultural Equity policy being proposed at the Toronto District School Board. The Toronto District Muslim Education Assembly is a coalition of several Muslim organizations, professionals, and concerned parents addressing the educational needs of the Muslim community in the Toronto area.

The assembly would like to express general support for the draft policy, with the proviso that it includes a clear implementation plan that is accompanied with an accountability mechanism at the local level. We support the focus on race, ethnicity, and communities as being central to any Anti-racism and Ethno-cultural Equity policy.

We appreciate the TDSB's acknowledgment that discriminatory attitudes and behaviors, systemic racism, and ethnocultural inequities exist and affect the climate of schools and workplaces. We also strongly agree on Policy Statement "A" that addresses the inequities of various discriminations.

In general, we support the TDSB's commitment to Policy Statement "B"; a policy based on all the ten areas of focus. Again, in Policy Statement "B", our concern lies in the implementation rather than in the wording of the proposed policy. We would like to stress and emphasize our support for the following proposal Items with the following comments:

  1. It is vital that Items 1.3, and 2.4 be implemented with the Muslim community's direct input.
  2. Item 2 requires the clear detailing of a full implementation and accountability plan.
  3. Item 3 requires a strict and transparent accountability process at all levels.
  4. Item 4 (Curriculum) requires some modification on 4.9.1. We find it is too restrictive by qualifying the contribution to Canadian History. We would like to see an inclusive history to reflect the diversity of Canadian society. As a result, we urge the board to seek direct input and recommendation from the Muslim community -- towards providing guidance and resources.
  5. Item 5 requires a clear implementation plan to achieve targeted "goals".
  6. Item 6 requires the Board's direct communication and consultation with parents and professionals of the Muslim community.

  1. Item 7 and especially Items 7.2 and 7.3 require clear implementation and accountability.
  2. Item 8 and especially Items 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 require reasonable representation of the students from diverse communities.
  3. We strongly agree and support Item 9.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide input into all Board policies. We hope that all policies continue to be open to community discussions and that equality of access to documents is ensured. We urge the Board to widely disseminate policies to the representatives of all communities and that appropriate mechanisms are provided for feedback. In addition we would like to be involved in and informed of the entire process of setting up new committees and developing mandates that have to do with the education system.

We, the Toronto District Muslim Education Assembly (TDMEA), respectfully submit this letter for urgent and careful consideration.


Ibrahim El-Sayed

On behalf of the Toronto District Muslim Education Assembly


Cc. David Johnson, Minister of Education and Training
Marguerite Jackson, Director of Education, TDSB
Gail Nyberg, Chair, Board of Trustees, TDSB
Rod Thompson, Executive Officer of Instruction, TDSB
Mary Low, Academic Accountability, TDSB
Sharon Bate, Student and Community Services, TDSB
All the Trustees