Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Canada Must Stand Strong in Wake of Attack on Mosque

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Canada Must Stand Strong in Wake of Attack on Mosque

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Canada must stand strong in wake of attack on mosque

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Jan. 30:

More than a million Canadians are Muslim, and in the wake of the horrific shooting at a Quebec City mosque many of them will be living in fear. They need to know that their fellow citizens are standing with them, not just in words but in deeds.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other political leaders found eloquent words on Monday in condemning the attack and expressing solidarity with Canadian Muslims. Trudeau called it a "terrorist attack... an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians, values of openness diversity and freedom of religion."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume also did the right thing by standing firm with the city's shaken Muslim community. Couillard insisted that Canada and Quebec must remain "a beacon of tolerance" in a world that increasingly seems to be losing its head.

That's all fine, but the fact is alarm bells have been ringing for a long time, warning of a rising climate of hate. The last thing Canada needs is to content itself with patting itself on the back for remaining an island of kindness in a hostile world.

Investigators are just starting to unravel the motivation for the attack, which they say involved a single shooter, a young Quebec City man named Alexandre Bissonnette.

But it has escaped no one that the shooting comes as hostility towards outsiders in general and Muslims in particular has reached fever pitch in many countries. The Trump administration's crackdown on refugees and immigrants from selected Muslim countries sends a powerful message of fear and danger that will have toxic effects far beyond the borders of the United States. And of course, politicians throughout Europe have been fueling similar sentiments for years. …

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