Ste-Foy

This was going to be a different post. Then on Sunday January 29th the mosque attack in Ste-Foy, Quebec City happened.

As is well known now, this hateful crime has taken a tremendous toll. Those killed, injured and subjected to this extreme violence were husbands and fathers, friends and colleagues. They were part of the fabric of their community in Quebec City and they were a part of the fabric of this great country. The loss of these lives and the hatred that motivated it is senseless –  making it hard to understand.

No country can hope to be immune from the problems of the world, but it is still shocking to see such a reprehensible act happen in our country.  The only comfort we can take is in the response that has come in the aftermath of this tragedy, from across Canada, from around the world, and from within our own community.

As a nation, we’ve mourned in unison for those lost in the attack and for those left bereft by their loss. We’ve seen Canadians stand in solidarity with our country’s Muslim community and we’ve seen kindness and empathy be extended to our own small but growing Muslim community in Sault Ste. Marie. We’ve seen countless people raise their voices and take action to show that they care; to show that they will not abide hatred happening in our midst.

To be sure, there is more work to do here, just as there is more work to do everywhere. However, I feel resolute in my conviction that ultimately we are going to do it.

The promoters of hatefulness and bigotry seem to be having a moment right now. But it’s a moment that’s going to pass. Because for every racist, bigot, or xenophobe there are hundreds more of us who are tolerant, compassionate, and welcoming. Our voices are louder, our will is stronger, and our collective might is much greater than anything the forces of intolerance could hope to marshal. Matched against us, the beliefs they espouse are not going to take hold and their attempts to sow fear and division are not going to succeed. They’re not going to win.