A Toronto couple has posted a sign outside their home asking if Muslims are sorry for the Paris attacks.
CityNews reporter Avery Hanes happened to be taking her son to hockey in the neighbourhood near Keele and Finch when she spotted the sign. Affixed to a tree with a French flag at its side and a “Suggestion Box” below, the sign reads:
“Paris, France. I have 1 question Members of the Muslim Community. Are you sorry for the slaughter of innocent people by whom represent your religious beliefs?”
Hanes decided to stop and chat with the couple who made it. She recorded the interactions and then posted them to Twitter.
“I’m open to someone saying how dare you write that,” a woman identified only as “Chloe,” tells Hanes.
“But I’m just asking, ‘Are you sorry for your brothers?’ That’s all. I don’t think it’s hateful, I don’t think it’s racist. Like I said, I have just one question.”
Chloe’s husband emerges. Hanes notes the plentiful Christmas decorations on the couple’s house and then asks how they would feel if a right wing fundamentalist Christian carried out a bombing attack.
Chloe answers without hesitation: “We would have to speak up. We would to say, you know, we’re sorry.”
She goes on to say that Canada should stop taking Syrian refugees for the time being, or at least heavily investigate every application.
Hanes asks Chloe if she understands that the refugees are themselves fleeing ISIS.
“I know, I know,” she says. “But we need to protect Canada, Canadians.”
As you can imagine, these are some pretty loaded statements, and many who spotted the story developing on Twitter were quick to respond.
Prem Singh @Prem_S Tweets: “It’s not racism nor bigotry to ask why moderates are not doing more to condemn this evil radicalism”
While George Vallaris @GVallaris writes, “Saying those crazed terrorists represent the Muslim religion is like saying the KKK represent the Christian religion.”
Many of the commenters on the CityNews report about the sign point out the double standard Muslims must face in the aftermath of these types of violent acts:
“What awful people. Truly awful. You’ll note that no one asked white, Christian people to apologize for people Timothy McVeigh or Dylann Roof. Muslims have nothing to apologize for, but I feel a strong desire to apologize on behalf of these thoughtless, awful people. We should be better than this.”
“AThe people involved were allegedly male. Is the husband sorry for the attacks? Is their son? I am curious what they are doing about it. That is how ridiculous this mentality has become. This is Canada and I don’t recognize it anymore with this intolerance and hate.”