Over the weekend, the Muslim Association of Canada hosted a picnic at Montreal’s Parc Safari zoo, which included a group prayer service.
Nothing controversial there, right? We mean, obviously in a country with freedom of religion, why would anyone possibly take offense to — oh, no, never mind, OF COURSE people got upset!
Thanks to Islamophobia being at an all-time high around the world, many got angry at the idea, especially after an offended park goer captured the moment on film and uploaded it to Facebook. Many sent hateful comments directly to the zoo; some even called for a boycott — all for not being intolerant enough…
But Parc Safari was not having any of this nonsense. They quickly posted a clear and rational response, saying:
“Safari Park is sorry that freedom of religion may offend people.”
Read the entire post (below) to see just how unreasonable people had to be to take offense!
That roughly translates to:
“Safari Park is a welcome place for all, regardless of nationality, religion, culture, language and sexual orientation. Safari Park does not discriminate against any group and does not tolerate hate attacks on its site.
Safari Park regularly receives corporate groups on its site. Companies, associations or groups can book a picnic area and enjoy the day on the site. Through this program, on Sunday, July 2, Safari Park hosted the Muslim Association of Canada. Following their visit, several complaints were made.
The group had a space reserved on the site, away from passers-by and they received the same guidelines as any other group. Their celebration had to be done in respect of guests and animals. Thus, the group should not block paths, make demands on visitors or disturb the activities of the safari park. These standards have been complied with.
The group brought a sound system. It operated independently and was not connected to the safari park system. In addition, the group had to comply with the standards required by the safari park, or not exceed a certain volume so as not to disturb visitors or animals and not to broadcast hate messages or run against the values of the safari park. All standards and regulations have been respected by the group. Otherwise, the group, like any groups or visitors who do not comply with the rules, would have been expelled from the site.
Following the release of a 46-second video on Youtube, it appears that the presence of this group at safari park has offended people, whether present or not, during the day.
Safari Park is sorry that freedom of religion may offend people. In any case, this was not the objective.
Since last Sunday, Safari Park has been a victim of hate and racist comments.
Safari Park is a place where everyone is welcome. A Zoological institution is by definition a multicultural place where small and large can discover the wonderful diversity of nature and animals and thus develop affection and respect for this diversity, these differences, and their intrinsic beauty.
We repeat: Safari Park is a place for everyone, regardless of nationality, religion, colour, culture or sexual orientation. Safari Park will not accept any call to hate or inappropriate vocabulary on our social networks, by phone or on its site. All hate messages or inappropriate messages will be deleted from our page.
For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
By the way, here’s the Muslim gathering that got people so incensed:
Sans partir de débat sans pointé du doigt plus une religion qu’une autre … bouddhiste, chrétien,musulman, athée sque tu voudras … personnellement je me fou de tes croyances mais je trouve ca inapproprié qu’au parc safari un dimanche après-midi on entende sur les haut parleurs une prière, peux tu juste faire ca dans ton salon pis pas me l’imposer stp !
Posted by Audrey Tremblay on Sunday, July 2, 2017
This is the type of thing people get upset about when you shove the rhetoric of fear down their throats. As our propagandist in chief would say, SAD.