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We Are ONE With Our Muslim Neighbours!

January 31st, 2017 · 32 Comments

Every time I write a blog, I know that some will agree,  others will disagree … and, in fact, during our discussions a whole range of differing views, ideas, positions and beliefs will emerge … sometimes with humour, other times with passion and/or even anger.

It’s beautiful!

That is our right, that is our result, that is our reward …. for living in a free country, where we can speak our minds without fear or intimidation.

WE do have limits: hate speech, threats, libel and slander cross the line for most of us … but even then, deciding what and where to set those limits can engender wide-ranging and never-ending discussion and debate.

BUT there should be ONE standard upon which we should ALL agree: VIOLENCE has no part in trying to determine the ideas, rules and beliefs that govern our society.


Not in Canada!


The attack on innocent Canadian citizens and residents praying in a mosque in Quebec City was really an attack on ALL of us … and our freedoms.

The ultimate target was not only Muslims … but our right in Canada to openly express our beliefs … not just religious ones, but personal, moral, political and ideological.

So we should ALL mourn the victims.

Those killed: Azzedine Soufiane, 57. the Imam; Khaled Belkacemi, 60, professor of Agricultural and Food Sciences; Aboubaker Thabti, 44, pharmacist aide; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, computer programmer; Mamadou Barry, 42, IT specialist; and, Ibrahima Barry, 39, civil servant.

And 17 others were injured … not to mention the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on all of their families, children, friends and associates.

I have no doubt I may have disagreed with many of those people on a whole myriad of topics and beliefs and policies and politics …just as I do on here.

But HATE?   Violence? Terror?


NOT in MY Canada.

And I hope NOT in YOURS.

We are ONE with our Muslim neighbours … or, at least, we should be.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: National

32 responses so far ↓

  • 1 nonconfidencevote // Jan 31, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Total agreement Harvey.
    But I think my comments will raise a few hackles.

    I’m not surprised that a gunman somewhere , eventually would walk into a mosque for retribution for the atrocities commited by lunatics in the name of Allah in the US, France, Germany, Turkey, Britain, and on and on and on…….
    I was shocked it happened in Canada and of all places Quebec.
    I’m not so sure.
    Mark Lepine was from the same university and in 1989 was called a “mass murderer” for killing innocent women.
    This is the work of ANOTHER lonely, young, single, white, male, introverted loser with a warped view of “his” world
    The shooting was almost identical in size , scope and immediately arrested suspect in the US church last year who slaughtered innocent black parishoners as they knelt to pray .
    In both instances the shooters appear to be , introverts who were ignored or bullied their entire lives
    A loser that “wants” the “15 minutes of fame” to prove they are “important”.
    News media shouldnt publish their names or their pictures.
    Clifford Olsen loved the notariety that his serial killing created and reveled in taunting his victims for years after he was sent to jail.
    Deep down , I think these losers kill for shock value…Nothing more. They crave “recognition” because they have been bullied , belittled ,ignored and passed by their entire , short , miserable lives.
    These emotionally and intellectually stunted cesspools of hate deserve to rot in anonimity for the rest of their lives with absolutely zero access to the public.
    Ignored forever.
    In their eyes.
    A fate worse than death.

    (Response: There is NEVER any excuse for wanton violence … unless as you said, they are “lunatic” and totally out of control of their minds/actions. And it must never be justified as tit for tat …our lunatics versus theirs. When WE lower ourselves to their level …they win. h.o.)

  • 2 Diverdarren // Jan 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Harvey, absolutely true. Violence like this serves no purpose.

    It’ll be interesting to see what phycologists can make out as motive. Is the killer ill, or is it hate. Since a “life sentence” in Canada means only 25 years till your first parole hearing the head doctors will have a bit of time to probe him.

    (Response: Of coutse, if he is found to be “insane” he goes to a hospital not prison, where he is held until “cured”. That could very likely be a lot LESS than 25 years!

  • 3 Marge // Jan 31, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Just a very very mentally ill person who got caught up in the politics of stupid. I am sure as the days go by we will find a whole bunch of stuff about this fellow that will prove the above statement. I doubt that this was really a “race” crime but the media and Trudeau will want to make something bigger about the story.

  • 4 MRT // Jan 31, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Agree. I’m always feel so thankful that my ancestors left Europe and settled in Canada.

    We should never take our freedoms for granted and this takes vigilance and work!!

    Where are these unhinged people getting these guns!

    (Response: Getting a rifle is very simple … and even getting a handgun apparently is not that difficult if you have cash ….even in Canada. Luckily it’s not as easy though as in the US! h.o)

  • 5 e.a.f. // Jan 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you for the post.

    I don’t know why the man shot the people who went to pray. We may never truly know. People don’t do this type of thing, to “avenge” other killings, in Canada. Its not our way.

    Although life is thought to be 25 yrs. that is when they can apply for parole. Some never are granted parole. I expect this man won’t be granted parole and I doubt he meets the standard for being legally insane.

    Again, Harvey thank you for the post.
    It will be a very long time before this isn’t in my head.

    My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.

  • 6 RIsaak // Feb 1, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I strongly agree Harvey. Hopefully our many times far less than effective justice branch can obtain a better result then the FLQ or Air India cases managed. Targeting anyone for cultural, religious or race differences is intolerable in every case.
    The media was all over the speculative map when this story broke (more than just fox) and many initial story lines were very far from correct.
    Hopefully no political parties are morally bankrupt enough to attempt to turn this into a sideshow.
    I will suggest any act like this which targets innocents is actually terroristic and as such should be called terrorism.

    (Response: the sad truth is that there are, I’m afraid, some who may not say so publicly, but “understand” why he did it. NO! There is NO acceptable excuse for wanton violence. h.o.)

  • 7 BMCQ // Feb 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

    There are no words to describe how Canadians feel about the horrific tragedy in Quebec Mosque.

    Hate Crimes like the one at the Mosque make no sense to any one but the sickest in our society.

    No different than the Church Shooting in Charleston or the several other Hate Crimes carried out over the past several years World Wide.

    Especially the many recent senseless killings in the EU, they must all be condemned by the citizens of that country and the rest of the world.

    My biggest concern is the act that those that carry out Hate Crimes are the ones that do not listen and they will simply continue to look for the nearest opportunity that presents itself.

    I do however disagree with those that say, “This is not Canada, this is not Canadians, this is not us”.

    Unfortunately we have seen enough Terrorist type Hate Crimes over the past many years we must admit that we are no different than any society, we can experience Hate and it is most difficult to defend against a sick individual that seems intent on destruction of innocents.

    Thank you for posting this Harvey.

    (Response: The ugly reality is that when dealing seriously ill or evil people, their rampages can take place anywhere: a mosque, a church, synagogue, shopping mall, airport or even school. And there are all kinds of other violent acts too…from graffiti to vandalizing property etc. … the important thing is that, regardless of our differences … we ALL reject those as TOTALLY unacceptable in Canada … even if it seems to be tolerated or even spreading elsewhere. h.o)

  • 8 D. M. Johnston // Feb 1, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This horrendous and shameful act of murder, should make us all stop and think.

    Canada, is not immune to the “hate radio” that emanates out of the USA and seems to have cheap clones in Quebec.

    We have let our youth rot in this country for a long time and when one deranged nutter finds a gun and murders innocent people, all the kum-by-ya’s in the world will not change anything.

    Canada is no longer the land of opportunity, rather it has become the land of “Pay and play”. Our universities colleges and Institutes have prostituted themselves to the millionaires off shore so they can send their children here.

    Our education system is in decline as the BCTF and the government wage open warfare and monies so dearly needed for the classroom pay lawyers fighting political cases.

    Universities are now catering to the wealthy off shore student, subsidized by our tax money, at the expense of our youth.

    The the “rose coloured glasses set, continue to accept the low standard politician to be offered for election (both the Libs and the NDP suffer from this), change will not come.

    When I listen to my son’s and his friend’s nihilist banter and their common disgust for what is happening here and in the USA, one just wants to cry. All work, all are taking or have taken university. college, BCIT courses; taken on debt and for what? To get a $18 an hour job, go nowhere job.

    What we saw with our most recent mass murder is but a snapshot of things to come. As we further debase our youth, watch jobs whither, housing unobtainable, and education for the wealthy, there is going to be a hell of a lot more shootings, by a hell of a lot more disgruntled, lonely and disgruntled people .

    We are following a recipe for hell and it is coming sooner than anyone thinks.

  • 9 Gordie // Feb 1, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I have to take exception to some of the things that nonconfidencevote (NCV) is saying. NCV claims that people do these things because they are “bullied , belittled ,ignored and passed by their entire , short , miserable lives” and NCV may be correct. But NCV goes on and calls these people “losers” and “emotionally and intellectually stunted cesspools of hate”. I would say that NCV is dong some bullying and belittling him/her-self, which is exactly what NCV claims is causing people to do these sorts of things. Maybe the attitude that NCV takes is part of the problem. Maybe NCV needs to take a closer look at themselves.

