“We are with you,” Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard told the province’s Muslims, hours after six people were confirmed killed and eight hurt in a terrorist attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, a mosque in the provincial capital, on Sunday night.
Couillard repeatedly called for solidarity, saying to Muslims, “This is your home. We are all Quebecers.”
But people who practice Islam haven’t always been made to feel so welcome in the province.
Here are a series of incidents that have targeted mosques and Muslims in Quebec:
2012: Windows were smashed and two cars almost torched in the parking lot at Outaouais Islamic Centre in Gatineau, Que. The Canadian Council on America-Islamic Relations said the attack should be investigated as a hate crime.
2012: The same mosque was attacked with graffiti depicting the Star of David, and messages that read, “Vive David,” “F*** Arab,” “F*** Halal.”
2012: The president of the Mosque of Aylmer received an email telling Muslims to leave Canada, CBC News reported.
2013: Police probed an incident in which a mosque in Saguenay, Que. was splattered with a substance that was suspected to be pig’s blood.
2013 – 2014: Abdelbari Souibgui, a halal butcher from Sherbrooke, Que., told The Globe and Mail his shop was vandalized three times within seven months. Bullet-sized holes pierced the plate glass on his store and he also found signs reading “No to Islam” there.
2014: The Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, and other mosques, were targeted with messages saying, “Islam, get out of my home.”
2016: Someone left a gift-wrapped pig’s head outside the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec.
- With files from Reuters