Open letter from Muslim Council of Montreal to MNA Ms. Monique Richard

December 6, 2010

December 6th, 2010

Dear Ms. Richard,

On behalf of the Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM), I would like to thank you for your commitment to preserving the values and ideals of Quebec, which is something we all hold dear. However, we believe that your recent comments against the Dar Al Iman School’s eligibility for government subsidies go against these very values that you are supposed to be upholding, and serve no purpose except to increase sentiments of prejudice and discrimination against the Quebec Muslim communities.

Your comments, not backed with substantial evidence, deny the school their right to due process and label them as guilty by means of alleged association. In doing so, you have wronged not only the school itself, but also the parents, students and teachers of the school and you have singled them all out for attack, when in fact they are all tax paying, law abiding, contributing members of Quebec society, sharing the same values and ideals as the rest of society.

Such accusations against the school lack the required objectivity and evidence to adequately assess the situation. This attack against the school is based on the emotional rhetoric of those with a specific agenda to marginalize the Muslim community and negate its contribution to the wider Quebec society. The Dar Al Iman School follows the curriculum set by the Quebec Ministry of Education, with the addition of Arabic language, morality and religious studies lessons, and has been eligible for state funding since the 2006-07 academic year. The school has nothing to hide and is open to a transparent and balanced assessment, should you wish to explore the issue properly. If you have any evidence of any organization engaging in wrong doing, then that should be brought forward, instead of merely passing along rumors and accusations. Such an approach to investigating the facts is more productive than the haphazard use of labels and fixing blame without any evidence.

In closing, please remember that an elected member of the National Assembly of Quebec, you are called to represent all citizens of Quebec, regardless of their gender, colour, ethnicity, faith or socioeconomic background. Your duty to your government and to your nation calls on you to safeguard the rights and liberties of all those you speak on behalf of and to work with all communities towards securing a united, prosperous future for Quebec, built upon justice, equality and social harmony for all.



Salam Elmenyawi

Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)

Ph.: (514) 748-8427




The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 225,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,000,000 in Canada and 1.7 billion worldwide.