Article: Canada Needs The Political Will Required To Tackle Hate

A young mourner is comforted during a funeral ceremony for three of the victims of the deadly shooting of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre at the Congress Center in Quebec City, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

Canada Needs The Political Will Required To Tackle Hate

*Samer Majzoub

As bullets harvested the souls of the victims, one after another, on the night of the Jan. 29, 2017 at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, a new era of terror was inaugurated, signed by the bloodshed of those who lost their lives and the tears that have been shed by the 17 orphans and six widows left behind.

quebec mosque
A young mourner is comforted during a funeral ceremony for three of the victims of the deadly shooting of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre at the Congress Center in Quebec City, Feb. 3, 2017. (Photo: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)

The shock waves of that bloody night hit very hard across the country, creating fears, worries and uncertainties. The first few hours after the massacre, the main question that was uttered by the media, citizens and politicians was who had committed this crime. The picture came to be clearer when it was revealed that the shooter was a young student, from the same university where most of the victims either graduated from or worked at. Moreover, based on Facebook posts, comments and information from those who knew the shooter, it was revealed that his right-wing ideology was his instigator, leading him to murder innocent worshipers.

The only “sin” those murdered in the mass shooting carried was that they were all Muslims, who happened to be praying in the Centre. And the only reason why the killer decided to end their lives was a hate doctrine, represented by the Islamophobia and bigotry that have plagued the environment in Quebec, and the rest of the country, for many years.

Following Quebec’s tragedy, columnists, civic organizations, NGOs, politicians and the general public all agreed that xenophobia, Islamophobia and prejudice were the drive behind the violent incidents that have been targeting Muslim citizens. For years and years, warnings and public advice have been given to society’s stakeholders and the political classes regarding Islamophobia as an extreme form of discrimination and radicalization, which has been leading to violence targeting Muslim community.

The Quebec City massacre is a clear demonstration of the tragic end-product of letting Islamophobia go unchecked.

For many years, besides some soft talk, the concrete political will to tackle Islamophobia and other sorts of hate speech was almost totally absent from the public scene. On the contrary, various political platforms embarked on divisive agendas that inflamed the extreme ideologies that implanted the concept of “us versus them.”

Furthermore, some mainstream and social media became unchecked podiums for all those who shared their animosity and hostility toward their fellow citizens of different skin colours or beliefs. This dangerous combination can, very expectedly, create a path of hatred that may lead to fatal incidents. The Quebec City massacre is a clear demonstration of the tragic end-product of letting Islamophobia go unchecked.

Following the cruel killing of the six worshipers in Quebec City, there was an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity coming from every corner in the county in support of the families of the victims. Words of condemnation came from almost all politicians and public figures, bringing together all Canadians in their denunciation of the terrorist attack. The unfortunate reality came after this short term of solidarity which was presumed to be genuine enough to cause change in the toxic and bigoted environment that preceded the attack.

During the burials of the six victims, a spike of hate-related incidents were reported in various areas throughout the country, from Mosques being fire bombed to Muslim citizens being exposed to various physical attacks. Furthermore, there was a sudden increase of xenophobic incidences in many areas around the country as a result of political statements and positions held by those who have placed themselves at the forefront of the divisive rhetoric, creating friction within the Canadian social fabric.

Day after day and incident after incident, it has become a necessity that all systemic, racial and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, must be studied thoroughly to come up with policies that will cure these social diseases once and for all.

Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF)

Statement by the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) on the federal by-elections.

 

Statement by the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) on the federal by-elections that will be held early April 2017.

Montreal, March 3rd , 2017- The Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) appreciates and values the Canadian Muslims’ involvement in the nomination and the elections process at large in the various ridings, in particular the borough of Saint-Laurent, Montreal. FMC-CMF points out the importance of making free choice in supporting the candidates that best serve the interest of the society’s civil values and common interest. FMC-CMF reminds all citizens that elections are an occasion to exercise your voting right democratically, assume unity and work collectively to reflect Canadian values.

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FMC-CMF call to support Iqra Khalid for M-103.Stand up for Canadian values.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Send Iqra Khaled an appreciation and a thank you message for her stance on combating systematic religious and civic discrimination.

Iqra.Khalid.A1@parl.gc.ca

M-103Systemic racism and religious discrimination:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Iqra-Khalid(88849)/Motions?sessionId=152&documentId=8661986

M-103Racisme et discrimination religieuse systémiques

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/fr/members/Iqra-Khalid(88849)/Motions?sessionId=152&documentId=8661986

 

FMC-CMF calls on Members of the House of Commons to Support Motion M-103

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FMC-CMF calls on Members of the House of Commons to Support Motion M-103

-For immediate release-

Montreal, February 11 – The Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) calls on MPs to support the Motion M-103, a motion following the condemnation of Islamophobia, adopted on the 26 October 2016.

