Muslim Council of Montreal calls for renewed efforts and action to eliminate racism, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 20, 2012

Montreal, Quebec, March 20th, 2012- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) calls on all Canadians to renew their commitment to fighting racial discrimination, in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st.

“Although the most overt manifestations of racist laws and practices, such as slavery, the apartheid system in South Africa and discriminatory immigration laws, have long been dismantled and abolished, racism still remains a very serious and real problem in Quebec, Canada and all around the world,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “Hate, discrimination, xenophobia and racial profiling continue to plague our societies and only by standing together against such unacceptable behaviour and speaking in one voice against it can we begin to work towards eliminating it.”

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually around the world on March 21st. It was on this day in 1960 that police in Sharpeville, South Africa killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws.” The Day was officially proclaimed in 1966, after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

“As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’”, Elmenyawi said. “It is our collective duty, as members of our communities, countries and as citizens of the world, to promote and preserve this ideal. We especially call upon our politicians and elected representatives in Quebec, to respect and uphold these values and commit themselves to working towards social harmony and justice and putting an end to the unjust targeting of minority and ethnic communities, which only serves to create division, intolerance and hate.”

MCM will be participating at a ceremony marking the Day at the Montreal City Hall on March 21st, 2012.   


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 275,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,200,000 in Canada and 1.9 billion worldwide.