A zoo in Quebec, Canada, is taking a stand against hate after a video of Muslim visitors praying was shared on Facebook, sparking a wave of "hate and racist comments" online.
It began on Sunday, when a group from the Muslim Association of Canada who were visiting the zoo took a break to pray in a public outdoor space. Another visitor saw them praying, and decided to post a video and whiney Facebook post, which she has since deleted (good call, sis, but next time don't post it at all). But you can watch it here:
"I find it inappropriate that at Parc Safari on a Sunday afternoon we hear prayers on a speaker," she wrote, translated from French. "Can you just do this in your living room and not impose it on me, please!"
Zoot alors, lady. Maybe it's not your business how other people live their lives and when, where and how they pray??
Her video went viral, and though many commented to defend the Muslim visitors, others used the opportunity to share hate speech and racist comments. Some even called for a boycott of the zoo, since they had agreed to host a Muslim group, Global News reports.
The zoo is having none of it, and yesterday they posted this on their Facebook page:
In English, it reads:
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.
How decent of them.
Why can't you be more like this zoo, America/the world???