'Go home,' says anti-immigrant graffiti in LaSalle
Race-relations advocate calls on Montrealers to speak out against hate
The members of a LaSalle church are feeling anger and frustration this week after vandals sprayed “Go home Greek” and “PQ” on the building’s front door.
The incident happened overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week on 75th Avenue.
Reverend Dorothy Samuel says St-Lawrence is an Anglican church that is mostly attended by people who immigrated from the West Indies.
“They left their home for certain reasons, and now they have to go through this here again.”
A Turkish bath and spa in LaSalle was also targeted by vandals who sprayed a similar message on the front of the business.
“Go B to your country” and “PQ” were scrawled across the front of the business on 90th Avenue.
Attacks could be related to charter of values
The attacks could be related to the proposed charter of Quebec values set forth by the Parti Québécois government last week, says Samuel.
The proposed bill would ban the wearing of overt religious symbols in the public sector.
“I think it could be a part of it, because whatever is going on in Montreal… it’s really affected by it,” she said.
The executive director of Montreal`s Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations said the ongoing debate over secularism reveals "the thin line between religion and ethnicity and national origin."
``In other words, it`s not about secularism; it could just be about immigration overall,`` Fo Niemi told CBC Montreal`s Radio Noon.
Niemi called on ``the many decent people`` in Montreal to speak out against hate crimes and racism.
``It`s the silence of the majority that allows these kind of acts to fester," he said.
Series of incidents follows secular debate
Over the past week, two separate incidents of anti-religious incidents came to the public’s attention.
Both took place in late August — the first was an altercation in which a Muslim woman was told to change her religion while out shopping with her family in Ste-Foy, near Quebec City.
The second was a video shot by a Montreal city bus passenger that showed a man yelling at a Muslim woman on the 69 Gouin bus about her hijab.