We come together today to remember and mourn the senseless loss of six Muslim men, killed on Jan 29, 2017, while in prayer, at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (CCIQ).
Last year’s deadly shooting at the Quebec City Mosque is a violent example of Islamophobia in Canada. These men were fathers, friends, husbands, sons, and members of their community. One year later, their families and Muslim communities across the country are attempting to heal, and we stand in solidarity with them.
As trade unionists, our most basic principle is “an injury to one is an injury to all,” and we stand against Islamophobia and racism. We also know that this was not an isolated incident.
In the spring of last year, Local and Provincial CUPE Leaders issued an open letter to all members of the Peel District School Board Community, condemning several Islamophobic and Anti-Muslim acts that took place in the region, preventing the school board trustees from meeting for several months. These actions were intended to create a climate of intimidation and spread hate. Our members took action, working with others to fill the board’s central auditorium with supporters at the next trustee meeting, making sure there was no room for hate.
As a community union, with workers delivering public services in many sectors, we will continue to fight so that everyone, from all walks of life, feel safe in our schools, parks, libraries, or any of our public spaces.
Our union is committed to taking action against the rise of far-right extremism, and we will not sit idly by as people face racism and hate in our communities and workplaces.
CUPE Ontario joins the choir of voices calling on the Canadian government to recognize the anniversary of this deplorable event as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
We also call on all Canadian elected leaders to work to ensure that a tragedy like this does not happen in any of our communities ever again.
Azzedine Soufiane, 57
Father of three was a grocer, butcher, and longtime Quebec City resident who often helped newcomers settle into the area.
Khaled Belkacemi, 60
Professor of soil and agri-food engineering at Laval University, father of three, a good friend to many.
Aboubaker Thabti, 44
Father of two young children, worked in a pharmacy and remembered as a very kind person.
Abdelkrim Hassane, 41
Father to three daughters, he worked as a programming analyst for the Quebec government.
Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42
Employee in the information technology industry, father of two young children.
Ibrahima Barry, 39
A father of four, and worked for Quebec’s Revenue Ministry.