Central Executive Committee, YCL-LJC
It is with mourning and indignation that we greet the news of the mass shooting at a Quebec mosque. With love and rage we stand with the families who have lost their loved ones and the Muslim community in Quebec and across Canada, who are the target of this attempt to terrorize.
This mass murder is far from an isolated act of violence. Islamophobia and xenophobia have been promoted by the media and politicians of a system reliant on imperialist expansion in majority Muslim countries. This dangerous rise of white supremacy is taking place at a time when the vast majority of people are facing poverty and economic insecurity on a planet that is being thrown into climate chaos. White supremacy and war are the system’s tools to intensify oppression in order to deepen the exploitation of the land, labour and resources of the world. Islamophobia is an integral part of the social crisis caused by capitalism.
These violent ideologies are being promoted by those with economic and political power in Canada. They have an expression in the major capitalist parties as evidenced by the Conservative Party’s leadership campaign of Kellie Leitch. The candidacy of right-wing, reality TV star/businessman Kevin O’Leary for the Conservative Party’s leadership also promises more key battles against the ultra-right within “mainstream” bourgeois politics.
In Quebec, the struggle against the Islamophobic “Charter of Values” is not yet finished, although the legislation itself fell with the defeat of the PQ in 2014. The Coalition Avenir Québec and the Parti Québécois continue to push these xenophobic policies. Under cover of the defense of secularism, the Liberal Quebec government is preparing to pass Bill 62. This regressive project is in fact only a newer version of the Charter of Values. It primarily targets Muslim communities and confuses immigration with terrorism and religious fundamentalism.
Canada has had troops present in the Central Asia and the Middle East since 2001. The last Federal election focused on a racist debate on the Niqab. The corporate media pumps out racist caricatures of countries with majority Muslim populations. All of this violence is connected.
The fight for anti-racist, sanctuary policies
Donald Trump and his new ultra-right government in the United States has also seized on this xenophobia and emboldened it. It is very likely that the shooting is directly connected to the Trump regime’s racist executive order to ban Muslims and refugees from entering the US.
As the corporate backed politicians, media and even the right-wing move to distance themselves from racist mass murder taking place in North America, we must remember they are in large part to blame. We do this in order to effectively fight Islamophobia and remove it at its root.
We salute and are mobilizing for the actions taking place across Canada that are condemning the violence. There are rallies and demonstrations being organized by the Muslim community and progressive organizations taking place today and most likely throughout the week. We are inspired by the mass rallies taking place at airports across the United States to demand entry for people with citizenship from majority Muslim countries. Racism and fascism can be rolled back. We can make racists afraid again, and young people are struggling against imperialism around the world. We call on the youth and student hit the streets in solidarity with the Muslim community in Canada and the USA.
A Day of Action “Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia” has been called on Saturday, February 4th. The YCL-LJC fully supports the immediate demands of this action. They are:
1) The Canadian government make an immediate, public condemnation of the executive orders by President Trump that bans Muslims and refugees from entering the US. Canada must immediately open the Canada-USA border. This includes revocation of the Safe Third Country Agreement which bars most refugee claimants entering from the United States over land to claim asylum in Canada. The Designated Country of Origin list, which makes it almost impossible for US citizens and citizens of forty other countries to claim asylum in Canada, must be eliminated.
2) Canada must end the system of indefinite immigration detention. The federal government must create a regularization program so that all undocumented residents can live freely with their families rather than face mass deportation. Migrant workers in Canada must also be given permanent status and open work permits. All provinces must become Sanctuaries and refuse collaboration with Canadian and American border agents.
3) The end of specific federal legislation in Canada that attacks racialized Muslims and refugees, including the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act as well as anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C-51.