Intolerance for Islamophobia: Love Over Hate, a Rally Against Bigotry

Wed, 15 Feb 2017

Annita Bhuiyan

The rise in Islamophobic hate crimes and anti-Muslim sentiments in recent times has concerned many enough to take action against them. Love Over Fear: Rally against Islamophobia saw the gathering of hundreds of individuals across British Columbia, all brought together to retaliate against bigotry and as a reminder that immigrants are welcome in Canada.

The rally welcomed hundreds across the lower mainland on Saturday, February 4th at the Jack Poole Plaza in Downtown, Vancouver. With a goal of bringing communities together, the event began with speakers who approached different topics relating to the rally, such as the treatment of Muslim individuals in Canada, as well as issues within immigration. Throughout the rally, one theme tied everything together - Canadians have an inherent duty to protect each other and provide support for those in need.

The rally was a response to the recent shootings at a mosque in Sainte-Foy, Quebec City,  where Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire on a group of fifty-three people after an evening prayer, killing six and injuring nineteen others. In recent events, Donald Trump’s Muslim ban in the United States sparked outrage amongst Americans, leading to protests at airports all across the nation. There is a visible rise in anti-Islamic sentiments in recent times, and it leaves practicing Muslims in vulnerable positions in which they can easily be attacked.

One response against the rising intolerance is to gather and protest against it. Love Over Fear and its large volume of protesters is evidence that Islamophobia is largely unwelcome in Canada. Standing in the snow side by side, with signs in their hands and passion burning in the crowd, the ralliers voiced their disapproval of bigotry and let their audience know that there is a safe space for everyone in Canada. Who Needs Canada? Immigrants need Canada.

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