That horrible day in 2017 when for no reason other than hate a 6 Muslim Canadians were killed at a Mosque in Quebec is still haunting. In a society that claims to love peace, equality, and freedom, the level of hate that spawned this horrific attack should never have been able to arise. What’s almost as haunting is that in the intervening 7 years, we’ve learned very little about the thinly veiled hate that is clearly pervasive in this country because we haven’t learned how to have an ongoing, brave discussion about it.
This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 25) and National Day of Action Against Islamophobia fall as a very deadly conflict in Israel-Palestine has raged on for over 100 days. While Jewish and Muslim Canadians are no more complicit in the conflict than any other Canadians, they have been forced to endure an unprecedented increase in hate-motivated attacks against them. I wish I was more surprised.
We’re too polite to talk about hate until people are getting killed, and by then it’s too late. We hold the guilty party accountable when the van attack and similar crimes happen, but we don’t hear the call to examine the society that created the van attack.
As birthworkers, we see and snuggle many brand-new babies. Every single one is special and they all deserve to grow up and live the lives they create for themselves based on the values that were cultivated in childhood. The presence of hate in the world makes this right impossible to realize for all children, so hate must be eradicated.
To our Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, and Palestinian alumni and audience, we know this has been an unbearably distressing last few months within your communities here in Canada and internationally. As birthworkers in your communities, you have had to process your own feelings while supporting birthers in your community who are under incredible strain. We know that extreme stress can contribute to complicated pregnancies and challenging outcomes. We see the vital work you are doing in your communities at this time and we are continuing to extend our compassion and support.
As doulas, we will continue to shine a light on hate in the healthcare system, institutions, communities, and ourselves. Only when hate is diligently brought out into the open and swept away can we have communities where all life is truly respected and it is safe for all children to grow.
If you are looking for guidance on how you can support your community and access support for yourself at this difficult time, please visit our blog post “Our Hearts Are With You” from November 10, 2023.
Keira Grant (she/her) Inclusion and Engagement Lead – Racialized Communities
Keira brings a wealth of experience to the Online Community Moderator role. She is a Queer, Black woman with a twenty-year track record in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) education, projects, and community building initiatives.