Justice and Public Safety
February 02, 2017

The following is being distributed at the request of the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador:

Human Rights Commission Stands with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Muslim Community

As commissioners and staff of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, we join the province’s residents in condemning one of the most horrific acts of hatred in Canada’s modern history.

On Sunday, January 29, 2017, six unsuspecting Muslim men were shot to death, and 18 others injured, while finishing their evening prayers in a Quebec City mosque, normally a place of peace, calm, and spirituality. These people were targeted because they were Muslim. Such hateful violence grossly ignores freedom of religion, a right Canadians hold dear.

On Friday, February 3, 2017, the commission will participate in a community solidarity event at the Masjid-an-Noor (430 Logy Bay Road) in St. John’s, to support the Muslim community in a symbolic Human Shield demonstration around the mosque.

Sunday’s tragic shootings have led to an outpouring of support and solidarity toward members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Muslim community. We wish to reassure our Muslim community members that together, we will stand firmly against acts of Islamophobia, racism, and hatred based on religious or other background – our communities are resolutely determined to take a stand in defence of the human rights of all.

As we begin to think about how each and every one of us can help ensure our community members do not experience marginalization and discrimination, let us act to challenge the root causes of hatred, including ignorance and prejudice. This is a time to get to know our Muslim family and community members, friends, colleagues and neighbours. The Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes members of the public interested in learning more about Islam, or responding to questions about Muslims in Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada. In the days and weeks ahead, let us take meaningful actions to not remain strangers, but to befriend one another. Let us turn this time of sorrow into an opportunity to fight ignorance and prejudice, within us and our social and professional circles. Let us be vocal and active in supporting respect for diversity and human rights.

More information on the Human Shield event is available on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/418719868470798/ External Link

Human Rights Commission staff are available to deliver presentations and workshops regarding human rights protections. Please contact the commission office for more information, or visit www.thinkhumanrights.ca External Link. You can also follow us on Twitter @nlhumanrights External Link using the hashtag #nlhumanrights.

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Media contact:

Remzi Cej, Chair
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission
709-729-2709, 800-563-5808

2017 02 02                              2:45 p.m.