  • 10 E. Johnson // Feb 1, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I recall hearing the Dali Lama once saying something along the lines of “the troubles in our world are caused by unhappy people”. It has stuck with me ever since. It is difficult to recocile the fact that in a country so full of freedom and prosperity like Canada, that we have young people who have lost hope. Unfortunately it is evidenced in the numbers of youth taking their own lives or resorting to violence against others. It is a tragedy not only for the victims and their families and friends but also for those of the perpetrator of this crime. People will debate at length as to why it happened and will affix blame to multiple sources. The frightening part is that we have not yet found a way to prevent these terrible events.

  • 11 Gene the Bean // Feb 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Agree Harvey.

    After reading I was thinking, who will be the first commenter to ‘go low’ and write “Trudeau” and with a classic passive aggressive stance infer anything except outrage about these murders….it took three comments….wow.

    Thanks Marge, you win the race to the bottom.

  • 12 MRT // Feb 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Worth reading.

  • 13 MRT // Feb 1, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    The Province

    Gordon Clark: We all must look to the beauty in our diversity

    Sorry Harvey,
    I should have identified the source of the article.

  • 14 Marge // Feb 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    @Gene Trudeau did not prove me wrong and funny neither did you in your comment. Was wondering whether it would you one of the other far lefties at the forum taking it upon themselves to support the leftist agenda for political gain.

    Believe it or not this is what your pal said:
    “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge.”
    What a stupid statement to make. Pure and simple grandstanding. Instead of saying we are sorry that this occurred and that this is not the actions of a terrorist but the actions of a deranged person. But of course your hero had to go and play the liberal card, not surprisingly for political gain.

  • 15 Susan // Feb 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    @MRT – just a comment re where do these people get their guns? I think it’s important to clarify that these violent are NOT generally committed by people who own properly registered firearms- the process is quite rigid for registration , both to be approved and the ongoing safety checks while you own a registered firearm , but illegal blackmarket firearms are obviously available.

  • 16 13 // Feb 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    If you get a chance take a closer look at Marc Lepine.
    Gamil Ghalbi is his real name. Look at his family and its history and some of his actions might become easier to understand.
    DMJ I have three adult sons. Thankfully they dont exhibit the dark dour sour attitudes that you perceive in todays youth.
    Lets hope that this killers motives become clear so that the speculation can end.

  • 17 Mitch65 // Feb 1, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Marge – - here we go again, yawn Leftie /Rightie you’re a Leftie /Rightie, Leftie /Rightie.
    Your statement sounds an awful lot like the way Trump sounds on his Twitter rants, certainly milder mind you “@Gene Trudeau did not prove me wrong and funny neither did you in your comment”. You sound very sure of yourself, defensive, arrogant, damn sure your thinking is going to be ‘the way or the highway’.
    Of course it could be said your Pal Harper would have handled the situation perfectly, because he and his followers/pals are Righties (the better way to be naturally).
    Perhaps, just perhaps, you’re making Trudeau’s statement politically-motivated because he’s far from your pal, when he wasn’t being political at all. There are many ways to cook potatoes; there are many ways to express one’s anger/shock/outrage/emotions in times of tragedy. Still having a hard time coping w/the Conservative loss there Marge?

  • 18 Marge // Feb 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    @Mitch65 Neither leftie nor rightie. Sometimes the righties annoy me and sometimes you lefties. See my posts abut voting NDP. I vote policies not procedures. Just pointing out that Trudeau is a political advantagist and will do anything to garner votes. But he is losing badly as shown by the fact that he doesn’t keep his promises – note electoral reform. Harper is not my pal nor is Trudeau. All politicians are in it for themselves. You all voted for Trudeau (including Harvey) believing he would be different.. he has proved you all wrong. How do you feel about that? Pretty disappointed. As for Trump at least he does what he says… I guess that annoys you also.

  • 19 Mitch65 // Feb 2, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Marge, not a bad written post in the link below; even some reasoned thinking in the comments in terms of why the PM did what he did. Maybe you’d like to add your voice/part on how ridiculous his broken promise is. You say Trudeau is losing badly “as shown by” on this decision – just wonder where your inside info (more like opinion) comes from?

    I’m not exactly pleased by the about face as one who would like to see electoral reform, but I understand this PM will have some more major fish to fry than this and is willing to take the risk.

