Over the weekend, Bambi received a couple of phone calls from a family friend as well as her aunt who were worried about the heat wave in Canada (the irony was that at her end of the country, she had to close the windows as it was too cold, like Beirut’s winter actually). She was moved by the calls, especially that she is the one worried about them in their heat and NO POWER to turn the air conditioning on ☹. She could not help not to be sarcastic in her mind, wondering if her aunt would call again, freaking out, if her Facebook or international media informed her about the 10+ churches that have been burned in the past few days!
Bearing this in mind, Bambi was happy to read this article this morning published in the Journal de Montréal. Thank you Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté. Here is the link to his article (https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/07/07/au-canada-on-brule-des-eglises-impunement), followed by a quick English translation (with a couple of comments by Bambi):
“The issue of residential schools will figure prominently in the news this summer.
Canada is waking up to a historic injustice lodged in the bowels of the country that still shapes its present reality. How not to be obsessed with the fate of these children torn from their families and their culture to make them strangers?
This country which presents itself as a model for the whole world does not live up to its reputation, to put it mildly.
Canadians discover that Canada is not heaven and fail to believe it.
The feeling of revolt is inevitable, and natural. It is also legitimate.
But too often it speaks in a criminal way, as seen in Western Canada with the growing number of church fires. Others are vandalized. All this takes place, it must be said, in a general media indifference. Or else, the events are reported with great modesty, almost in embarrassment. Not to mention the statues unbolted in front of the police capitulating to the vandals.
Even more, if we wander a bit on social media, we find several to rejoice, as if it were the flames of justice razing a cursed institution. They see it as a legitimate revenge, forgetting that several indigenous leaders themselves denounced these arson attacks and are sorry for this violence.
Let’s sum up: in Canada, in the summer of 2021, churches are being burned down in a mixture of indifference and evil joy.
Imagine another scenario. Imagine if, after September 11, 2001, in the United States, or after the Islamist attacks of recent years in France, “angry” citizens decided to attack mosques, to vandalize them, to burn them.
We would all have been outraged by such gestures. We would have condemned them outright [“sans nuances”, in French]. We would have recalled that such acts are criminal, in addition to requiring severe punishment for their perpetrators. Above all, we would have been right to be intractable towards the vandals.
How, then, to explain the current reaction?
Is it more serious to attack a Muslim place of worship than a Catholic church [thanks also to Mr. Jonathan Kay who raised the same question for mosques and synagogues]?
How is it that such criminal acts are trivialized, that they are almost categorized as miscellaneous facts, when they are in the strong sense of hate acts? Once again, the logic of double standards is in order [Bambi will add: would so-called activists working for Liberties organizations in BC who were born in Bahrain dare to write let’s burn all mosques there? So why do it in Canada?]
Depending on the religion that will be yours, we will denounce, relativize or excuse acts of violence and hate speech intended for you.
Without a doubt, the Canadian federal state, which imagined and piloted the Indian residential school policy, must take severe self-criticism and improve the situation of Indigeneous communities. It is primarily responsible for this macabre story. The religious orders which have participated in this enterprise must also assume their responsibilities.
But that cannot justify, today, the repeated anti-Catholic arson and its transformation into trivial facts.”