Muslim community worried by growing trends of racism and discrimination in QuebecMay 25, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, May 25th, 2009- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) expresses its concern over the recent survey released by the Association for Canadian Studies stating that 40 per cent of francophones view non-Christian immigrants as a threat to Quebec society. This number has gone up 8 per cent since 2007.
“It has been one year since the Bouchard-Taylor commission’s report was released and yet the negative sentiments against immigrants persist and are growing,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “We would hope that sentiments of tolerance, respect and understanding would be increasing in our society, but instead we seem to be moving in the opposite direction.”
The survey comes just days after vandals attacked a mosque in Dorval for the third time in under a year. Vandals defaced the outside walls of the Turkish Muslim Association of Montreal mosque with spray painted graffiti messages last week. The same mosque was also attacked this past February and June. Another mosque in the West Island was also vandalized several times last year.
“In the past few years, we are seeing repeat attacks on our mosques and Islamic schools, as well as on other religious centres, such as synagogues and temples,” Elmenyawi said. “The government and authorities must send out a strong message that there is to be zero-tolerance for all hate crimes and religious discrimination. We have had enough talk about fighting racism, now it is time to put our words into action.”
MCM suggests that the federal government initiate a countrywide education campaign to raise awareness of hate crimes, discrimination and racism within Canadian society and discuss practical solutions for eradicating these ills.
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
Fax: (514) 747-9139
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 175,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 825,000 in Canada and 1.5 billion worldwide.