We believe ourselves as Canadians to be different, better than our American cousins. Today, even more so, given the racist and xenophobic machinations erupting from the White House and beyond.
After all, wasn’t it Canada that warmly embraced 30,000 Syrian refugees when others were looking for ways to deny them entry to their countries? Wasn’t it Canadian political leadership that spoke out strongly against all forms of racial and religious discrimination at a time when the United States talked of building walls to keep out Mexicans and proposing policy to virtually ban Muslim refugees and immigrants? And wasn’t it Canadian Mounties who appeared to rescue and welcome fearful Muslim refugees fleeing from of all places the USA?
However, let’s not be too smug. Canada and some loud, bigoted and hateful Canadians have engaged in some of the most vituperative, hateful and disgusting forms of Islamophobia over the last six months that has rocked me to my very core.
It was only eight short weeks ago, that an Islamophobe sauntered into a mosque in Quebec City and with both casualness and purpose shot to death six Muslim Canadians at prayer while wounding five others. In the aftermath of the terror much comfort was said and done but today this horrible massacre may as well have occurred decades ago.
It was only two weeks after the Quebec City shootings that hundreds rallied under the banner of “Rebel Media” Canada’s offensive Breitbart North at an evangelical church to ostensibly decry the rise of Islam in Canada. Referred to as a “Freedom Rally” seemingly objecting to Motion 103 (a parliamentary motion condemning Islamophobia and all forms of racial and religious discrimination now passed in House of Commons) as an attack on free speech.
With large pickets proclaiming “Say No to Islam” and poisonous rhetoric exclaiming “Islam is Evil” and “Mohammed was a pedophile,” it was more a vile Islamophobic mob rant. (more...)
Final thought: Are the Muslims more heretical than the Evangelicals? Than Rick Warren? Hard to tell.