We received an e-mail today from someone who had received pictures of the following sticker appearing on vehicles in Canada. A recent report also highlighted a rise in anti-Muslim prejudice in Canada.
The recent killing of a Canadian soldier, (Corporal Nathan Cirillo) by unstable Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, shocked the nation and his attempt to murder Parliamentarians led to a siege that ultimately ended in his death and fomented a fear that more attacks could be underway.
Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother made clear in a recent press interview that her son was detached from her and that he “was lost” and “did not seem to fit in.“
What is worrying though is that anti-Muslim sentiment seems to bedding into a country that has had a liberal environment and which has been a bulwark against intolerance and bigotry over many decades.
The sticker sent to us may demonstrate the phenomenon of cumulative extremism where the extremist rhetoric and actions of an individual or group can develop and bring out an extremist counter-reaction. The sticker is very similar to rhetoric promoted by extreme far right groups in the US and within the UK. It should focus us all in order to put a greater effort in ensuring that extreme groups do not influence the social space through their poisonous rhetoric. We simply cannot allow those who seek to divide, to win. It is not an option.