On January 29, 2017, six Muslim men were murdered and 19 were injured at a Quebec City mosque while they prayed. This terrorist attack affected many families, friends, neighbours and communities across Canada, leaving us all with a sense of horror and overwhelming sadness.
On the second 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.
According to a recent report by Statistics Canada, hate crimes against racial, ethnic or religious groups increased in Canada by 47 per cent in 2017. Nearly half of reported hate crimes were based on hostility towards members of racial or ethnic groups, and 41 per cent targeted members of a religious group. Crimes targeting Muslims increased by an alarming 151 per cent. Jewish and Black communities also saw disturbing increases of 63 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. Hate crimes specifically targeting Muslims rose by 207 per cent in Ontario and by 185 per cent in Quebec; Alberta and BC also saw increases.