“Know that we value you”
When President Trump issued his order last week banning travellers from seven Muslim majority countries (even visa holders and permanent residents were turned back) Canada offered to take them in.
When we saw the waves of refugees from the Middle East we opened our doors, as we did to Vietnamese and Somalis.
The Islamophobic tendencies that started in America after 9/11 (and spreading to Europe) led to the latest outrage when White Nationalist Alexandre Bissonette opened fire in a Quebec City mosque, killing 6 and wounding 8. Oddly, a mosque in Texas was burned down the day before. Americans raised a million dollars to help rebuild it and a local synagogue shared their space to let them continue to worship. Many Christians and Jews reached out.
We are a tolerant nation. From an editorial in the New York Times: Quebec’s Response to Hate: More Tolerance
That was what Canadians sought to do. Thousands gathered at memorial services across the country, including Mr. Trudeau on Monday. Speaking earlier to Parliament, he addressed the more than one million Muslim Canadians: “Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours,” he said, referring to the population of Canada. “Know that we value you”.
Canada is not perfect; it, too, has its demons, as Mr. Couillard said. But the response of a democratic society must be to reaffirm its fundamental faith in freedom, including the freedom to practice one’s faith and cultural traditions. In Quebec, the demons took a terrible toll, but the country’s commitment to inclusion was, if anything, strengthened.
In the wake of President Trump’s attempt to capitalize on fear, Trudeau issued this powerful statement on Twitter and creating the wonderful hashtag #WelcometoCanada
The world has reacted with fear, and, more anger in response to Donald Trump’s win. This is not the way.
Love, one another. The most powerful message of all.
(Next up: Trump’s First 100 Days)