The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group has joined the National Council of Canadian Muslims, along with dozens of Muslim organizations and their allies, in calling on the federal government to designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
Below is our full letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (PDF here).
You can join this call by taking action on the NCCM’s website, here.
For a list of events across Canada, click here.
24 January 2018
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister,
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group is adding its voice to the call from the National Council of Canadian Muslims, supported by so many across the country, requesting that January 29 be designated a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
We believe a National Day would be an important and powerful way to remember the six Muslim men who were murdered at the Centre culturel islamique in Quebec City one year ago, as well as those who were injured and bereaved.
The killing of Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane marked the largest mass murder in Canada in the past 25 years, and the deadliest attack on a place of worship in Canada’s recent history.
It is imperative that this day be remembered, in the hopes of stamping out the racism and Islamophobia that inspired the shooter and others who perpetrate anti-Muslim acts of hate, which have drastically increased over the past several years.
Such a national day would also help people to focus their energy and efforts, allowing for positive links between communities, and new initiatives to promote equality. Already, we see interfaith, artistic and cross-community events being planned from coast to coast. Just imagine how powerful an official day of remembrance, similar to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, would be.
In our work defending civil liberties in the context of national security, anti-terrorism and the “War on Terror” in Canada and internationally, we have seen how Muslims and Arabs in Canada have increasingly been stigmatised and scape-goated. The rise of the extreme-right, white supremacist and nationalist groups, and the backlash against immigration fuelled by spurious security concerns and racist stereotypes must be addressed. In the face of this, we must uphold that such a massacre must never happen again.
Attacks on one community, on one religion, on one race, are in reality an attack on us all. They tear apart the threads that bind us together as neighbours, allies and friends. The attack one year ago in Quebec City ripped at those threads.
We ask that you designate, by order-in-council or by proclamation, January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, on or before the first anniversary.
Dominique Peschard & Kevin Malseed
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group