Letter by Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations and individuals opposing Quebec National Assembly’s anti-sharia resolution
Version française ICI
The Gazette, September 15, 2005, p. A23
Also on CAIR website: http://www.caircan.ca/itn_more.php?id=A1972_0_2_0_M
Original title (The Gazette): Assembly should repeal resolution against sharia
Original title (CAIR website): CAIR-CAN demands withdrawal of Quebec resolution banning Islamic arbitration
We are Quebecers, men and women of diverse ethnic origins and religious beliefs, who stand united against injustice and discrimination. Our attachment to this country and to its civic values explains our dismay at the resolution on Islamic courts adopted by the National Assembly on May 26.
In the name of the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we condemn this motion that singles out citizens of the Muslim faith and thus discriminates against their religion. We demand its withdrawal.
In 1832, led by the Patriotes and by Louis-Joseph Papineau, the forerunner of today’s National Assembly defied the prevailing prejudices of the British Empire and adopted legislation granting full emancipation to the Jewish community, 25 years before similar measures were adopted in England. Today, this proud tradition of promoting rights and freedoms has been broken.
During the National Assembly debate, MNAs cast aspersions on the Muslim community by claiming that radical groups exist within it, but without indicating clearly what they were talking about. These accusations were as gratuitous as they are dangerous. Who were they aimed at?
We don’t want to debate the question of “Islamic courts,” or that of faith-based arbitration here. If such a debate is to take place, we will take positions based on our interpretation of the interests of Quebec society as a whole, and of the needs of our ethnic or religious communities. Such a debate must be fair and honest and permit all viewpoints to be expressed. This is why we remind the media of their civic responsibilities. We believe that journalists cannot, without betraying their duty, continue to pay heed only to those who are prepared to say what their hosts wish to hear.
Given that religious arbitration is already not allowed by Quebec law, the resolution is hardly calculated to make Muslim citizens feel at ease. These are people who, to the best of their ability, are attempting to become part of Quebec society while remaining faithful to their beliefs.
We call on Quebec civil society to condemn this National Assembly resolution as discriminatory against the principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the values of justice and dignity.
Whether atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Muslims, we invite our fellow citizens to call for the withdrawal of this motion.
It is time to return to the universal values of openness, justice and equality that are the hallmarks of Quebec society, and put aside the rhetoric of fear and suspicion.