As Christians, we must root out fear, and commit to…practices that help us to ground our actions…in love.
— Moderator Jordan Cantwell

On January 29, 2017, six worshippers were killed and many others injured during evening prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. This horrific act of violence specifically targeted Muslims, and it was the first time in Canadian history that an attack in a place of worship resulted in fatalities.

One year on, many people across the country are calling for January 29 to be designated as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia. The United Church of Canada has written to the Prime Minister to support the call of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), 70 Canadian Muslim associations and organizations and more than two-dozen community partners asking for this designation; we now ask that you help to amplify this call.

Take Action

  1. Write a letter to the Prime Minister, the federal cabinet and your member of Parliament, urging them to designate January 29 as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
  2. Take part in a local vigil to remember the innocent lives lost and act in solidarity with the community. You can find your nearest vigil on the NCCM website.
  3. Share this action with your networks. Use the hashtags #RememberJanuary29 and #UCCan.
  4. Send your solidarity pictures and actions to us at justice [at] united-church.ca. Some suggested key messages, available under Downloads, below, can be used to inform remembrance services.

Background

Canadian Muslim communities are still reeling from the devastating terrorist attack in Quebec last January that claimed the lives of six Muslim men worshipping in their mosque and gravely injured many others. This horrific attack specifically targeted Muslims, and in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy there was a spike in Islamophobic hate speech in some parts of Canada. As a result, as the first anniversary of the massacre approaches, the United Church urges the government to designate a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.

Tragically, all six of the people who died in the 2017 attack were racialized men who had immigrated to Canada. The United Church of Canada’s commitment to racial justice includes building right relationships with people of all racial identities, engaging in interfaith dialogue, and speaking out against violence and discrimination rooted in racial superiority, including Islamophobia. The church’s anti-racism policy declares that “we believe that we are all equal before God.”

The United Church of Canada has recognized Islam as a religion of peace, mercy, justice, and compassion and affirmed that the church wants to journey towards reconciliation, understanding, and cooperation with our Muslim neighbours. The United Church is committed to work with Muslims and others for peace and justice for all humanity, and to seek ways to build right relationships among us.

The federal government says it has “received and noted” the NCCM’s proposal. It’s your turn—join fellow Canadians and act now. By designating a national day of remembrance, Canadians hope and pray that we collectively never forget the horrific consequences of allowing hatred and xenophobia to go unchecked.

For more information, contact:

Christie NeufeldtProgram Coordinator, Public Witness416-231-7680 ext. 4078
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4078
cneufeldt [at] united-church.ca