March 21, 2019 —Racist and Islamophobic hatred has struck again, this time in Christchurch, New Zealand. This massacre is a reminder of the importance of the Action Week Against Racism (21-31 March 2019), of which the Centre justice et foi in Montréal is one of the partners. It will propose several awareness-raising and citizen mobilization activities to combat racism, intolerance and islamophobia:
The armed man who killed nearly 50 Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch had pushed sadism to the point of filming the carnage, and sharing a 74-page manifesto "justifying" the attack. Immediately condemned by Pope Francis and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, this carnage woke up wounds still vivid in our social fabric, the Christchurch terrorist having been inspired by the author of the attack perpetrated against the Great Mosque of Quebec.
For several years, the secteur Vivre ensemble (Living Together) of the Centre justice et foi (CJF) has been fighting intolerance and Islamophobia, sometimes through positions on this subject, sometimes through meetings that promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The exhibition QuébécoisEs, musulmanEs, et après? is a good example. This photographic exhibition focuses on the professional, spiritual and daily life of our fellow Muslims in order to defuse the clichés and stereotypes associated with these people and their religion. In short, to present Muslims from here in their simplicity, diversity and complexity, giving them back their full human depth.
The CJF also contributes to intercultural dialogue through its tour on Montreal's Muslim diversity. At the end of a guided and animated tour allowing participants to discover certain places associated with the Muslim presence in Montreal, the public is invited to hear the life stories of men and women of the Muslim faith. This helps deconstruct many clichés and stereotypes about Muslims.
The CJF also embodies in its own way the culture of the encounter of which Pope Francis is a strong promoter. In particular through the Islamic-Christian dialogue group Maria'M. Beyond the theological differences, there is a possibility of a truly transcendent friendship, that is, one that is able to ignore it in order to focus on what brings these Christian and Muslim women together. The fight against sexism and patriarchy, for example.