On February 6, a first roundtable discussion on societal issues took place at St. Lawrence CEGEP.
The main topic was the tragic killing of six Quebec citizens of Muslim faith on January 29, 2017. Questions regarding hate speech and crimes, and the role of media in the distribution of information were discussed. This was an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts regarding solutions to prevent such crimes from ever happening again, and the possible causes for it, as well as efforts to help the Community in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Our panelists were Mr. Aymen Derbali, Mr. Mohamed Labidi, Mr. Paul-Matthieu Grondin, and Mr. Jean-François Vézina. Mr. Derbali talked about his direct experience of the killing of his friends with students, teachers and staff, and shared his wish to reach out and have his community better known and understood. Mr. Labidi informed us about open house activities of the Grande Mosquée de Québec, and extended an invitation to anyone who is interested to learn about the Muslim community of Québec. Mr. Grondin and Mr. Vézina talked about the legal enforcement perspectives of hate speech and hate crimes, as well as the role of social media. (Gisela Dröge)