Mr. Speaker, assalam alaikum.
Today is a hard day. We think about what this means to Muslims and their families across this country. We have heard people mention this, but it is so common. All of us have gone for walks with our families in this pandemic, because there is nowhere else to go. There are places that are shut down, so we go for a walk. To think that a family going for a walk could not make it home, that a casual walk around the block in our neighbourhood would be one's last, that one cannot walk safely down one's own street, we need to think about what that means for a Muslim family. Right now, people are talking to their families and saying maybe they should not go for a walk. There are people literally thinking about whether they should walk out their front door in our country.
We think about what that means. Some people have said that this is not our Canada, and I think about what that means, when people say that this is not our Canada. This happened in London, Ontario. I lived in London, Ontario for five years. I loved my time there. I think about the fact that my parents chose to make Canada our home. I love my home. I love this place, but the reality is that this is our Canada. This is our Canada. Our Canada is a place where 215 little kids were found dead in unmarked graves. Our Canada is a place where people cannot walk down the street if they wear a hijab, because they would be killed. This is our Canada. We cannot deny it. We cannot reject that, because it does no one any help.
The reality is that our Canada is a place of racism, of violence, of genocide of indigenous people, and our Canada is a place where Muslims are not safe. They are not. They are not safe. Muslims are not safe in this country. I have spoken to Muslims who wonder how many more lives it will take, how many more families will be mauled in the street and how many more families will be killed before we do something.
Innocent people were killed while praying in a place of prayer, in a mosque in Quebec, gunned down. A Muslim man in Toronto was knifed and killed. In both of those incidents, we know very clearly that it was directly because of hate. There was so much hate toward people they did not know, just because of who they were, how they prayed and what they looked like. That is a reality. People live with that every day. They walk the streets wondering if they will be attacked, just because of the way they look, not because of an enemy they have or because of someone who has a problem with them. Will I be attacked today, just because of the way I look? That is a real question people ask.
What a life to live, to have to wonder about that. We think about people who left violence. They fled persecution. Refugees come to this country thinking they are going to be safe here and that this is a place of safety, but they are not safe.
To Muslim Canadians, I am so sorry they have to live like this, that they have to live in fear, but there are things we can do. When we think about the lives lost, we think about Salman, Madiha, Yumna, young Fayez, who is still alive, and his grandmother. We think about those lives lost, and Fayez, who is still living. What can we do now? Things have to change. We cannot just do the same thing. We cannot just continue as if nothing has happened. There have been so many lives lost, and people are frustrated. What can we do?
I want to acknowledge that this is the reality we have to deal with. This is Canada. This is a part of the country we live in. We have to deal with it. We cannot deny it. We cannot ignore it. We have to confront it. This is a part of the country we live in, and we have to find a way to make things safer for people. We have to acknowledge that the real and urgent threat to Canadians' safety is coming from hate. It is coming from extreme right-wing ideology. It is coming from white supremacy. It is coming from hate groups that are expounding this type of hatred and radicalizing people. That is the real threat to Canadians' lives right now.
Something has to change. There have to be resources put in place to address these real and urgent threats to Canadians' lives. This is not coming from other places; it is coming from Canada. It is coming from people who are radicalized to hate people who look different, who pray differently. This is the real threat that Canadians are facing. Someone has to listen and acknowledge that if this is the real threat, then resources have to be put towards addressing this real threat.
We know, and this is a harsh reality, that politicians have used Islamophobia for political gain. They have used it as a divisive tool, and that has to end. No one can ever use Islamophobia for political gain, and we all know when it has been done. We all know how it has happened. I am not saying that it is solely those politicians who have used Islamophobia for political gain who are to blame, absolutely not, but they are surely a part of the problem. If they have used Islamophobia for political gain, thinking they can divide people to get votes, this is the result of it. This is what happens when they divide people. When they inflame hatred, people die.
We also need to tackle online hate. It is a real thing, and online hate is radicalizing people. Online hate is spreading messages that teach people to hate and that create this fear of the other. We know it is happening, and we have to be serious about tackling it.
Something has to change. It just cannot continue. Another life cannot be lost while we do nothing about it. Another family cannot be mauled in the street while nothing happens.
What happened was an act of violence, an act of terrorism and an act of hate, and we must confront hate directly.
What happened was senseless and incomprehensible, but we must act. Now is the time to show determination, the time to do something to stop the hate and stop this kind of violence.
We have to make this a moment when we decide to do something different as a country, when we come together and say that we are going to put an end to hatred, that we are going to put an end to violence and that we are not going to allow political leaders to use this type of divisive hatred to gain political points. This has to end; it cannot continue. We have to be serious about this.
To all in the Muslim community in Canada who are suffering and feeling pain right now, I feel their pain. I understand their pain, and we are going to work towards making sure that they do not have to live in fear, that they do not have to walk the streets in fear. We are going to fight for them.