Muslim community disagrees with Angus Reid poll over national support for niqab banMarch 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, March 27th, 2010- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) finds the recent Angus Reid poll indicating the general support of Canadians for Bill 94 to be misleading and reintegrates the need for more balanced and informed discussion on the matter.
“This poll is hardly accurate of the views of all Canadians, as it would suggest that the majority of Canadians are against the values of our Charter,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “From the beginning, a rationed, reasonable discussion over the issue of the niqab has been forgone in favour of a emotionally charged hysterical debate that lacks the basic facts and information. The niqab is being presented as a symbol of oppression and radicalism, which is naturally turning people away from it and not allowing them the opportunity to understand anything substantial about what it really is, as well as diverting their attention away from the real question.”
“It would be interesting to see how many of those who voted in favour of the ban have actually ever interacted with a woman in niqab, so they could try to form an informed opinion based on their true experiences, as opposed to based on the stereotypes being propagated all around us,” Elmenyawi added.
According to the poll, 95% of polled Quebecers were in support of the Bill, with an average of 75% of the rest of Canadians approving of it. The poll was conducted among 1,004 adults online on Thursday and Friday.
“Bill 94 represents a bleak time for Quebec and Canada both, a period where the government legislates discrimination against religious minorities and xenophobia triumphs over tolerance,” Elmenyawi said. “This isn’t an issue of whether someone is in favour of the niqab or not, rather whether we will support freedom of religion and freedom of expression, or will we abandon our Charter for more draconian measures and state interference.”
The proposed provincial law bans the wearing of the niqab for all those delivering or receiving governmental services, including government offices, hospitals, schools, daycares and other publicly funded institutions.
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 200,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 900,000 in Canada and 1.7 billion worldwide.