Approximately 20 Palestine supporters stood outside Victoria Hall in Cobourg on Sunday, December 10, 2023 demanding Canada take more action to stop the “genocide” in Palestine.
Israel has responded since the October 7 slaughter of over 1,000 men, women and children when Hamas crossed the border into Israel.
There have been over 20,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks since the October 7 attack by Hamas said one of the protestors on Sunday, Nahid Widaatalla.
“We’re hear showing our support to Palestine, we’re here to bring that awareness to Cobourg.”
People taking part were from Cobourg and the Muslim community who came out to support an individual from Cobourg that initiated the protest who is not part of the Muslim community.
Widaatalla said the slaughter committed by Hamas on October 7 was wrong.
“A lot of people conflate Islam with terrorism, which is deeply hurtful and also stereotyping.”
“We reject any association of the two because Islam doesn’t promote terrorism. We are actually a very peaceful religion. We are a very peaceful people.”
The protest on Sunday was bringing about, “the toll on civilian lives that this horrific, horrific violence by the Israeli government has taken and the killings and ongoing wounding of men, women and children that is happening.”
“We don’t need to kill innocent civilians by the thousands for a solution to this problem.”
Widaatalla said that western media is mainly supportive of the Israel.
“The Israeli claims they are attacking and bombing innocent civilians in the hopes of eradicating Hamas and that Hamas is hiding out and using civilians as shields.”
“But that’s simply not true.”
Widaatalla said the Israeli government tells civilians to move to different parts of Gaza so they can focus on attacking certain parts.
“But they end up attacking the safe zones where they move civilians too.”
“We believe that no civilians no matter the cause die innocently.”
Widaatalla believes that the Canadian government should be fully supporting a ceasefire.
“We should also be doing a lot more to protect Muslims in Canada against Islamaphobia. There has also been a rise in Islamaphobic hate incidents and attacks since October 7 so they should be putting in more supports for Muslims.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Eman (didn’t give last name) who was at the protest said she is from Gaza, but has been living in Canada since 2015.
Growing up she said one of her brothers was killed by a Israeli sniper.
Some of her family is living in UN camps and she is hoping Canada will help her reunite with her family, “just as they did with the Ukrainian war.”
Eman said living in Gaza, war was a way of life.
“I remember me and my family used to live and stay in one room – if we die, we would die together. We were never afraid to die because death was the easiest option for us.”
With the slaughter on October 7 by Hamas,, Eman said sometimes violence.
“From what I learned here in Canada – I’ve been taking some courses from Indigenous people and their rights and how they get some of their rights. Sometimes you have be violent, a little bit, so the government and people can hear your voice.”
“I learned from Canadian schools and Canadian universities because I studied here and I took some political courses, Indigenous courses from political people that they had to protest, they had to do some violence so the government can hear them and give them a little bit from their rights.”