CUPE Ontario stands in solidarity with communities from coast to coast on the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, observed on January 29th. This day serves as a solemn reminder of the tragic events that unfolded in Quebec City in 2017, when a gunman entered a mosque and opened fire on dozens of Muslims during a prayer service, killing six and injuring 19. The shooter expressed far-right and white nationalist views, admitting to police that anti-Muslim rhetoric had influenced his actions.

Tragically, in 2021, following the Quebec City Mosque Attack, another violent Islamophobic attack unfolded in London, Ontario, where a man with the stated intention to “build an all-white society”, used his truck to murder a Muslim family during an evening walk. This horrific act claimed the lives of four family members spanning three generations and left a young child orphaned.  This heart-wrenching crime underscores the dangerous, violent, and persistent issues of Islamophobia that continue to afflict our society.

In commemorating this day, CUPE Ontario not only honours the victims of Islamophobic violence but also vehemently condemns the poison of Islamophobia and commits our union to join others who are actively working to stop its spread. As a union, we know we must work to ensure that divisive ideologies do not take root and grow. It is our responsibility to stand against the forces that seek to divide us and to call on the government to take meaningful action.

In the wake of the genocide occurring in Gaza, we have seen a sharp rise in Islamophobia, as a result of heightened anti-Palestinian racism here in Canada and across the world. We emphasize the interconnected nature of Islamophobia and all other forms of oppression, understanding that they are tools used globally to target marginalized communities and oppress working people.

CUPE Ontario calls on all levels of government to not only acknowledge historical horrors, but to act by resourcing the tools needed to teach the relevant political context that can prevent the repetition of such atrocities. We demand more than passive recognition; we demand proactive measures to combat Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination.

As we commemorate this day, let us collectively stand against Islamophobia, affirming our commitment to unity, justice, and a society free from hatred.