Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made a broad appeal for acceptance at a visit to an Ottawa mosque for Friday prayers last week.
Wynne stopped by the Ottawa Muslim Association’s mosque with Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, and addressed the violent Paris attacks two weeks ago, saying it is “now more important than ever” to show compassion towards others.
“It’s our responsibility as Canadians to make sure we guard against the fear and we resist blame that can lead to racism and to hatred. At these moments it’s extremely important we reinforce our Canadian values that are [inclusive] and based in compassion.”
“It’s our responsibility as Canadians to make sure we resist blame that can lead to racism and to hatred.”
She said the Paris attacks were an act of terrorism not borne of religion “because religion has no place for hate.”
Wynne said she met Thursday night with the young Muslim woman from her own Toronto riding who was physically attacked and called a terrorist.
“I could feel the fear that is in that household because she was attacked outside her children’s school. She was born in Toronto.”
“That kind of hatred is what we have to guard against at this moment in our history,” Wynne said.
Naqvi said the Premier’s visit to the mosque sends “a very strong message that we as Ontarians stand together.”
Defeat hatred with love
There were several other acts recently in the province, including one on a Peterborough mosque that was burnt down. That incident is being investigated as a potential hate crime.
“Only love is going to defeat hatred,” she said.
Naqvi said that in the face of acts of violence and hate, the Premier’s visit to the mosque sends “a very strong message that we as Ontarians stand together.”
On welcoming Syrian refugees, Wynne said “that humanitarian crisis calls on us to demonstrate who we are in the world.”
The province aims to resettle some 10,000 refugees by end of 2016.
Federal Cabinet Ministers said today they would announce details of the refugee plan on Tuesday.
Re-published in partnership with iPolitics.ca.