Message From Pierre Pettigrew to the Muslim Community

January 17, 2006

The following is a message received by the Muslim Council of Montreal from Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, the candidate for Papineau and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, clarifying his position in relation to issues important to the Muslim Community as a follow up to our meeting with him. Please also note that the content of the letter was approved by the Prime Minister's Office.
Please read, post and announce to members of your organisation so that our brothers and sisters would be able to consider this signed commitment when they go to the poll.

Furthermore, MCM will soon issue an election guideline for those who wish to reflect and learn more about the exchanges representatives of the community have been having with local candidates and parties spokespersons. These guidelines are very important to know the complexity of this election and its serious consequences on the Muslim Community.

I have been shocked to learn that some brothers do not wish to vote in this election. Whatever the reasons they might have (including their believe that it is against Islamic principals) please be assured that if you do not vote YOU HAVE VOTED anyway, but to the wrong choice, or to the bigger harm. Voting in the election is certainly in line with Islamic teachings of reducing the harm we will face under any consequences, voting or not. Further information will be posted.

Thanks, wa assalam
Salam Elmenyawi


Dear Mr. Elmenyawi
Please convey the following message to the Muslim Community as soon as possible:

In the numerous meetings and interactions I had with members of the Muslim community, it became apparent to me that the community is very seriously concerned about the Security Certificate and the Anti Terrorist Act.

I understand the community’s concerns and I am sensitive to the fact that individuals may have suffered as a result of these laws. Therefore, I would like to reiterate the fact that I will always stand on the side of defending the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians, that I will work within the cabinet to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law, Muslims or non-Muslims, citizens or immigrants. I will also strongly work against deporting anyone to life threatening situations.

I will raise these concerns with my fellow Parliamentarians. I will work to ensure that these laws respect Canadian values, including human rights, freedoms, and proper legal process.

Unfortunately, instances of anti-Muslim or anti-Arab sentiment in the West in the wake of September 11, have increased. I have been deeply disturbed by new expressions of hatred, whether they have been in Canada or abroad.

It is important to note that we are equally as opposed to Islamophobia as we are to anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and intolerance and we want the international community to address these challenges in a comprehensive and effective manner.

Furthermore, I will work to ensure that the Canadian vote against combating Islamophobia, at the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, will be rectified in the near future.

I would also like to assure members of the Muslim community that my office will be open to receive them and their concerns will be very seriously addressed.

Pierre Pettigrew
Candidate for Papineau