“This motion is essential to counter all forms of discrimination, including Islamophobia,” said Mr. Samer Majzoub, President of the FMC-CMF. The motion is proposed by Ms. Iqra Khalid of Mississauga-Erin Mills and will be debated on February 15th. M-103 proposes an in-depth study on systematic racism, religious discrimination and Islamophobia, and calls for the development of concrete actions based on a holistic and an evidence-based approach to counteract this scourge.

“Building this study is essential to detect the root causes of racism, discrimination and hate incidents and crimes. These causes need to be further disclosed in order to better target effective means and strategies to counter them. With Motion M-103, we will take affordable measures to limit, and even prevent and eliminate Islamophobia, and promote better living together, ” adds Majzoub.

“We ask all of our elected officials to support this motion to defend our human and collective values, our rights and freedoms, and to promote “l’agir-ensemble”,” concludes Majzoub.

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Contact:

Samer Majzoub: 514 884 0852

FMC-CMF lance un appel aux députés de la chambre des communes pour appuyer la motion M-103

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Pour diffusion immédiate-

Montréal, le 11 février- Le Forum musulman Canadien (FMC-CMF) demande aux députés fédéraux d’appuyer la Motion M-103. Cette motion fait suite à celle condamnant l’islamophobie, et adoptée le 26 octobre 2016.

« Cette motion est primordiale pour contrer toutes formes de discrimination, incluant l’islamophobie », exprime M. Samer Majzoub, président du FMC-CMF. La motion est proposée par la députée Mme Iqra Khalid de Mississauga-Erin Mills et sera débattue le 15 février. La M-103 propose une étude approfondie sur le racisme systématique, la discrimination religieuse et l’Islamophobie, et demande l’élaboration d’actions concrètes basées sur une approche probante et holistique pour contrer ce fléau.

« Bâtir cette étude est essentiel pour détecter les causes profondes du racisme, de la discrimination, des incidents et des crimes à caractère haineux. Il faut dévoiler davantage ces causes pour mieux cibler les moyens et les stratégies efficaces pour les contrer. Avec la motion-M103, nous prendrons des mesures abordables pour limiter, voire même, prévenir et éliminer l’islamophonie, et favoriser un meilleur vivre-ensemble», ajoute M. Majzoub.

« Nous demandons à l’ensemble de nos élus d’appuyer cette motion pour défendre nos valeurs humaines et collectives, nos droits et libertés, et favoriser l’agir-ensemble», conclut M. Majzoub.

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Contact:

Samah Jebbari: 514 886 8414

Kathy Malas: 514 594 1402

FMC-CMF condemns the Terrorist Attack on Muslims in Quebec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– For immediate release –

Montreal, January 30, 2017 – The Canadian Muslim Forum condemns the terrible terrorist shooting in a mosque in Sainte-Foy against Muslims in Quebec and is deeply shocked.

The Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF-CMF) expresses its utter dismay at the extremist attack in Quebec City which resulted in several deaths and injuries.  “Faced with the continuing and incessant increase of violent attacks on community places of worship in Quebec, violence is escalating and here we are, facing a massacre: fathers of families and young men shot atrociously by Barbaric shooters,” said Samer Majzoub, the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum.

The Muslim community in Quebec is suffering from a flood of hate attacks on places of worship and now the attacks are escalating and bringing back the death of innocent people. We firmly believe that such attacks are fuelled by the Islamophobic sentiment and the smear campaigns that we have seen recently in the province. ”

“We call upon authorities to work hard to control the situation and stop these murderers from preaching violence in the country. We also call on the provincial and federal governments and the responsible authorities to step up their efforts to ensure the safety of their people by taking measures to ensure the safety of all Quebeckers. ”

“ The FMC-CMF shares the grief of the families of the victims and prays for the innocent: “My prayers are with families, friends and loved ones in mourning,” adds Majzoub and continues with certainty that “this massacre does not represent the values Quebecers and Canadians of peace, equality and freedom of belief and will not disunite us. ”

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Contact:

Samer Majzoub: 514 884 0852

 

Le FMC-CMF condamne l’attentat terroriste contre les musulmans québécois.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Pour diffusion immédiate-

Montréal, le 30 janvier 2017 – Le forum musulman canadien condamne l’irrévocable fusillade terroriste dans une mosquée de Sainte-Foy contre les musulmans québécois et est profondément sous le choc.