  • 20 nonconfidencevote // Feb 2, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    “I would say that NCV is dong some bullying and belittling him/her-self, which is exactly what NCV claims is causing people to do these sorts of things.
    Yup. I admit it.
    I bullied an alleged mass murderer with derogatory names.
    The horror.
    Sorry if that offends you but I find brutal honesty somewhat liberating.
    So this murderer of innocent people was a happy, well adjusted “winner”?
    I dont know this kid from Adam but I’d brand him a “loser” for his murderous rampage
    Sorry, but as ugly as it sounds, the criminal profile for mass shooters or assassins are; usually single, young, white, anti social, loners usually of above average intelligence
    You dont agree with “labels” ?
    Unfortunately most Law agencies dont get results by being politically correct.
    Thus the US Secret Service, the RCMP, etc etc etc. definitely sit up and take notice when an angry young man spouts off.
    Trouble is….there’s so many of them.
    Its a shame this kid wasnt spotted sooner… apparently he was quite the handgun afficionado . Practiced at the range a lot…….
    His twin brother must be going through hell.

  • 21 BMCQ // Feb 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    NonCon – 20

    Could not agree more!

  • 22 Marge // Feb 3, 2017 at 8:26 am

    @Mitch65 The Huffington Post is not exactly the most reliable source of information and tends to be extremely liberal so their support of the selfie King is not surprising. As pointed out by one of the commentators after the article, when have the liberals ever kept their promises???

  • 23 MRT // Feb 3, 2017 at 10:09 am

    @14 Marge


    “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge.” What a stupid statement to make. Pure and simple grandstanding.
    This isn’t what H.O.’s article is about. Just think of the terror that the families and children of those killed and wounded feel. Who cares at this time how Trudeau labels this act. Hatred leads to murder, pure and simple.

  • 24 e.a.f. // Feb 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

    This isn’t about right/left; guns/no guns; labels. Its about 6 men who were shot dead in a Mosque, a place of worship. That is wrong. Killing any time is wrong and killing in a place of worship goes against everything we have stood for since places of worship became places of sanctuary.

    It is sad what happened. The people who were murdered were are fellow citizens with families, friends and are society is sadder without them. As a society it is to our advantage to try to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

  • 25 Keith E. // Feb 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    100% agreement Harvey, also the same for D.M. Johnson comment # 8.

    I was appalled ( or shouldn’t have been) at the inaccuracies of the Fox news comment and the linking of this crime by the white house press secretary for the implementation of trumps ill prepared executive order that threw so many people into chaos over the weekend. Both of whom got the details completely wrong, but probably couldn’t have cared.

    Can’t watch all the news all the time but didn’t hear a message of condolence from the U.S. administration, as Canada has done when they have suffered similar circumstances but could be wrong.

    Kudos to Rachel Maddow who used this crime as a lead on a recent programme with the sensitivity one would expect.

    The CBC’s Fifth Estate will be having a look at some of the background on this.

    (Response: It makes it all much worse when politicians or activist groups try to make political points out of a tragedy like this. I don’t know if many noticed, but in the news clip I saw of a solidarity type evening march in Quebec City, Mulcair was at the front right behind the big banner…and Trudeau was in the second row … and I got the impression Mulcair was well aware of where Trudeau was and was doing nothing to let him into the front row. Trudeau is the PM …and if my impression from what I saw is correct, Mulcair showed a selfish, crude disgraceful side. And then they wonder why they are held in such disregard by the public. h.o)

  • 26 Marge // Feb 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    @MRT JUST Wow back at you. Of course this is a tragic, tragic event and for you to feel I thought differently is absolutely absurd. However I wanted to point out that Trudeau was playing politics as soon as he found out with his “terrorism” comments. They came across just as cheesy as those in the US who portrayed this as a terrorist encounter. .. . You only have to read Harvey’s response to Keith E. as proof positive what politicians are there for…. to make themselves look good and important.

  • 27 Ed Seedhouse // Feb 3, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    It seems to me that when a Muslim commits an outrage against those of other beliefs it is immediately proclaimed that it is “terrorism” but when a non Muslim commits an outrage against a Muslim no one, apparently is allowed to call that terrorism without immediate protest. I see this being played out right here on this forum.

    An outrage is an outrage. Whoever commits it regardless of their beliefs deserves condemnation and should be subjected to the law’s process.

    I don’t *care* what the religion of the committer or the victims may be. I wonder why it is even a subject of discussion!

