GSWS Statement of Solidarity with the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec

January 30, 2017

The Department of GSWS at Simon Fraser University stands in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in Quebec City on January 29th, 2017, and with all who are targets of racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. We remain committed to advancing the values of inclusion, equality, and respect in the face of this violence, and in the broader context of state-sanctioned discrimination such as the current U.S. Executive Order which creates a travel ban against certain Muslim majority countries. Our department is committed to social justice, diversity, intellectual freedom, and meaningful community service. As a diverse academic unit of students, staff, and faculty with global connections to institutions, colleagues, friends, and family from multiple regions in the world we stand together against all forms of intolerance and the politics of fear and exclusion.

            We are heartened by the way many of our colleagues, academic organizations, faculty associations, and institutions are vocally and publicly standing against racism and intolerance. The national organization to which many of us belong, the Women’s and Gender Studies and Recherches Féministes (WGSRF), released a statement that our department strongly supports:

Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féminstes condemns in the strongest way the anti-Muslim events that have unfolded over the weekend: the travel ban in the US and the confusion and disarray this has engendered, and the shootings yesterday at a Québec City mosque. As an academic association dedicated to the critical analysis of identity and power, we denounce acts and rhetorics designed to create divisiveness and intolerance. The tragic events of people being targeted for who they are goes against all principles of human and social justice that our association reflects, as well as broader Canadian values based on diversity, inclusion and respect for which this association stands. We offer our deepest sympathy to everyone targeted by these related events, and our full and ongoing support to everyone fighting against them. Together, united in our differences, we will continue to work, in collaboration with others, towards a more just and equitable world for all.   

We are also heartened by the response of our own institution, Simon Fraser University, where approximately 450 members of the university community have been affected by this Executive Order. President Andrew Petter has firmly expressed SFU’s commitment to “create a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of our community.” President Petter has urged “all members of the university community to speak out against racism, sexism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination; to reach out and support those amongst us who are feeling anxious, dispirited and vulnerable; and to demonstrate in every way possible our devotion to the values that bind us together and that we hold dear.”

Students affected by this Executive Order can contact International Services for Students at Maggie Benston Centre, Room 1200. They are offering Immigration Advising Hours on Monday (9-12): Tuesday (9-12 and 1-4). Wed (1-4) and Friday (1-4). Advising is also available in Surrey and Vancouver. For more information see:

Faculty can contact SFUFA with any questions or concerns at:  778-782-4676 or

Support and pastoral care is offered through the Interfaith Centre. Contact 778-782-3180 or see further information at

Support for students is also available through Health and Counselling at SFu. For information, see: