FEDERAL NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was on Friday joined by Mustafa Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), to mark the fourth anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting. On the evening of January 29, 2017, a gunman killed six and injured 19 others at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City. People died just because they were Muslim. To mark this day, Singh and Farooq renewed their calls for the Liberal government to take action to tackle hate in our communities.
“The Muslim community is still reeling from the horrific attack that took place at the mosque in Quebec City four years ago,” said Singh. “For communities to feel safe, the Liberal government must tackle head-on hate and alt-right groups that are growing in numbers in Canada. Without action today, it will just be a matter of time before the next attack. We need action now. People deserve to feel safe in their communities.”
Singh also announced that NDP MP Matthew Green and his team are working on legislation that will give more tools to the federal government to dismantle white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. At the sentencing hearing of the Quebec mosque shooter, it was revealed that he was obsessively reading news about Donald Trump, right-wing pundits and conspiracy theorists in the weeks leading up to the attack. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that alt-right groups were a threat in Canada, but he has not taken concrete action to tackle this threat. He pledged to fight online hate, but instead of holding social media accountable, he decided to trust social media companies with voluntary measures, according to Singh.
“We know that Canada has a growing white supremacist movement that has been emboldened by events in the U.S. and by hate online,” said Singh. “Justin Trudeau must move beyond nice words and take concrete actions. People who face islamophobia, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination shouldn’t feel alone in this fight. They deserve to know that their government is on their side. I am on your side.”
Earlier this week, thanks to the support of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, all parties passed a unanimous consent motion tabled by the NDP calling for the Proud Boys to be banned and for more actions to dismantle white supremacy groups in Canada. The Liberal government must now move past that motion, and take concrete actions to protect our communities, added Singh.
“All elected officials in government should be taking action against white supremacist violence. That means looking at all options, including legislative reform, to combat the growth of this threat. We look forward to this important conversation to hold all parties accountable in our push for solutions that will dismantle white supremacist groups,” said Farooq.