National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack & Action Against Islamophobia
On this National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, we recall the tragic events of seven years ago. A lone gunman entered the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, killing six and injuring many. The impact was profound, leaving 17 children fatherless, six wives widowed, and communities nationwide affected. It remains the deadliest mass murder in a Canadian house of worship.
“His crimes were truly motivated by race, and a visceral hatred toward Muslim immigrants.”Quebec Superior Court Judge sentencing statement in Quebec City Mosque attack, 2019
According to a Senate Report on Islamophobia released last November, Islamophobia remains a persistent and growing problem in this country, with Canada leading the G7 in terms of targeted killings of Muslims motivated by Islamophobia.
“Islamophobia hurts us all, because it weakens Canada’s social fabric. We should never be afraid to be ourselves, to worship as we choose and to express our identities with pride.”Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia
The rise of Islamophobia here echoes international escalations, and with it the resurgence of a well-documented trope casting all Muslims as terrorists by definition, within their workplaces, educational institutions, and even in public spaces. This has deeply concerning implications for students, workers and community members around the country, whether they are exercising their right to political expression, or simply going about their regular lives.
Despite this trend, many Muslim community members remain wary of reporting discrimination, hate crimes and incidents, given a history of distrust of law enforcement resulting from being both over- and under-policed. To address the gap between community experience and official statistics, the CRRF is glad to support the launch of a new app that allows victims to report incidents of Islamophobia and find relevant information resources.
Islamophobia has no place in Canada. Everyone must have the right to peacefully practise their faith and exercise their religious and cultural identity without having to fear for their lives. In honour of the memory of the innocent victims of the Quebec City mosque massacre today, let us also remember our collective humanity and the commonalities that draw us together across communities, for a better future for all.
Mamadou Tanou Barry