Premier François Legault has rejected calls for a ‘national day to combat Islamophobia’ in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Islamic groups have reportedly lobbied for the specially-designated day, but Legault shot the idea down after his deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault seemed to entertain the possibility.
“Geneviève was careful in saying that we were going to look at that,” Legault said during a press conference. “We looked at it, and there won’t be any, that’s clear.”
“I don’t think there is Islamophobia in Quebec, so I don’t see why there would be a day devoted to Islamophobia,” Legault responded when pressed further by reporters.
Canadian leftists and mainstream media have spun the matter into a ‘controversy,’ slamming Legault for being allegedly insensitive to the issue two years after a shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre left six dead.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims reportedly blasted Legault, calling it “an absolute insult to the families of the victims” of the mosque shooting.
Legault has since issued an explanation of his original comments, but is holding firm on his overall position.
“Mr. Legault wanted to say there is no current of Islamophobia in Quebec,” a statement from Legault’s office explains. “Islamophobia exists in Quebec, xenophobia, racism and hatred, but not a current of Islamophobia. Quebec is not Islamophobic or racist.”
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has recommended that Jan. 29th be designated a “national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.”
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