Montreal Municipal Election 2013November 3, 2013
Assalamou alaikoum wa rahmatou Allahi wa barakatouh,
As you know, the municipal election is today, Nov 3rd. This time’s election was indeed a very difficult one to decide due to many factors, among which the major changes in the municipal landscape of Montreal politics the last few months alone, in fact, all major party leaders have been changed except for one in the last few months.
One other hurdle was the introduction of the Charter of Values proposal by Quebec government, which consumed everyone’s time and distracted most Montrealers from the election campaign and from shedding light on the important and priority issues Montreal politicians need to address to get our society moving in the right direction.
Alhmdou lillah, our member organizations, mosques and other institutions, met with many of the party leaders, local mayor and councillor candidates and have been able to provide us with late feedback as to their discussions.
However, we have noticed in many cases that the discussion didn’t address important issues to our community and to Montreal society as a whole such as: hate crimes, discrimination, equal opportunity employment, police performance (many changes needed,) harmonisation of the bylaws relating to zonage of religious buildings across the city of Montreal boroughs without direct or indirect discrimination, major services, establishing proper communication channels with mayor's office, fighting hate speech in the city’s airwaves and newspapers and number of other related issues.
Therefore, whatever the result of today’s election will be, we will meet with mayor, political party leaders and the chief of police to make sure concerns are well presented and explained to all concerned to devise a plan to resolve these issues with proper follow up, while building bridges of communication with the main municipal parties after the new political reality has been clarified.
Normally, MCM does not recommend or support a specific party, and due to the current political environment, and the nature of this election, we decided to propose quick guidelines for all contested positions, at the mean time accept most of the recommendations received from our members.
MCM is proposing the following guidelines for voting, if you agree with these recommendations please act on it immediately, and inform as many people as you can:
1. Voting is a MUST, if we do not vote today we help weaken our community and disenfranchise it.
2. Voting does not mean we have to vote for a specific person, our presence at the polling station is already half the work. However, if you know that there is a better candidate than the others, then it is obligatory on us to reduce the harm, as advised by Rasoul Allah (SAAW). We are not giving a proxy to someone to act on our behalf, we are actually trying to correct the choice made by others to avoid having more harm, if we can, by voting for the best candidate. (Or to give our votes to those who do not cause us harm).
3. The best Candidate should not be assessed on the bases of few visits to our mosques, personal friendships or some favours that benefit the masjid or few individuals. These are important factors for support, but it comes secondary to the bigger picture. The best Candidate is the one who benefits the Muslim Community and benefits Montreal residents at large.
4. There has been number of Muslims contesting this election, some of them may make a positive contribution to Quebec politics. Alhmdou lillah, the list is long. Therefore, please check your riding and make sure the Muslim you will pick will be beneficial to Montreal and our community and will not be someone who will use the position to harm our community or attack Islam. There are also some independent Muslim Candidates, if you know them, and you know their views to be that of the mainstream ideas, and that voting for them will not benefit the wrong side, then you may support them. Some names will be recommended below.
5. The leaders of the four parties opposed the Charter of Value. Most mayoral candidates visited our mosques and were happy to interact with Muslims. They all recognized the importance and strength of our community, and the need to pay attention to some of the problems we are facing.
Some of the recommended Candidates:
1. In Pierrefonds Sameer Zubari
2. In LaSalle:
Patrick ASCHL : maire d’arrondissement
Yousef AZZOUNI: conseiller de ville يوسف عزوني
Amir KHAN: conseiller d’arrondissement امير خان
Mody Maka BARRY: conseiller d’arrondissement
3. In St-Laurent : Alan DeSouza for mayor
Finally, we have to vote our conscious. If you need more information about your candidates or election rules please visit the following websites:
Le Directeur général des élections du Québec:
To find where to vote please visit this link and type your postal code:
Jazakoum Allah khiran, and may Allah SWT guide us all to do the best.
Wa assalam alaikoum