As Christians, we must root out fear, and commit to… practices that help us to ground our actions… in love.
–Former Moderator Jordan Cantwell
Canadian Muslim communities are still grieving the killing of six worshipers and injury of many others during evening prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on January 29, 2017. This heinous, violent act specifically targeted Muslims and left a Canadian place of worship a scene of carnage. Tragically, all six who died in this attack were racialized men who had immigrated to Canada.
Two years on, we must recognize that the hate, racism, and xenophobia underpinning this attack does not exist in isolation. According to recent data on hate crimes directed towards racial, religious, and other minority groups, crimes against Muslims in Canada were up 151 per cent in 2017. Black and Jewish communities also had disturbing increases of 50 per cent and 63 per cent, respectively.
The National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is calling for January 29 to be designated a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance. A recent NCCM letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriquez (signed by over 110 organizations, including the United Church) states that “the best way to combat hate and intolerance is the fight against it.” (You can read the full letter on the NCCM’s website.)
A National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance will provide Canadians with a focal point for solidarity and action to “stop the forces of hate that seek to divide and destroy us.” We ask that you help amplify this call.
- Write your own letter to Pablo Rodriquez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and/or your member of Parliament. Urge them to designate January 29 as a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance. You may wish to use the NCCM letter as a guide, or simply send a message using the NCCM’s online form. You can find your member of Parliament by entering your postal code on the Parliament of Canada website.
- Ask an organization you belong to (such as your United Church congregation) to consider signing onto the NCCM’s organizational letter. Contact the NCCM lnasr [at] nccm.ca (by e-mail) to express your interest. If your faith community signs onto this letter, ask them to upload a short video to social media explaining why. Use the hashtags #ActAgainstHate, #RememberJanuary29, #UCCan.
- Share this action with your networks and/or create a short, personal video for social media naming the importance of speaking out against Islamophobia and intolerance. Use the hashtags above.
On Twitter, tag @Rodriguez_Pab, @CdnHeritage, @nccm.
On Facebook, tag HonPabloRodriguez, CdnHeritage, NCCMuslims.
- Explore United Church information and resources on these topics more deeply:
Canadian Muslim communities are still reeling from the 2017 terrorist attack in Quebec that claimed the lives of six Muslim men worshipping in their mosque and gravely injured many others. The United Church’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 (search “That All May Be One” on United Church Commons) declares that “we believe that we are all equal before God.”
In today’s pluralistic world, we are called to love our neighbour. The United Church, believing that God is creatively and redemptively at work in the religious life of all humanity, has long been involved in interfaith dialogue and action to build respectful, mutual relationships. The United Church has recognized Islam as a religion of peace, mercy, justice, and compassion and has affirmed that the church wants to journey towards reconciliation, understanding, and cooperation with our Muslim neighbours. The United Church is committed to working with Muslims and others for peace and justice for all humanity and to seeking ways to build right relationships among us.
Send your letters and emails to:
Hon. Pablo Rodriquez
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
pablo.rodriguez [at] parl.gc.ca
Conservative Party of Canada
bob.saroya [at] parl.gc.ca
New Democratic Party
jenny.kwan [at] parl.gc.ca
mario.beaulieu [at] parl.gc.ca
Green Party of Canada
elizabeth.may [at] parl.gc.ca
For more information, contact: