Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just placed himself and his country in firm solidarity with Muslims in an incredibly powerful speech.
In the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on immigrants and refugees from several Muslim majority countries, a mosque in Quebec, Canada was attacked by a white supremacist terrorist, killing at least six people. Responding to the senseless violence, Trudeau called the attack "an act of terror committed against Canada, and against all Canadians."
Trudeau's remarks stand in stark contrast to those of Trump and many other western leaders, who routinely avoid calling violent politically-motivated crime terrorism, unless, of course, they are committed by Muslims.
Trudeau has been a strong advocate for diversity
The prime minister's words also send a strong message of solidarity, demonstrating that Canada will stand against the xenophobic actions of its southern neighbor, the U.S.
Trudeau has firmly said that the terrorist attacked his country's "most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians – values of openness, diversity, and freedom of religion."
Since he became prime minister in 2015, Trudeau has been a champion of promoting these very same principles. He formed the most diverse cabinet in Canadian history that strongly represents minorities, composed of an equal number of men and women.
Following Trump's executive order banning immigrants and refugees from Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya and Yemen, Trudeau tweeted that refugees and immigrants would always be welcome in Canada. His government also offered temporary residency to anyone directly affected by the ban.
Read Trudeau's speech in full
It was with shock and sadness that Canadians heard about a despicable act of terror last night in Quebec City.
By current counts, six people worshipping at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre have lost their lives, with many others seriously injured.
This was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith. Make no mistake – this was a terrorist attack.
It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians – values of openness, diversity, and freedom of religion.
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. These people were just that – people. Ordinary Canadians. They were brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. These were people of faith, and of community.
And in the blink of an eye, they were robbed of their lives in an act of brutal violence.
I know that, already, there’s a deeply personal connection here, in this very House. The Member of Parliament for Louis-Hebert knew this community and has joined them at the Centre many times. He is with them now as we speak today.
Reach out to your friends and neighbours. Gather your communities. Be there for your people. They need you.
To the injured, to the family members of these innocent victims, to the people of Quebec, and to all Canadians— know that we will get to the bottom of this. Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society.
I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the first responders, and thank local law enforcement officials, local government officials, and the Government of Quebec. I can assure Canadians that we will be working closely together in the days ahead.
I’d also like to thank the many political and faith leaders from around the world who have reached out since last night’s events. Your thoughts and condolences are greatly appreciated.
Canada has long been a diverse and accepting nation. We are kind. We are generous. And we embrace one another, not in spite of our differences, but because of them.
The people who commit these acts mean to test our resolve, and weaken our values. They aim to divide us. To sow discord and plant hatred.
We will not close our minds. We will open our hearts.
To the more than one million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly:
We are with you. Thirty-six million Canadian hearts are breaking with yours.
And know that we value you. You enrich our shared country in immeasurable ways. It is your home.
Last night’s horrible crime against the Muslim community was an act of terror committed against Canada, and against all Canadians.
We will grieve with you. We will defend you. We will love you. And we will stand with you.
Over the coming days, take solace in one another. We will mourn this devastating attack, and we will heal, together. As one community, as one country, and as one family.
Canadians will not be intimated. We will not meet violence with more violence.
We will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.