Muslim groups asks for Jan. 29 day of remembrance for 2017 mosque shooting
By Janice Dickson
iPolitics | January 5, 2018
As the Jan. 29 anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City mosque attack approaches, Muslim leaders are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to designate that date as a “National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.”
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released an open letter addressed to Trudeau on Friday.
“One year on, Canadian Muslim communities are still reeling from the devastating terrorist attack that claimed the lives of six Muslim men worshipping in their mosque — fathers, husbands and sons — and gravely injured many others,” wrote Ihsaan Gardee, NCCM’s executive director.
“For the first time in Canadian history, a place of worship was targeted by a horrific act of violence solely because the victims were Muslims.”
The letter was endorsed by over 70 Canadian Muslim organizations and a number of community partners.
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“With the rise of far-right extremist groups that continue to threaten the safety of Canadian Muslim institutions and congregations, it is critical that our elected leaders stand firmly against Islamophobia and the agents of bigotry who aim to foment hateful division between Canadians and their fellow Muslim citizens,” says the letter.
“We must not allow voices of hate, even ones that may initially appear to be on the margins, to permeate our public discourse and damage our social fabric.”
The groups ask that a day be designated, either by order-in-council or by proclamation, as an official day of remembrance, on or before the first anniversary.
“Such a designation will enable Canadians to collectively remember the victims of the attack and to enhance public education about the perils of hate, bigotry and Islamophobia.”
A spokesperson for Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said that the government has “received and noted the proposal by the National Council of Canadian Muslims.”