Le Forum musulman canadien (FMC-CMF) exprime son extrême consternation face à l’attentat extrémiste qui a eu lieu à la ville de Québec et a engendré plusieurs morts et blessés.

« Face à la continuelle et incessante augmentation des attaques violentes contre des lieux de culte communautaires au Québec, la violence est en escalade et nous voilà, devant un massacre : des pères de familles et des jeunes hommes fusillés avec atrocité et sans froid par des tireurs barbares », déclare Samer Majzoub, le président du Forum musulman canadien.

La communauté musulmane du Québec souffre d’un flot d’attaques de haine contre les lieux de culte et maintenant les attaques s’accentuent et ramènent la mort d’innocents. Nous croyons fermement que de telles attaques sont alimentées par le sentiment islamophobe et les campagnes de dénigrement que nous avons vus dernièrement dans la province. »

« Nous appelons les autorités à travailler fort pour contrôler la situation et ne pas laisser ces meurtriers prêcher la violence dans le pays. Nous demandons aussi au gouvernement provincial et fédéral et aux autorités responsables d’accentuer plus l’effort afin d’assurer la sécurité de sa population en prenant des mesures qui garantissent la sécurité de tous les Québécois. »

Le FMC-CMF partage la douleur des familles des victimes et prie pour les innocents : « Mes prières sont avec les familles, amis et proches en deuil », ajoute M Majzoub et poursuit avec certitude que « ce massacre ne représente pas les valeurs québécoises et canadiennes de paix, d’égalité et de liberté de croyance et ne va pas nous désunir. »

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Contact:

Samah Jebbari: 514 886 8414

Kathy Malas : 514 594 1402

يومُ مناهضةِ رهابِ الاسلامِ في المجلسِ النيابيِّ الكنديِّ-مذكرةٌ جديدةٌ، تقديمُ العريضةِ بشكلٍ رسميٍّ واحتفاءٌ بالنجاحِ

 وفد المنتدى الاسلامي الكندي ونشطاء مع النائبين بيليس وخالد

parl-2

صدى المشرق

لم يكن الاثنين الفائت، الخامس من كانون الاول (ديسمبر) الجاري يوما عاديا، بل كان حافلا في المجلس النيابي الكندي، قُدِّمَت فيه مذكرة جديدة ضد رهاب الاسلام (مذكرة أم 103) بشكل رسمي، كما عريضة (إي 411)، وأُقيم عشاء احتفالي كبير حضره حشد وزاري ونيابي كندي من أحزاب فدرالية وشخصيات روحية وجاليوية.

وقد تحدث في  الحفل بالاضافة الى النائبين فرانك بيلز وإقرا خالد، نواب من الاحزاب المختلفة في البرلمان كرئيسة حزب الخضر السيدة اليزابيث مي، والسيدة راشل بليني عن الحزب الوطني الديمقراطي، وعضو مجلس الشيوخ

فبعد الظهر قُدِّمَت العريضة (إي 411)، التي أطلقها رئيس المنتدى الاسلامي الكندي الاستاذ سامر المجذوب، في المجلس النيابي بشكل رسمي عن طريق النائب فرانك بايلِس، وهو “اجراء بروتوكولي لا بد من القيام به” كما أفادتنا مصادر المنتدى. ثم عقد النائب بايلِس والنائب اقرأ خالد والاستاذ المجذوب والناطقة باسم المنتدى السيدة سماح جباري مؤتمرا صحافيا، طرح في خلاله الصحافيون العديد من الاسئلة حول الاسلاموفوبيا والمذكرة والخطوات المستقبلية المُقرَّر اتخاذها.

أما مساءً فحضر قرابة مئتين من الذين تعاونوا مع المنتدى الاسلامي الكندي بشكل خاص لانجاح العريضة (حضروا) إلى مبنى المجلس النيابي بدعوة من النائب فرانك بيليس والنائب إقرأ خالد للاحتفال بنجاح العريضة المناهضةِ رهابَ الاسلام، التي وقع عليها قرابة 70,000 مواطن، وللحديث عن المذكرة الجديدة المسماة أم 103.

وفي هذا الإطار، وضع النائب بايلِس سياسة واضحة لمواجهة مشكلة رهاب الاسلام في كندا، مؤكّداً ما يلي: “يتوجب على الحكومة أن تقدم اجابات واضحة في 45 يوما”، وذلك بناء على رغبة المنتدى الاسلامي الكندي والجالية الاسلامية التي تعاني من مقابلة الكثير من أفرادها بالكراهية في كندا، كما لمواجهة هذه الظاهرة التي تتعارض مع الدستور الكندي بشكل فاضح”.

