Central Executive Committee, YCL-LJC
It is with mourning and indignation that we greet the news of the mass shooting that took place 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.
Beginning with colonialism, racism has long been a tool of Canada’s ruling class. Xenophobia is not new to Canada, and there is a proud history of struggle for immigrant rights and against various forms of racism throughout Canada’s history. However, there is at this moment a rise in hate crimes which now includes mass murder.
Racism and xenophobia are on the rise, particularly with the growth of the “alt-right” since the election of Donald Trump as president. In B.C., the KKK have been organizing and distributing xenophobic leaflets to white families. In Richmond, alt-right posters have been distributed claiming that Chinese communities are “taking over.” Alt-right posters have been distributed at McMaster University. At McGill, leaflets with anti-communist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQI2S imagery, along with a call to "make Canada great again,” demonstrate how Trumps racist and far-right rhetoric have influenced reactionary groups on Canadian campuses.
Today, Islamophobia and xenophobia are violent ideologies that are being promoted by those with economic and political power in Canada. They have an expression in the major capitalist parties as shown 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 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 government 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 This regressive project is in fact only a newer version of the Charter of Values.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 the debate around this new bill confuses immigration with terrorism and religious fundamentalism. Quebec, as well as the rest of Canada, has a cast of racist radio hosts willing to promote hate over the airwaves on a regular basis. We remember Jeff Fillion, a popular radio host of the extreme right, who said: “Those who want to eliminate us the Westerners, it’s the Muslims”, or Sylvain Bouchard of FM93 who explained a few weeks ago that slavery was not racist.
Canada has had military troops in Central Asia and the Middle East since 2001. The "war on terror" has cost the region between 1 and 2 million lives. 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 systemically and this mass murder is far from an isolated act of violence.
Islamophobia and xenophobia have been promoted by the media and politicians that belong to 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 crises caused by capitalism.
No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all!
Donald Trump and his new ultra-right government in the United States has also seized on this xenophobia and emboldened it. It has now been discovered that the suspect in the murders in Quebec is pro-Trump, anti-immigrant and pro-Israel. 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, which has exploded over the weekend.
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 has been a tremendous outpouring of solidarity against this racist attack. There are many rallies and demonstrations being organized by the Muslim community and progressive organizations taking place today and throughout the week. We are also 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 continue to struggle against imperialism around the world. We call on the youth and student movement to hit the streets in solidarity with the Muslim community in Canada and the USA.
Days of Action “Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia” have been called on Saturday, February 4th and Sunday, February 5th. The YCL-LJC fully supports the demands of these action. They are:
"1) The Canadian government must make an immediate public condemnation of the executive order by President Trump that bans Muslim visa-holders from seven countries and also bans all refugees from entering the US.
2) 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.
3) Canada must end racist, anti-refugee, anti-Black, Islamophobic exclusion of migrants and refugees within this colonial border.
This includes ending the system of indefinite immigration detention. The federal government must create a regularization program so that all undocumented residents can live here with their families rather than fear mass deportation. Migrant workers in Canada must also be given permanent status and open work permits. We want real, not symbolic, Sanctuaries that guarantee access to services and refuse collaboration with Canadian and American border agents.
4) Canada must rescind all federal legislation that attacks racialized Black and Brown Muslims and refugees, including the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act as well as anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C51."
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