    And yes, we are “all one”, and this is not a mystical idea but a statement of physical fact. We are all here because the universe is what it is, so we are expressions of the workings of the laws of physics. We share the same atoms, which come and go from one person to another and are the same wherever they go. That’s not mysticism, it’s physics.

  • 28 e.a.f. // Feb 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    to Ed Seedhouse, your last para, is so good and the last line: “That’s not mysticism, it’s physics.” is very cool.

  • 29 G. Barry Stewart // Feb 3, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    I just came across this article, which points to the lack of outrage shown when the violence is by a white person against minorities.

  • 30 DBW // Feb 4, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Harvey, sometimes you write things and I have nothing to add. Then people start writing and I feel a need to jump in.

    Here’s an article on why it is unlikely that Bissonette will be charged with acts of terrorism.

    By why quibble over words. Whether the attack was an act or terror (by the way, Ambrose and Fortin also used the word terror) or a hate crime hardly matters.

    A specific group was targeted and there was a motivation behind that attack. No matter how you shake it, that is cause for deep concern.

    Whether the attacker is inspired by ISIL like the shooter on Parliament Hill or by the KKK like the Charleston shooter, or by the rhetoric of Marine Le Pen like the Quebec shooter, it’s all the same.

    Innocent lives are lost. Survivors physically and/or emotionally scarred. Families broken and dealing with unimaginable tragedy. A community in tears. A nation trying to figure what it means.

    In some cases, it might be some crazy lunatic (like Sandy Hook) and we can psychoanalyze all we want and it still defies understanding. But when the motivation is hate, Harvey’s words bare repeating:

    “The attack on innocent Canadian citizens and residents praying in a mosque in Quebec City was really an attack on ALL of us … and our freedoms.”

    Maybe this is a lone wolf with no other inspiration than his own delusions. But the rhetoric that he was fixated on is still out there.

    I wish there was an easy answer.

    (Response: Interesting how sometimes when there seems little to say or add, we get some very good discussions going on this blog …and lots of new information and differing perspectives many of us had never even considered before. Thanks. h.o)

  • 31 13 // Feb 4, 2017 at 8:42 am

    HOs response at 25.

    There is a fine line that politicians have to walk . Trudeau has set a precedent for the remainder of his term in office. Hopefully we do not see any further mayhem in the form of “terrorist” (or pick a label)murders. Justin will have to attend funerals and if he doesnt he will be judged as to why he did not. What will his criteria be?
    The situation that you describe of Mulcair sitting ahead of Trudeau shows a lack of class on Mulcairs part.
    My cynical side makes me think the politicians are there for the photo ops. My compassionate side hopes and prays that they are there to comfort the relatives of the victims on behalf of all Canadians. Mulcairs behavior plays to my cynical side.

    (Response: Just one correction: they were not sitting..they were all standing behind as banner getting ready to march ironically in a “solidarity” march . Perhaps Trudeau, in the second row, should have been more pushy; perhaps organizers had him move to the front rank before the actual march began; but it certainly appeared to me from the clip I saw that Mulcair wasn’t doing anything to open a spot to get the Prime minister of Canada up there in front.. beside him…looked very low class, egotistical of him. h.o)

  • 32 BMCQ // Feb 4, 2017 at 10:24 am

    DBW – 30

    Unfortunately no matter how we would like to “Sugar Coat” it we are simply “NOT ONE”!

    We would like to think we are but unfortunately there is always going to the “Lone Wolfe” Religious Zealot, the “Hate Group” sympathizer or the tortured soul that listens to his “Neighbours Dog”. Remember Berkowitz?

    I personally know people that would deny they are Racist but they certainly exhibit Racist behavior on a regular basis.

    There is plenty of anti Chinese rhetoric making the rounds at this time especially in Vancouver.

    Now is that actual Racism or is it the commentary and rhetoric used by those of us that have had a generation or two of Families come as Immigrants in the past that now because of the high cost of Housing have no path to purchase a Home?

    You are correct there is no easy answer.

    There are some things I do find interesting though.

    So many expect us to open our doors to Immigrants and Refugees yet many of the Countries where those same People come here from would not accept you and me and our families as Immigrants.

    We could start in Canada by Educating Children from an early age and especially the first 7 years of Elementary School.

    Somehow we must find a way to show all of our Children that whatever their Religion they are accepted in a Canadian Society.

    We could not necessarily stop a Hate Crime but even the Shooter at the Mosque may have taken a different route other than the slaughter of innocents if he had been educated at a young age to be accepting of others Relgious beliefs.

    Things we learn early have an effect on us our entire life.