McGill hosts multi-faith gathering against hate
A multi-faith gathering took place at McGill Thursday night to honour the memory of the victims of the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community.
Some 50 people took part, including an imam, a minister and a rabbi, all gathered to speak out against hate.
“I think we sometimes get complacent. I think we sometimes forget that hateful words can lead to hateful actions and conversely, sometimes we forget the power of solidarity,” said Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom Rabbi Lisa Grushcow.
“Whether it’s sitting beside somebody on the bus and starting a conversation with them if they’re being harassed for wearing a hijab or whether it’s coming together in a forum like this.”
Imam Hassan Guillet and Minister Arlen Bonnar were also there to preach a massage of peace and respect.
"We should not be silent because the victim is somebody else. When the victim is somebody else maybe tomorrow it would be me, it might be you," said the imam.
"It begins with every one of us here tonight. That we need to say 'Hey, who am I? What do I believe? What do I think? What do I say? How do I act? That's going to be in the face of that negative stuff and give us something positive," added the minister.
McGill fellows from the International Community Action Network program also joined the discussion. The ICAN program allows students from the Middle East to study at the university.
Many of them spoke of the Pittsburgh shooting while making connections with their lives back home.
“What happened that day in Pittsburgh reminds me of home,” said ICAN fellow Manara Assail. “Reminds me that we are all human, we need to stick together to face this hatred, to eliminate it.”
“Coming here, I was hoping that things would be a little better, that it would be a little more calm,” added fellow Goni Ketain Meiri.
ICAN program executive director Amal Elsana Alh’jooj said calling out discrimination could be a step towards eliminating it all together.
“I really think we don't have only to react to what's going on,” said Elsana Alh’jooj, “but also to be proactive and do something about it.”