In the aftermath of George Floyd’s lynching, the anti-racism protests erupted in many North American cities, putting a spotlight on the deeply entrenched anti-black bigotry and injustice in the land of rights, liberty and equality.
Floyd’s ruthless suffocation was one such atrocity. He is not the cause of the unrest; he is the symbol of it.
There is global outrage. The fires burning in towns and cities right across the US starkly illuminate the long simmering issue of the persistence discrimination and brutalities committed against its Black population. There is powerful passion in these protests challenging the status quo, an expression of revulsion and fury.
It's time to heal the racial divisions and promote understanding by striking a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to redress the nation’s legacy of oppression and inequality. Pervasive racism smacks at the magnanimous ideals of the founding fathers of the United States of America. It smacks at the very core of its claim to be a model democracy with rights, opportunities, equality and accountability.
In this time of pain and grief, we at Pickering Islamic Centre denounce the systematic anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of social injustice by standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Black and Indigenous communities and with all fair-minded people.
We must recognize that as Canadians, we do not always live up to our highest ideals – but we must strive for them, together. And we must speak out forcefully against all forms of prejudice wherever we see it. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
Feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and a sense of helplessness at this time are shared by all of us. We recognize that many members of our community, especially our brothers and sisters in the Black community may need support at this time. We must do whatever we could to help them.
We live through a moment in history that calls for leadership and action anchored in consideration, compassion, and courage. We can not be complacent. Now is not the time for us to be silent.
Director, Media Relations
Pickering Islamic Centre
2065 Brock Road,