We’re All François and Suzanne… Their Spilled Blood Is Ours

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Hussein Hoballah  

Around 4:00, just ahead of dawn on Sunday, I woke up to get the appalling news of the killing of two and the wounding of five others in Quebec City. I was shocked, and fear ran through me; a few days earlier, warnings had been made against potential violent reactions in response to some teachers’ plans to display caricatures that ridiculed Holy Messenger Mohammed.

So I made a quick reading of many news sites, especially the Islamophobic ones, but I didn’t find what I was looking for. While still weighing up upon it, I heard noises outside, so I rushed to turn on the lights and to make sure the doors had been locked; I was being cautious as I expected anti-community reactions.

No website hurried to talk about “Islamist terror;” the killer hadn’t cried “Allahu Akbar,” none said it was a terror attack or a “Muslim terror attack.” Besides, no signs of newer anger of Quebeckers at their Muslim counterparts were showing. I started to calm down then; that meant the suspect arrested wasn’t a Muslim. Otherwise, the media would have went ablaze to provoke Quebeckers against Muslims.

And I came to more calm later when the suspect’s name was exposed and it was confirmed he had nothing to do with Muslims. I kept an eye on the reactions to the news, wondering if anyone was going to mention the “white terrorist” or “white terror.” Was anyone going to accuse a Christian of killing other Christians? Would “We’re all Quebec” be all over Facebook? Would global protests against white terror be made? 

All that usually happens to condemn Muslims when a lone wolf commits a crime in any of the Western countries, not the Islamic ones; after all, Western politicians do not even bother about non-Western victims who’ve been being slain, for long years now, by groups funded by all Western countries.

But this time the media was completely silent on the crime, and only indifferent reactions were made at different levels. The politicians who had earlier attacked “terrorist Islam” now went mute alongside the Bloc Québécois, who had demanded that they who “dislike our values go back to their ancestors’ countries.”

Here comes my question on these values: Does the murderer represent the values of the community where he belongs? Does he represent Christians or Quebeckers? Did he do that in the name of Canadians or the white? Absolutely not! And none of them can be blamed for his crime.

We have every reason to believe that those committing their crimes in the name of Islam are a ruthless bunch that can perpetrate crimes only when the West is silent or has funded them. Any action they do does not represent us, and when any of them commits a crime, he’s the only one to be called criminal. Should anyone be held responsible, it is definitely not us. It is unfair that such criminal acts are linked to Muslims, even if the perpetrators are of Islamic names or come from Islamic countries.

It is about time grudge was uprooted from selves and peace and calm were spread among citizens instead of fear and phobias. It is about time we grew tolerant, loving and caring instead of lying in ambush and being ready to pounce on others. It is about time we stopped making excuses for those disrespecting religions and blaming religions and hundreds of millions of religion observers for what some heartless few do here and there.

The men who respectively committed New Zealand’s and Quebec’s mosque crimes don’t stand for Christians, even if they insist they do. The man who once killed people praying at Masjid al-Khaleel does not stand for Jews, even if he was dressed like they do. The man who murdered teacher Samuel Patty in France doesn’t stand for Muslims, even if he cried “Allahu Akbar” while doing the crime.

That’s the way it is: Divine religions do call for love, no matter how differently they are observed or ritualised. Any criminal claiming belonging to any religion is simply trying to justify his crime and to satisfy his ill self in the name of others.

Quebec’s crime has just been done without reactions of threat to social stability. It has been said, as usual, that the offender suffers from mental illness. So will this crime awaken people to the fact that such doers belong to no divine religion, but to a hateful, criminal creed? Will people awaken to this fact even if the criminals come from countries of faith or share others’ colour or “religion”?

Our hearts are heavy for yesterday’s victims, and they go out to their families. Our sincere condolences to all kin, friends and lovers. We do pray that such criminal acts stop and that we get to challenge whomever seeks to exploit the acts to spread fear among Canadians and Quebeckers.

We’re all François Duchesne and Suzanne Clermont. Their spilled blood is ours. We ask of God that their souls lie in peace, and that the criminal be punished like he should.