On January 29, 2017, an Islamophobic white supremacist shot dead six Muslim men as they prayed at a Quebec City mosque. Many more were injured. This terrorist attack affected many families, friends, neighbours, and communities across Canada, leaving us all with a sense of horror and overwhelming sadness.

But this year, Muslim communities are launching the Green Square Campaign of solidarity and hope. They are encouraging all Canadians to wear a patch of green fabric to show their solidarity for everyone who continues to suffer the consequences of this hateful violence. Green, writes the National Council of Canadian Muslims, is the colour of hope.  

On the third anniversary of this Islamophobic attack, it is important to take the time to reflect on why the massacre took place. As difficult as this may be, we must recognize the reality that Canada today includes hate, division, and racism.

After a massive spike in 2017, the number of police-recorded hate crimes in Canada remains high. According to Statistics Canada, nearly 80 per cent of the 1798 reported crimes were based on hostility towards members of racial, ethnic or religious groups.

At our 2019 National Convention, CUPE members recommitted our union to fight the rising tide of racism and hatred in Canada and across the world. Members unanimously passed a resolution to create an anti-racism strategy, including anti-Black racism. CUPE continues to call on the federal government to combat Islamophobia and racism and to designate January 29 as a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance.

CUPE will continue to empower members and allies to speak out against all forms of racism and discrimination – including Islamophobia.

What can you do:

On January 29, join with others at local vigils and events to commemorate the victims of the Quebec Mosque attack. Together, we will let their friends and family members know that they are not alone. And wear a green square in hope.