وقد أُشيدَ في اللقاء بدور المنتدى بشخص رئيسه سامر المجذوب في إنجاح العريضة، وتحدث فيه ممثلون عن حزب الأحرار، بينهم الوزيرة ميلاني جولي، وعضو مجلس الشيوخ من حزب المحافظين سلمى عطا الله جان، والنائب عن الحزب الديمقراطي الجديد رايتشل بلايْني، وزعيمة الحزب الأخضر إلِزابث ماي.

عن العريضة التي قد قدّمها النائب فرانك بايلِس، قال: “لقد أيدّنا الكثير من الناس أنّى ذهبنا ورحّبوا بنا ووعدونا بالمساعدة”. وأضاف إنّه لا بدَّ من التحدث بصراحةٍ بما أنَّ من الواضح اليوم أنَّ هناك من يسعى لإظهار الآخر بمظهر الشيطان.

وقد جمعت العريضة في فترة التوقيع الممتدة على 120 يوماً بعد إطلاقها قرابةَ 2,000 توقيع في اليوم الواحد، وذلك لأن الناس كانوا يتهافتون للمشاركة، كما نالت أكبر أعداد التواقيع على العرائض الالكترونية حتى الآن، والكلام لبايلِس، الذي قال إنَّ الجاليتَين السيخية واليهودية والكنائس المسيحية، كالجالية المسلمة،  قد شاركتهم العمل.

وقد أدلى بايلِس بما يلي أيضاً: “لقد أرسلنا رسالة إلى أنحاء كندا وإلى العالم، مفادها أننا متحدون في كندا، ونحن ندين رهاب الاسلام وكل أشكال التمييز بسبب الدين”.

وعن المذكرة التي طرحتها النائب عن الحزب الليبرالي عن منطقة ميسيساغا، السيدة إقرأ خالد (وهي ستُناقَش في مطلع السنة المقبلة)، بحضور وفد من المنتدى الاسلامي الكندي، طلبت فيها إلى الحكومة الكندية التي يترأسها الحزب الليبرالي، وبناء على المذكرة التي تبناها المجلس النيابي في السادس من شهر تشرين الاول (أكتوبر) الفائت، (طلبت) إجراء دراسة معمقة عن التمييز، خاصة بالنسبة لرهاب الاسلام “الإسلاموفوبيا” وما يرتبط به من تمييز ضد مواطنين من خلفيات إسلامية، ثم إيجاد سياسات تتعامل مع حالات التمييز هذه كي يُحدَّ من أشكال التفرقة على اختلافها فيُقضى عليها.

وقالت النائب إقرأ خالد: “الإدلاء بخطابٍ ما لا يكفي، وقد أظهر فرانك (أي النائب فرانك بايلِس) مثلاً مهمًّا حقًّا في العمل المشترك لإزالة كلّ الأشكال السائدة للعنصرية والتمييز بسبب الدين. أما ما لم يُعمَل عليه بعد فهو توثيق جرائم الكراهية في كندا.

لذا ستُبنى المذكّرة في جزءٍ منها على على جمع البيانات ودراستها لاتخاذ القرارات الصائبة في ما يتعلق بكيفية عمل كل أطراف الحكومة معاً كي نتوصل إلى التوصيات الضرورية للتخلص من هذا الأمر المريع الجاري”.

بدورها، وزيرُ التراث ميلاني جولي قالت إنَّ ما تُحُدِّثَ عنه هو ما يعني المشاركة السياسية التي نادى بها رئيس الحكومة جوستان ترودو حين دعا كلّ الجاليات إلى التحرك كي لا تُستَهدَف الجالية المسلمة. وأضافت: “اليوم، كلّكم مدعاةٌ لتذكّر أهمية المشاركة في هذا النوع من العملية السياسية. نعلم أنَّ التوتر قائمٌ في مجتمعنا في ما يخصّ الوظائف والاقتصاد. ولطالما وُجِدَ التوتر والتخوّف من الآخر وممّن قد يبدو مختلفاً، لكنَّ ذلك فخٌّ لا ينبغي أن نترك بلدنا ينجرُّ إليه”.

وتابعت جولي: “على قادتنا السياسيين أن يتحرّكوا كما ينبغي في هذا الشأن، إلا أننا نحتاج إلى عمل كلّ الجاليات معاً وتعرّفها إلى بعضها البعض. فالتخوف من الآخر يزول عندما نتعرّف إليه، وهذا أمرٌ مهمٌّ فعلاً”.

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.

vandalism

 

 

 

 

 

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.