Early on Nov 15, Conservative radio talk show host John Gormley, whose show ‘John Gormley Live’ is carried on news stations across Saskatchewan, posted on twitter “Next guy in a western democracy who chants ‘Allah Ackhbar’, we shoot.”.
The radio host, who has also drawn hostility from Indigenous activists and other marginalized groups in recent years, usually plays the normal ‘not all Muslims, just the extremists’ tune while openly promoting Islamaphobia in a general sense, especially in relation to immigrants.
Allah Ackhbar, meaning ‘God is great’ is a common saying for Muslims, the Muslim equivelent to ‘Amen’, so the comment was directed at Muslims in general.
This sentiment openly expressed by a well known, relatively mainstream public figure, is very concerning, but especially because this comes at a time when the issue of Syrian refugees is being debated in Saskatchewan, with Premier Brad Wall recently writing an open letter to Justin Trudeau asking for him to cancel his pledge to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees across Canada.
Wall’s suggestion has been rejected and the plan is going ahead, but with people like John Gormley on the air legitimizing violence against Muslims in general, those new refugees, and even long time Canadians with Arabic origins could be in danger when they do arrive.