Mohamed Kamel’s answer to Fatima Houda-Pepin
Original title: I accuse the depute Houda-Pepin of hate mongering, says Mohamed S. Kamel
April 12, 2007
Mohamed S. Kamel is a citizen of Brossard and a freelance writer, the editor of I.N. Daily and the President of the Alternative Perspective Media (APM-RAM), could be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org
I, as well as many Brossard citizens were shocked when we read that the elected La Pinière (Brossard provincial riding) MNA, Mme Houda-Pepin, did not respect the civilized tradition of thanking all electors for having voted, regardless of their vote and promising to serve all of them equally. Instead she labelled Brossard’s Muslims as “islamistes radicaux”, promoting hate and trying to divide Brossard residence into two categories, those that are with her and those against her, a “Bush Tradition”; denying some of us the right to practice democracy and freedom of speech, as if we are second class citizens.
In a democratic society as ours, we are used to people that respect each other’s point of view and accept that every single person has the right to practice their democratic right as well as freedom of speech. However, after 9-11, things changed, and everyone looking for cheap success found an easy way. They started targeting Muslims, in what is known as Islamophobia. Such islamophibic propaganda tries to make it acceptable to attack Muslims by claiming to only attack an extremist subset; when in reality it is attacking all Muslims that share a different opinion. This was not possible before George Bush’s philosophy of “either with me or against me”. It is the same philosophy that classifies people of differing opinions as either good or evil, in order to ensure that the entire society lives in fear.
The hateful article/interview with the aforementioned MNA by Michelle Tremblay, added insult to injury with the title “La Victoire de Fatima Houda-Pepin sur les islamistes radicaux” published in the Weekly “Brossard Éclair” on Wednesday, April 4th. The article’s title misleads one to believe that there was a Brossard candidate running against make-believe extremist Muslims, when in fact, it is all just a cover for a much bigger hidden agenda. Are we supposed to believe that a candidate in Brossard would run solely to defeat the so called extremists that live in our city?
I have a hard time believing that a long time MNA is unable to define and chose respectful words that do not promote hatred towards a particular group. Actually, not just any group, a group has been targeted unfairly over and over again for the way they dress, for what they eat and for much more, due to this type of hate propaganda.
I doubt that a person in her position is unable to realise that what they are doing is hate propaganda, which could not only affect the social harmony of Brossard but that of Québec as a whole. Nonetheless, I am sure that Brossard’s society and residents are mature enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. Furthermore, that they will not fall for this type of cheap talk and hate propaganda.
Doesn’t she know that this kind of hate propaganda is endangering the wellbeing of Brossard’s children, our future? I believe that both Brossard and Quebec politicians and journalists should spend more time uniting its citizens from all backgrounds to face the real dangers and threats facing us, such as environmental disaster, long hospital waiting times, deterioration of the education services and facilities.
Yes, I among other Brossard citizen opposed the re-election of the said MNA; is it not our right? I never expected her to be unseated this election, but elections are about ideas and all citizen have the right, individually or collectively, to participate in this great democratic process without being targeted or labelled as Mme Houda-Pepin did. When I did that, I did it on my own capacity, practicing my rights as a full Brossard citizen, and not as the spokesperson of a nationally respected Muslim association, the Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF). The CMF is a well established association that works towards the integration of Muslims within the Québec society. It is also a member of many NGOs, and has very good relations with all provincial and federal Political parties. I do not know why she mentioned the CMF by name. Does it not demonstrate an agenda loaded with hate promotion?
The only thing Mme Houda-Pepin succeeded at doing through this interview was proving my point of view, that she is not fit to represent all Brossard citizens and that she is there for her own personal agenda. The question here is directed at M. Charest. Does he adhere to her agenda or is he the Prime Minster of all Quebecers? He is the only one, who could and should answer this question.
The ball now is in the Brossard’s politician and Mr. Charest’s court. The question is where do they stand from this hate propaganda?