A New Threat after Charlie Hebdo

by Darby on January 23, 2015 - 5:56pm

Charlie Hebdo, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and our own Canadian parliament were all affected by recent terrorist attacks. These events struck home for many Quebecers, like me, who swiftly turned to the media for explanations. However, these sources we have been consulting are contributing to the rise of something equally troubling; Islamophobia.

On Thursday night, the Collectif Québécois Contre l’Islamophobie, a non-profit organization against Islamophobia represented by Adil Charkaoui, held a conference to address these rising issues.

They stated that they have received “409 complaints from people about being the target of Islamophobia in all of 2014”.

Furthermore, they stated that the problem has spread into the school system. High school, college and university students are “feeling that they have to defend themselves in front of all of the classroom” from their own teachers who are making remarkably racist remarks.

In addition to this, the hate has manifested itself physically with 12 attacks on local mosques recorded by the organization in the past year. The violations do not end there however. Muslim youth are having their cellphones and computers searched by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The media has played an important role in the rise of Islamophobia. Certain media pundits and columnists make generalizations about all Muslims, depicting them all as extremists. They have created an “us” against “them” mentality, thereby separating Muslim Quebecers from the rest of Quebec society.  It is worrisome to me that, in the year 2015, we have allowed ourselves to become prejudiced and hateful towards innocent members of our own society.

Do our worries about terrorism justify the violations of fundamental human rights that Quebec Muslims are being subjected to? Is it simply because one identifies with the Islamic faith that they should lose the right to common decency, to privacy, to the Canadian way of life?

Yes, terrorism exists and is a very real and frightening problem in the world. Yet, does Canada not remain the land strong and free, the land that welcomes everyone into our multiculturalism?

We should not let a group of extremists change the Canadian way of life. We should not let extremists make of us scared little people who fear their own neighbours. Instead, let’s remain the strong peaceful accepting nation that we are reputed to be. It’s time we stop the spread of Islamophobia.

To access the original article “Quebec group holds conference on Islamophobia” written by Phil Carpenter that was published in the Montreal Gazette on January 22nd 2015, you can follow this link: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-group-holds-conference-on-islamophobia

I believe this is a reliable source because the Gazette is the primary source for english news in Quebec.

Comments

In my opinion, this is an issue which affects all minorities living in Quebec. Unfortunately the recent attacks that occurred around the world have increased racism towards muslims in particular. Although this issue can be resolved... By raising awareness and by educating our fellow Quebecers, minorities will be less targeted. I believe that with the world being so connected, it will be hard to stop Islamophobia because there will be more attacks that will incite this hatred. Therefore this is a reality for muslims and other minorities that they will have to keep proving that they are not the issue and that Quebec is open to all cultures.

The events that occured around the world, starting with Charlie Hebdo are really sad...
However, we must remind ourselves of the times we live in. The world in in crisis, and history has shown that each time countries have faced economic crisis, nationalism rose and so did racism. Why? Because it's easy, ever noticed how people like putting the blame on others? Same thing here, people are frustrated and have fear of losing their jobs and so they turn on minorities because it's simple for them. For instance, after the 1929 crisis, who did the Germans blame for their unhappiness? the jews. Almost a century later, western countries are doing the same with other minorities and in this case, the muslim community.
Also, people turn to muslims because each time the media talks about some big terrorist attack, somehow the terrorists end up being muslim. Now whether it's true or not, it's not the debate i'm starting. I'm just trying to say that people turn to muslim because they see throughout the media that terrorrists end up being muslim. So I do agree, when you say media has an important role in how the muslims are treated in our countries.
However, I couldn't help myself but burst in laughter at the beginning of the second part of your text. Canada the land of strong and free? Perfect example of media control. Same thing as the "American Dream", it's all but an illusion.
Yes Canada is multicultural, it accepts people from different ethnicities. Though don't forget that Canada's immigration is selective, people can only come if they have degrees, money or contacts...
Still, I hear you when you say that we should not punish a minority that lives in Canada, because of a minority of muslims throughout the world that are the cause of terrorists attacks. Canada definitely should remain the peaceful nation it is reputed to be (forget strong).
It will take time before things go back to normal, and it will take a lot of courage from the muslim community.