NHL.COM — The Sami Educational Institute (SIE) is calling on hockey players and hockey fans to stand up against anti-“anti-Muslim” comments in the sport.
“In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, there have been calls from some hockey players for an end to the national anthem and the wearing of the national colours,” SIE president Sami Ipek told NHL.
“This is a very sensitive issue that affects all Canadians, and it’s important that we speak up and speak out.”
Sami Igek, president of the Sami Eksuya Foundation, which supports indigenous education in Finland, told NHL that his organization, along with other groups such as the Finnish Federation of Sport, has been making a strong effort to spread awareness of the issue of anti-Islamic and anti-Islamophobia in the sports world.
“We’re doing a lot of work in the NHL, the US, and the international community to bring awareness to the issue,” Igeke said.
“We have a lot to say about it, but we need to do more.”
In the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks, SIE issued a statement expressing its concerns about the “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” that are often portrayed as being the driving forces behind terrorist attacks.
“This is why we are concerned about these anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks,” the statement read.
“These attacks are being fuelled by Islamophobia and hatred and we ask all sports fans and athletes to stand against them.
We also want to reiterate that the Samis are not terrorists, but rather are just like everyone else, striving to be equal.”
The statement also stated that the organization does not condone anti-semitism, as well as Islamophobia, but that they should be addressed instead.
“It is the responsibility of all people to stand together against hatred and anti–Semitism,” the SIE statement continued.
“It is also the responsibility to recognize that hatred and discrimination are also part of the human condition.
We ask all people of all faiths to be tolerant of others.”
According to the statement, the organization is working to create a platform for “open dialogue on the issues of racism, Islamophobia in sports and the Muslim community.”
The organization also issued a video that included the voices of a number of people who were outspoken about their anti-racism.
In addition to the voices from the hockey players, the video also included comments from two other hockey players.
“I hope that you all will stand up,” one of the players said in the video.
“I hope you will say no to racism and hate in sports.”
Samia Ipeke told NHL the goal is to educate the NHL players and fans about the issue and not only to put pressure on the league.
“There is a lot that goes on in the world, and there is also a lot going on in hockey.
There are a lot who are racist and hate, but you have to say something,” she said.”
If they don’t stand up, we can’t do anything about it.
We need to create space for them to say, ‘No, I’m not doing this, but I’m going to fight.'”