One morning, after I dropped off the kids at work, I noticed a few white ribbons were tied around my neighbours’ trees and a couple of other neighbouring houses.
On the ribbon it had three words “All Faiths Welcome”. This was a couple of days after the Quebec shooting. It was also a couple of days after the executive order was signed to ban Muslims from 7 countries, one of which was our home country, from travelling to the US. Seeing the ribbon brought tears to my eyes, the fact that our neighbours were thinking of us in those difficult times meant so much to me, my husband, and our family.
I spread the word, so did my neighbours, who also told their neighbours, and a few days later, I saw many of them on the other side of the street. People were really desperate to do something, and I think the ribbons spoke to many, because it’s such a small and simple act of kindness, but also a strong symbol of solidarity.
Friday morning, my neighbour and I visited CBC News to talk about the white ribbon campaign that she initiated in our neighbourhood to help combat and raise awareness about Islamophobia after the Quebec shooting. The ribbons spread so the message is getting across to many of our neighbours, and community members.
My neighbour was so kind to start this campaign, but we need to keep the momentum going as she mentioned to me this morning. It’s important to remember that Islamophobia and bigotry has been something we learned to deal with our whole lives here. It’s nothing new. I am glad that there’s more awareness about it, but we still need to organize and build stronger communities together that explicitly fight this hatred.
If you’re interested in spreading this message in your neighbourhood, please check out the Solidarity Ribbons Facebook page. And if you’d like to listen to our 8 minute interview with Piya on Metro Morning, you can access the podcast here.
In the spirit of love, solidarity, and justice,