“Islamophobic speech is deeply rooted in Quebec politics and public affairs”, lamented the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM).
On the eve of the first anniversary of the Quebec mosque shooting, NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee says he’s “hardly impressed” by Quebec’s political parties, reported Quebec’s le Soleil.
The call for designating January 29 as a national Day of Remembrance and Action Against Islamophobia was initiated by NCCM and supported by 70 Muslim organizations in a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on January 5, but was rejected by all parties except for Quebec Solidaire.
Francois Legault of Coalition avenir Quebec (CAQ) said that the mosque shooting was an “intolerable act of one person and not of an entire society. Quebeckers are open and welcoming, they are not Islamophobic”.
The Parti Quebecois objected to the ill-defined word “Islamophobia”, which they prefer to substitute with the expression “anti-Muslim sentiment”.
Quebec Premier Philippe Cuillard said that one form of racism should not be differentiated from another. “Islamophobia is a form of racism that exists in all societies.”
In short, except for Quebec Solidaire, the other parties agreed to commemorate the six victims of the Quebec mosque shooting, but rejected the idea of a day of action against Islamophobia.
“It is not surprising”, said Gardee. “NCCM and the Muslim community all noted that Islamophobia continues to be denied in Quebec. It is disappointing and, in our opinion, an indicator of how deeply Islamophobic discourse is rooted in Quebec politics and public affairs.”
So far, Toronto, Vancouver, Brantford, Markham and Hamilton all designated January 29 as a Day of Action Against Islamophobia.