Neighbours of a local mosque in Roncesvalles Village had already started working on a plan to express their support for the congregants at a time when Muslim communities have increasingly been experiencing racism in countries around the world. After this week’s attack on a Mosque in Quebec City the group went into immediate action tying white ribbons around local posts expressing “All Faiths Welcome.”
“We want those coming to worship to feel safe in our community,” explains Jessica Olivier, who lives near the Mosque. “We need an antidote to those who are driven by their fears and hatreds. Canada is a country where we embrace diversity. The isolated acts of a few can’t be allowed to overshadow the sentiments of the many.”
This action echoed the thoughts of many in Roncesvalles Village who wanted to counteract increasing acts of racism. The Roncesvalles Village BIA quickly moved to support this campaign by tying ribbons to the trees lining Roncesvalles Avenue. The ribbons express sentiments of Peace, Hope, Love and support for diversity. “Our community – both residents and businesses — have been very welcoming of Syrian and other refugees. We want to express our empathy and support for both new and established Muslims who live here or who come here to pray,” says Roncesvalles Village BIA Chair, Len McAuley. “There comes a time when you have to be more vocal about what we stand for.”
The effort is very grass roots. It’s a DIY campaign. There is no place to order or purchase ribbons. If you support it, you can simply find your own white ribbon and your own words to express your support. Some supporters are making infinity loops from thin white ribbon and are pinning them to their coats or lapels as part of their personal show of solidarity for the sentiments expressed.
Global News covered this story on January 31, 2017, ‘All faiths welcome’: West-end Toronto community ties white ribbons in solidarity with local mosque