quebec mosque attack
The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand are only the most recent mosque attacks weighing on my mind.
Some people's measure of what "authentic" Canadian history is — white, Christian and therefore exclusive of Muslimness — is tragically uninformed.
One year later, it feels like we are fighting a rising tide of hate released by the Conservative Party of Canada.
Establishing commemorative days or months are a tool to assert the need for action and solidify support for the downtrodden.
There is quite simply no objective evidence to support that such a ban would help intergroup relations in Quebec. On the contrary - a ban on religious clothing is likely to accentuate the detachment felt by members of religious minorities, and other cultural minorities, towards Quebec society.
With the last candles extinguished, the country will move on. The vigils will end. The cameras will stop rolling. The faces of the victims will disappear from our newsfeeds, though the face of the accused may linger a few weeks longer. And bit by bit, the tragedy will fade from the national memory. This is the familiar script of tragedy.
Acknowledging this fact is one of the first things you could have done to protect the Muslim community in Quebec City. To fight and prevent hate speech that comes from the far right, you also need to fight and prevent its counterpart. Otherwise, all your efforts would be useless.
In politics, it is useless to cast off on others the responsibility for failure, retreat or tragedy. On the contrary, it is necessary to always and without complacency ask ourselves, each one of us and together, what we could have done otherwise to avoid such a tragedy and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.
Canada is a better place to live and a freer and more equitable society because of the long history of oppressed communities coming together and saying a better world is possible, and fighting to make it happen -- not just for themselves, but for the entire community and in solidarity with other oppressed groups.
I am horrified by what happened in Quebec last week. Innocent people were killed and injured because someone indolently grouped together all sub-groupings of a faith into one broad category. The answer, however, will not be found in just ignoring the existence of such sub-groupings who are persecutors.