Ottawa, January 31, 2017 - The Palestinian Canadian Congress (PCC) expresses shock at the massacre of Canadian Muslims at prayer in the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Palestinian Canadians are in mourning in the wake of this terrorist attack.
PCC applauds the support being expressed for Muslim Canadians by Prime Minister Trudeau and the Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. Their leadership is critical to the preservation of Canadian values at this time of national grief.
However, PCC is also mindful of the policies of other political leadership that has for many years contributed to the vilification of Arabs and Muslims in Canada. The "Niqab" hysteria and the "Snitch-line on Barbaric Practices" of the last election are infamous benchmarks on the road to the Quebec massacre. Many of the political opportunists that wallowed in such hate-filled tactics are still on the rise in more than one of Canada’s national and provincial political parties. It is the venomous utterances of our political leaders and media pundits that have given racism and bigotry directed at Arab and Muslim Canadians a mantle of respectability.
While the bullets were fired at worshipers in a Quebec Mosque, PCC understands that the real target was the Muslim and Arab communities of Canada. This attack will leave a permanent scar but it will not impede our quest for a peaceful and just society in which all Canadians are genuinely respected.
PCC President, Aiman Shakra, said “Today our thoughts are with our dead and wounded brothers and their families. Tomorrow we will be steadfast in our determination to continue to develop our communities as we continue to build Canada alongside our fellow Canadians”. He added, “The purveyors of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism will not be allowed to prevail".