Outstanding Achievement Fulfilled by Canada and Community, op-ed by Hussein HobAllah

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*Hussein Hoballah, chief editor of Sada Al mashreq.

Last Tuesday, the 25th of October, two-thirty a.m. was attack time that befell the Muslim Cultural Centre in Sept-Îles’, which lies about 900 km to Montreal’s northern east. A few weeks ahead of commencing work, the centre’s furniture was destroyed. Now that the centre had lost around $5,000, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, as well as the entire parliament, condemned the incident on the 26th of October. The next day, the attacker gave himself up to the police that made a mitigating statement, saying the attacker had been driven by drunkenness rather than hate. He has therefore been released until trial. A day ahead of the incident, Bloc Québécois’ MP Mariléne Gill, objected when a visiting Ahmadi Muslim group asked for room to pray. Gill sounded uneasy and enraged enough to provoke the hate of any listener against the group, even if she didn’t mean it. However, Liberal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Randy Boissonnault, was quick to respond, confirming that the Canadian Constitution spoke of respect to multiculturalism and faith in and outside parliament.

The attack, in addition to Ms Gill’s provocative speech took place when the Muslim community was working to get parliamentarians to condemn all forms of Islamophobia in Canada. Back on the 5th of last month, the motion failed to pass; a Conservative MP had voted against it.  Even earlier, community members in different Canadian regions had begun to suffer from attacks and harassments. An online petition signed by around 70,000 Canadian citizens had not been enough.

Back on last Wednesday, nearly an hour after parliament had condemned the Sept-Îles attack, MP Thomas Mulcair again proposed an Islamophobia-condemning motion- whatever form Islamophobia took. All accepted it, including MP Gill. That was great success for the Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF), the community and scores of other Canadian citizens, who had managed to get the online petition around 70,000 signatures. To the community, that is great achievement to take pride in; community members all across Canada have collaborated in coordination with the CMF. Canada, too, has the right to take pride in that because it means that the Canadian values protecting all citizens have been met. After all, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms confirms respect for multiculturalism and faith.

Now that Islamophobia has been condemned, this is not the end, but rather the beginning, like Mr Samer Majzoub puts it. Having launched the petition first, the interviewee says, “We need to continue working politically and socially and with the press.” They used to doubt the existence of Islamophobia, but now we do not have to worry about that; all blocs and political figures, represented by Canada’s supreme legislative authority, have spoken of that existence. In the offing, we need to get policy makers to do something, especially when it comes to the Liberals, who have shown distinct openness regarding Muslims and all ethnicities. After condemnation, policies must be made. Mr Majzoub says, “All of us must work hard to maintain our peaceful, social and humanitarian struggle so that condemnation is followed by comprehensive policies.”

This time it seems clear that collaboration, cooperation, loyalty and perseverance while claiming rights do not go useless. We need to keep that up in order to better our future and face the coming challenges “as long as some biased and racists are insulting, defaming or harassing citizens or even destroying and burning institutions.” We need to get more involved in political and social life and any other proper place so that we can protect our rights.

Let the community, including all institutions, enjoy this great achievement! Thanks to the CMF, whose president says, “This is everybody’s success, not just someone’s or an institution’s or a community’s.” Thanks to Mr Mulcair and his party for presenting the condemnation motion to parliament. Thanks, too, to MP Frank Baylis and his party for adopting the parliament’s online petition. We show gratefulness to all parties and MPs who have supported the motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tweet on the Islamophobic outrageous attack on the community center in Sept-Îles, Quebec.

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https://twitter.com/cndmuslimforum/status/791130124322308096

FMC-CMF calls on Police to arrest the perpetrators of the outragious islamophobic attack on the community center in Sept-Îles.

Tweet on La Loche, Sask., Shooting!

On La Loche shooting tweet

On La Loche, Sask., Shooting:

We share the nation the sorrow and the sadness on the loss of lives in La Loche, Saskatchewan. The tremendous grief that this small community has witnessed brings us all to denounce deadly violence that leads to tragedies.
Samer Majzoub, FMC-CMF president.

