OCASI is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to designate January 29 as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
On January 29, 2017, six worshipers were killed and many others injured during evening prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Their names were: Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims with the support of over 70 Canadian Muslim associations and organizations and over two-dozen community partners including OCASI, recently wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking his government to designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
Please see below, the OCASI Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, and links to letters to Ontario Premier Wynne, Toronto Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council.
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau PC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
January 24, 2018
Dear Prime Minister:
Re: Open Letter calling for designation of January 29 as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is writing to ask that January 29 is designated as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia. We join many other civil society groups from across Canada that have written and spoken out, to ask that we begin the designation with the first anniversary of January 29, 2018.
One year after the devastating attack at the Quebec City mosque that claimed the lives of six Muslim men as they worshipped and injured 19 others we remain deeply shocked by the tragedy that is often described as the biggest terrorist attack on Canadian soil. A National Day of Remembrance and Action would be a fitting memorial to the lives lost and shattered, and a much needed focus for all Canadian residents to work to address the stereotypes, discrimination and hatred that give rise to such acts of violence. It is important that we work collectively to prevent such horrific acts from ever occurring again.
As the umbrella organization for immigrant and refugee-serving organizations in Ontario, OCASI has been actively engaged in working with our member agencies and other civil society organizations across the province to counter Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia. Discrimination and hatred towards Muslims continues to be pervasive and persistent and is a concern for us all as Canadian residents. The work to address it must be done by us all and not left only to Muslim civil society organizations and communities. A National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia can give all Canadian residents as well as political, civil society and private sectors an opportunity to individually and collectively speak out and take action on this critical concern.