Three years ago today, six men lost their lives in a Quebec City mosque. They were shot dead by a gunman in their place of worship as they participated in evening prayers. Five others were critically wounded. Film-maker Ariel Nasr’s documentary tells the story of the aftermath: six women widowed, seventeen children left fatherless, an entire community traumatized.
Meanwhile, our government denies the existence of Islamophobia in this province, and in the name of laicity of the state, passes a bill banning the wearing of religious symbols by public workers in positions of authority, such as lawyers and teachers. This bill mainly targets hijab-wearing Muslim women. Law 21 happens to go against the Quebec and the Federal Charters of Rights and Freedoms so they invoke the notwithstanding clause in order to bypass any legal challenges.
The government passes a law to ensure the religious neutrality of the state as Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, etc, public sector workers everywhere benefit from stat holidays at Christmas and Easter.
The hypocrisy is infuriating.
I was unable to attend the screening of the documentary film this evening but I am planning to watching it at a later date. It’s the least we can do to rally around a community that has lost so much and is still struggling today.