January 31st, 2017
This was an incomprehensible act of terror on the Canadian Muslim community, and on the values that Canadians hold so dearly, from coast to coast.
These core values of religious liberty, inclusivity and diversity were dealt a massive blow at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City.
To the victims and their families, loved ones and friends - we mourn with you and stand with you in unconditional solidarity.
Many Canadians, Muslim and non-Muslim, are struggling with how to move forward and are in a state of disbelief.
As our nation mourns, it's important to recognize that for many religious minorities and marginalized communities, bigotry, racism and xenophobia remain an inseparable part of their Canadian story. Canada has never been immune to hatred.
Yet it has been the response of everyday Canadians, seen in the outpouring of support for the Muslim community over the last two days, that gives us hope and reaffirms the spirit of Canada.
The obvious response to hate is love. We must respond with a reaffirmation of our commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We must let every member of our society know that they are at home in Canada. But we must go further.
We must hold our leaders and those with a platform accountable. It is not enough to offer our condolences without an unequivocal condemnation of the hateful rhetoric, Islamophobia and dog whistle politics which create a climate for hate.
For many Canadian Muslims, today feels less safe than yesterday in the country they call home. Together, let us stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters in the fight against Islamophobia and recommit ourselves to upholding the values that define the spirit of Canada.