OTTAWA – The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has sent an open letter to the Canadian government urging them to designate January 29th as a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance.
January 29th is the anniversary of the mass shooting in 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City in which six worshipers were killed and nineteen others injured when a lone gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, opened fire after the end of evening prayers.
“As we approach the second anniversary of the attack, we pause to recognize that the racism and hatred that underpinned this attack do not exist in isolation,” reads the open letter.
“According to the latest figures, hate crimes and discrimination against minority groups and Indigenous communities in Canada are on the rise, and four-in-ten of such crimes are violent.
“Recent attacks against religious, racial and other minorities in Canada have demonstrated beyond any doubt that no one community can combat this hate alone. Rather, as Canadians, we must come together and unite, not only against Islamophobia but against all forms of hate,” it added.
The letter has been endorsed by over 100 Canadian Muslim organizations, interfaith groups, and community partners, including the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (CCIQ) where the January 29, 2017, mosque massacre occurred.
The NCCM previously called on the government to designate this day as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia following the horrific Islamophobic attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.
“There’s no doubt that for Muslim communities and many others across Canada, January 29th will always be associated with the devastating Quebec City mosque attack,” said NCCM Executive Director Ihsan Gardee.
“By expanding our call to unite communities in the fight against hate, we are sending a clear message to those who might try to stir division among Canadians: regardless of whether it is our door or our neighbor’s door, when hate and intolerance come knocking we will always be there for each other,” he added.
The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.