Following the horrendous slaughter of six Quebec Muslims partly enabled by racist words from a U.S. President, I was grateful to live in Waterloo Region during such a sad, depressing week.
Deeply troubled, I’m proud of local actions and responses witnessed during recent days that included the following:
– Hundreds of residents coming together at city halls, universities and mosques to protest the senseless shootings, provide caring support for local Muslims and urge that love replace the type of hate seen south of the border.
– Waterloo Region’s uniformed police chief voicing that support and hugging random Muslims in the crowd outside Kitchener city hall.
– Municipal leaders joining Muslim and other religious representatives at local events to share the overwhelming grief felt across Canada.
– A spontaneous singing of O Canada when the mike suddenly quit during the vigil at city hall.
– A statement from the regional chair and seven local mayors who said, in response to the mosque shootings and Trump’s crackdown on immigration, that the group stands together to foster a sense of belonging and ensure our area embraces newcomers and remains a welcoming place.
– Painful, touching comments from local Muslims including Fauzia Mazhar, chair of the Coalition of Muslim Women of K-W, who said Trump policies that target Muslims encourage, help legitimize and foster an environment of racism.
– A Prime Minister who, faced with the Trump travel ban on Muslims, declared Canada will remain open and inclusive to all nationalities
– The shivering little girl with the flickering candle among those at the rear of the crowd as I walked around the Kitchener vigil.
I very much wanted to thank her for being there. But I couldn’t talk.
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