At a speech marking the first anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting that left six Muslim people dead, Canada’s Prime Minister took aim at one of the province’s largest far-right groups.
"It's easy to condemn racism, intolerance and discrimination against the Muslim community. We know who is who. It's the racists, it's the other, it's the ‘nonos’ who walk with a dog paw on the t-shirt,” he said in French on Monday night adding that it’s time to confront Islamophobia in Canada.
Nonos is a French derogatory term meaning, essentially, idiots.
The paw print comment points Justin Trudeau’s statement directly at Quebec’s active and large far-right nationalist group known as La Meute—La Meute translates to English as “the pack” and their logo is that of a paw. La Meute is a secretive group but it’s well known their membership, like many other far-right groups in Canada, rallies around a virulent anti-Islamic sentiment and an opposition to “illegal immigration” and multiculturalism.
Sylvain Brouillette, a former leader who still wields a lot of power in La Meute, responded to the Prime Minister on Facebook by essentially saying “we’re not nonos, you’re the nono.”
“An Nono is someone who thinks that those who criticize an ideology are racists and xénophobes while criticism of ideas is a fundamental right in a democratic society,” reads a translated copy of his post. “...An Nono is someone who sees a dog's foot instead of seeing the emblem of Quebec with its values of democracy, secularism, freedom and equality.”
Brouillette finished his response by calling Trudeau an “asshole” for comparing the far-right group with Bissonnette, the man who is accused of carrying out the mosque shooting. The same day Brouillette made his online post Trudeau was asked by reporters if he was lowering himself to the same level of La Meute by insulting them. Trudeau responded by stating that he will continue to take on all stripes of extremist groups and that pretending they don’t exist is a bad strategy.
"I will always be there to denounce those who don't want to build a better and more open society," Trudeau said. "It is my responsibility as a leader and as prime minister … to make it clear when there is hate speech, when there are statements or acts that are unacceptable."
Now, there is a little bit of a hubbub going around regarding the direct translation of the term “nonos” to English. There are some, like the CBC’s Jonathan Montpetit and the Globe and Mail, who translate it to meaning “bozos,” whereas the Canadian Press translated the statement to “dumdums.”
At the end of the day though the translation doesn’t really matter—Trudeau got his point across—they are totally “insert your best hoser prick insult.”
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