Lise Ravary: It took a massacre in a mosque, but Quebecers now see the darkest side of their identity crisis
2017/02/03 Leave a comment
It should not have taken this incident or this long for commentators like Ravary to become more mindful and self-aware, but better late than never.
But yet she still uses the language “at war” rather than strongly opposed, unacceptable or other words.
The killing and maiming of Muslim men in prayer in Québec City Sunday night raises many questions. Some of those questions are extremely uncomfortable for Quebecers.
Over time, we will find out more about the motives of the alleged killer, Alexandre Bissonnette, but such tragedies do not occur in a vacuum. Knowing why it happened is as important as finding out why the first deadly terrorist attack against Muslims by a non-Muslim in the West happened in Quebec.
My gut reaction to the news was “That’s not us!” I tweeted it. Replies from other commenters came fast and furious. “Oh yes, it is. Quebec is a racist society. Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are rampant.”
It’s sad that many Canadians genuinely believe this; I won’t even begin to try and change their minds here. Uniquely racist Quebec is an alternative fact. Even so, in the aftermath of this tragedy, not asking what role, if any, Quebec society played a role in this tragedy would be doing Quebecers a great disservice.
It may be too soon to start laying the cultural blame for this crime but already, politicians such as Parti Québécois leader Jean-François Lisée, have admitted that they may have gone too far in their criticism of Muslims in Quebec. Premier Couillard is asking for a change of tone. He’s right.
As a conservative columnist at war with religious extremism and political Islam in particular, I will keep myself in check. When denouncing Islamism, I always insist that my comments do not apply to Muslims as a people or to Islam as a faith.
I realized last Sunday that many readers don’t see the difference, some because they can’t. Others because they won’t. Media must take this into consideration. Some are blinded by racism and other by fear. Not so much fear of Muslims the quintessential fear that Quebecers have of disappearing as a nation.