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Equitas stands in solidarity with the Muslim community

Equitas stands in solidarity with the Muslim community and calls for coming together in unity, in responsibility and in dialogue.

The horrific shooting in Sainte-Foy (Québec) yesterday reminds us that no country is immune from the cancerous effects of discrimination, hate and violence. At Equitas, our condolences go out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives and our thoughts are with the wounded for a speedy recovery.

We also stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Sainte-Foy and with Muslims across Canada and all others who feel threatened and face discrimination because of their faith, origin or sexual orientation.

For 50 years, Equitas has been delivering education programs that confront discriminatory attitudes and advance equality, social justice and respect for human dignity. This shocking incident reminds us that the struggle for human rights and against intolerance is ongoing and that we must always remain vigilant.

We also recognize that violence like this does not occur in a vacuum.

In recent years, and particularly in recent weeks, there has been an upsurge in speech and actions targeting particular groups because of their religion.

The Muslim community has been particularly targeted in this regard.

This upsurge is dangerous and can create an environment which emboldens those who are fueled by hate and see violence as a solution.

In responding to this horrible crime, we urge political leaders at the municipal, provincial and federal levels in Canada and elsewhere to recognize that building peaceful, welcoming and inclusive communities takes effort and investments in human rights education over the long term.

We have witnessed a number of violent incidents and hate crimes in the past months. We react, the world reacts, but what happens in between those moments matters.

Today, we are encouraged to see the incredible number of people that have responded to calls for solidarity vigils in Montreal, Québec and around the world.

This sense of community is comforting in times of grief and collective concern. This sense of community is essential as we speak, listen, come together and act.

Politicians and community leaders of all types have a critical role in sustaining that sense of community and promote equality and inclusion. We count on them to take responsibility for their words and their actions.

And we must all make an even greater effort to understand and accept our neighbours, regardless of perceived differences in order to build strong, resilient and inclusive communities

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