 

Les projets de loi 59 et 62: (FMC-CMF) reçoit positivement les dispositions sur le discours haineux, mais se préoccupe de l’application de certaines autres/Bills 59 and 62: (FMC-CMF) Welcomes Hate Speech Provisions, But Concerned About Application of Others

English follows:

– POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE – (Montréal – Juin 14, 2015) –

Le Forum musulman canadien (FMC-CMF) a commenté aujourd’hui les projets de loi 59 et 62 introduits par l’Assemblée nationale du Québec plus tôt la semaine passée.

« Globalement, le FMC reçoit positivement les dispositions en lien avec le discours haineux et les pouvoirs accrus de la Commission des Droits de la personne et des Droits de la jeunesse dans le projet de loi 59. Toutefois, le FMC se préoccupe par certaines autres dispositions dans les deux projets de loi qui laissent la porte ouverte à une application erronée », a déclaré Samer Majzoub, président du FMC.

En ce qui concerne les dispositions relatives à la radicalisation menant à la violence, le FMC est profondément préoccupé par les allégations autours des jeunes individus  qui ont tenté de voyager dans les zones de guerre. Cependant, le FMC est inquiet que les dispositions du projet de loi 59 ne seront appliquées que sur les musulmans, alors que la radicalisation menant à la violence prend plusieurs formes, dont plusieurs n’ont aucun lien avec les musulmans Québécois.

En ce qui concerne le voile couvrant le visage, porté par très peu de femmes musulmanes du Québec, le FMC affirme que tous les Québécois devraient avoir le droit d’accéder aux services publics. Actuellement, les femmes musulmanes qui portent ce voile dévoilent leurs visages pour des raisons de sécurité et d’identification. Par ailleurs, le FMC est concerné par l’application des dispositions du projet de loi 62 qui pourrait mener à une interprétation large et libérale par certains fonctionnaires, alors que les tribunaux ont historiquement exigé le contraire.

Le FMC demeure et continue à collaborer avec le gouvernement pour trouver des solutions raisonnables et réalisables.

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Contact : Kathy Malas , (514) 594-1402

Samah Jebbari, (514) 886-8414

English: 

– For Immediate Release –

(Montreal – June 14, 2015) –

The Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) today commented on Bills 59 and 62 introduced by Quebec’s national assembly earlier last week.

“Overall, the CMF welcomes the hate speech provisions and the enhanced powers of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse in Bill 59. However, the CMF is deeply concerned that some other provisions in the two bills leaves the door wide open for erroneous application,” said Samer Majzoub, CMF President.

When it comes to the provisions relating to radicalization leading to violence, the CMF is deeply concerned about allegations that some young individuals attempted to or have traveled to conflict zones. However, CMF is apprehensive that the provisions in Bill 59 will only be applied to Muslims, whereas radicalization leading to violence takes on several forms, many of which have no connection to Muslim Quebecers.

With respect to the face-veil worn by a handful of Quebec Muslim women, the CMF affirms that all Quebecers should have the right to access public services. Currently, Muslim women who wear the face-veil do unveil for bona fide security or identification reasons. However, the CMF is concerned the application of the provisions in Bill 62 will be given a large and liberal interpretation by civil servants, whereas the courts have historically required the opposite.

The CMF continues and remains ready to assist the government in finding reasoned and workable solutions.

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Sameer Zuberi, 514 910 6472

Samer Majzoub,  514 884 0852

(FMC-CMF) exprime ses condoléances à la suite du décès du CardinalCanadian Muslim Forum offers condolences for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte’s Passing /(FMC-CMF) offers condolences for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte’s Passing

English Follows:

17 Avril 2015-Le Forum Musulman Canadien(FMC-CMF) exprime ses condoléances à la suite du décès du Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte 

Le Forum Musulman Canadien (FMC-CMF) s’unit à la peine de la famille du Cardinal, de la communauté diocésaine de Montréal et à tous les Québécois, pour la perte d’un homme de principes et de dévouement. Le Cardinal Turcotte était connu par sa défense active à la paix et son appel à l’espérance dans un Québec inclusif.

Le FMC entend coopérer avec le Cardinal Christian Lépine pour l’harmonie et l’unité dans la société québécoise.

English:

April 17 2015 – The Canadian Muslim Forum offers condolences for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte’s Passing

The Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) mourns with all Quebecers the loss of Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, a man of principals and dignity. Cardinal Turcotte was known to be a peace advocate and called for the inclusivity of Quebec society.

The CMF is ready to work with Cardinal Christian Lépine for the harmony and unity of Quebec society.