François Legault Lied About Islamophobia, and He Knows It

Legault’s Timing Is Particularly Revolting Considering Quebec’s Recent Mosque Shooting Vigils

Graphic Olivier Cadotte

You’ve probably heard about this already, but on Thursday, Premier François Legault said that Quebec didn’t have an Islamophobia problem, so the province shouldn’t have a national day against it.

There’s no Islamophobia in Quebec? Excuse me? In Quebec?

You said that? For real? Really? You said that? To people who were recording? Seriously?

How can the premier of a province say something so patently untrue to our faces? Who the fuck does Legault take us for? Does he think that we have the memory of goldfish? Or that we don’t see what’s happening both online, and out and about when it comes to the treatment of Muslims in Quebec?

This is especially worrisome considering he’s the premier of a province with groups like La Meute, and other far-right racist groups (remember when Legault said La Meute was only “sur le bord du racisme’’? Look who’s past being ‘’sur le bord’’ of being a garbage human being now).

He’s the premier of the province that, in March, the CBC reported contained the most anti-Muslim sentiment out of all Canadian provinces. With events like the whole accommodements raisonnables debates, or the charter of values (of which its points seem eerily familiar to what’s currently going on with the Coalition Avenir Quebec), both of which had underlying or overt islamophobic aspects to them, how can you say there’s no Islamophobia in Quebec?

How about the Quebec City mosque shooting? Two years ago, a horrific shooting happened in Ste. Foy mosque, perpetrated by a racist white man who denigrated Muslims online, where six people fucking died. By the way, we had the commemoration of the two year anniversary of that tragedy _this fucking week! _That’s the very same commemorations where Legault’s own vice-premier said that the government would be open to looking into making an anti-Islamophobia day in Quebec.

Saying Quebec doesn’t have an Islamophobia problem is just plain wrong and disrespectful of Quebec’s Muslim communities any other week of the year. But saying it this week, after the commemorations of what happened in Quebec City? That’s just a cold, evil, dirty lie.

The blatant disrespect of the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting–alive and deceased, as well as their families–is abhorrent, but unfortunately unsurprising for a government who seems hellbent on replicating the shift to radical social conservatism we’ve seen in Ontario, the United States and the rest of the world.

The idea of the CAQ putting forward the idea of having an anti-Islamophobia day was surprising enough, especially considering how the CAQ has been asking schools about which teachers wear religious symbols as part of trying to completely eliminate religious imagery from the public (read: diminish visible minorities’ right to practice outside of their homes).

You can’t gaslight a whole province and expect people to just be OK with it. Fuck off with your backward rhetoric, Legault, and fuck off with your not-so-veiled attempts at erasing the racism and Islamophobia problems that exist in Quebec.