What you need to know
January 29 is designated as the Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia in Vancouver.
In 2020, Mayor and Council passed a motion that the Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia would become one of Vancouver’s official observances.
On the Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, we join Vancouver’s Muslim community to honour the victims of the 2017 Quebec City mosque terrorist attack.
Six years ago today, shortly after evening prayers, Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti , Abdelkrim Hassane and Azzedine Soufiane were killed at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, while several other worshipers were seriously injured. We grieve with their families and loved ones.
Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate is an ongoing reality in Canada. According to Statistics Canada External website, opens in new tab, the number of police-reported hate crimes targeting the Muslim religion in 2021 increased 71% from the previous year. Those wearing religious or cultural symbols, including people who wear the hijab and/or the kufi (Muslim skullcap), continue to fight for their right to peaceful self-expression in public spaces including at some workplaces. Islamophobia is also often closely intertwined with white supremacy as an ideology, and its eradication is bound up with the creation of an anti-racist, equitable world. As we mark this day, we stand against hate with the Muslim community.
A powerful reminder of good moral and social conduct is the 11th century poem “Bani Adam”, that adorns the wall of the United Nations in New York City:
All human beings / are members / of one frame,
Since all, at first, / from the same essence / came.
When time afflicts / a limb with pain
The other limbs / at rest / cannot remain.
If thou feel not / for other’s misery
A human being / is no name for thee.
For more information on Islamophobia and the Quebec City Massacre, and the steps we have taken and will be taking in advancing reconciliation, anti-racism, and equity work on anti-racism, visit the following sites:
- Canadian Union of Public Employees External website, opens in new tab
- Foundation for a Path Forward External website, opens in new tab
- Islamophobia-is External website, opens in new tab
- The Green Square Campaign External website, opens in new tab
- National Council of Canadian Muslims External website, opens in new tab