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.