Brantford friendship walk supports Muslim community

News Feb 04, 2017 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Hundreds defied the recent violence at a Quebec City mosque with a "friendship walk" in Brantford on Saturday to show there is a place for people of all faiths and cultures in the community.

“I may never have walked in your shoes, but I'm happy to say that I will walk arm in arm with you in my shoes because that's the Canada I know,” said acting mayor of Brantford John Sless.

Sless was joined by more than 500 residents of Brantford and Brant who said "no" to hate, violence and fear in Victoria Park, where they walked in solidarity with members of the Muslim community after a terrorist attack on a mosque last week left six men dead and many more injured.

Brantford Chief of police Geoff Nelson told the crowd that he and other community leaders were at the Muslim Association of Brantford's open house on Friday discussing how to make people feel safe in the community. Nelson said actions speak louder than words.

“I truly believe the vast majority of people in this community believe you should be judged on the strength of your character and not your religion or the colour of your skin,” he said. “We can make a commitment to making a safer, more open, inclusive, diverse and equal community, but there is a difference between talking and demonstrating it. Right now we are demonstrating it. To me, this is showing what it looks like.”

Sless asked the Muslim community members not to fear walking city streets and not to leave, because the city needs them.

“As long as you remain here, you enrich this city beyond what you know,” he said. “You do.”

Yaser Sharif and his family attended the walk. His son held a sign that read "Spread love, not hate."

“We are very thankful for all of the moral support from Canadians during this time of fear,” he said. “We also want to express our solidarity.”

Jillian Osborn brought her two daughters to the walk with signs that they made to show their support of the Muslim community.

“I (brought them to) teach them that it's important not to live in fear and to take action,” she said.

Tehakanere of Six Nations of the Grand River delivered the opening and closing remarks at the walk, he said the land all residents live on is native land and that the indigenous people have always welcomed new people here, regardless of their religion or customs.

“Everybody on this earth is welcome on this, our native territory,” he said.

Brantford friendship walk supports Muslim community

Hundreds fight fear, embrace diversity and inclusion at Victoria Park

News Feb 04, 2017 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Hundreds defied the recent violence at a Quebec City mosque with a "friendship walk" in Brantford on Saturday to show there is a place for people of all faiths and cultures in the community.

“I may never have walked in your shoes, but I'm happy to say that I will walk arm in arm with you in my shoes because that's the Canada I know,” said acting mayor of Brantford John Sless.

Sless was joined by more than 500 residents of Brantford and Brant who said "no" to hate, violence and fear in Victoria Park, where they walked in solidarity with members of the Muslim community after a terrorist attack on a mosque last week left six men dead and many more injured.

Brantford Chief of police Geoff Nelson told the crowd that he and other community leaders were at the Muslim Association of Brantford's open house on Friday discussing how to make people feel safe in the community. Nelson said actions speak louder than words.

“I truly believe the vast majority of people in this community believe you should be judged on the strength of your character and not your religion or the colour of your skin,” he said. “We can make a commitment to making a safer, more open, inclusive, diverse and equal community, but there is a difference between talking and demonstrating it. Right now we are demonstrating it. To me, this is showing what it looks like.”

Sless asked the Muslim community members not to fear walking city streets and not to leave, because the city needs them.

“As long as you remain here, you enrich this city beyond what you know,” he said. “You do.”

Yaser Sharif and his family attended the walk. His son held a sign that read "Spread love, not hate."

“We are very thankful for all of the moral support from Canadians during this time of fear,” he said. “We also want to express our solidarity.”

Jillian Osborn brought her two daughters to the walk with signs that they made to show their support of the Muslim community.

“I (brought them to) teach them that it's important not to live in fear and to take action,” she said.

Tehakanere of Six Nations of the Grand River delivered the opening and closing remarks at the walk, he said the land all residents live on is native land and that the indigenous people have always welcomed new people here, regardless of their religion or customs.

“Everybody on this earth is welcome on this, our native territory,” he said.

Brantford friendship walk supports Muslim community

Hundreds fight fear, embrace diversity and inclusion at Victoria Park

News Feb 04, 2017 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Hundreds defied the recent violence at a Quebec City mosque with a "friendship walk" in Brantford on Saturday to show there is a place for people of all faiths and cultures in the community.

“I may never have walked in your shoes, but I'm happy to say that I will walk arm in arm with you in my shoes because that's the Canada I know,” said acting mayor of Brantford John Sless.

Sless was joined by more than 500 residents of Brantford and Brant who said "no" to hate, violence and fear in Victoria Park, where they walked in solidarity with members of the Muslim community after a terrorist attack on a mosque last week left six men dead and many more injured.

Brantford Chief of police Geoff Nelson told the crowd that he and other community leaders were at the Muslim Association of Brantford's open house on Friday discussing how to make people feel safe in the community. Nelson said actions speak louder than words.

“I truly believe the vast majority of people in this community believe you should be judged on the strength of your character and not your religion or the colour of your skin,” he said. “We can make a commitment to making a safer, more open, inclusive, diverse and equal community, but there is a difference between talking and demonstrating it. Right now we are demonstrating it. To me, this is showing what it looks like.”

Sless asked the Muslim community members not to fear walking city streets and not to leave, because the city needs them.

“As long as you remain here, you enrich this city beyond what you know,” he said. “You do.”

Yaser Sharif and his family attended the walk. His son held a sign that read "Spread love, not hate."

“We are very thankful for all of the moral support from Canadians during this time of fear,” he said. “We also want to express our solidarity.”

Jillian Osborn brought her two daughters to the walk with signs that they made to show their support of the Muslim community.

“I (brought them to) teach them that it's important not to live in fear and to take action,” she said.

Tehakanere of Six Nations of the Grand River delivered the opening and closing remarks at the walk, he said the land all residents live on is native land and that the indigenous people have always welcomed new people here, regardless of their religion or customs.

“Everybody on this earth is welcome on this, our native territory,” he said.