One thing that went unnoticed and unreported in the anglophone press, was the Quebec Muslim's community's letters of support of Gilles Duceppe printed in both the Le Devoir and LA Presse.
We, Quebeckers of Arab origin and Muslim confession, on this day of Ramadan, congratulate with great pleasure and honour the leader of the Bloc Quebecois....A man of integrity and national aspiration, Duceppe vigorously defends the interests of Quebec in the Canadian Parliament and calls for authorities to safeguard the cultural and francophone character of Quebec society.....We support the political interventions of Mr. Duceppe in support of a Quebec's culture, its language and its model of coexistence.....For us, Gilles Duceppe is an example of a politician committed to defending the principles of equality, social justice and the fight against intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
Dr Mohamad Sawan, O.Q., président du comité exécutif, Centre islamique libanais.
Dr Bachar El Solh, président, Fédération des Canadiens musulma ns, qui regroupe les associations suivantes: Association musulmane de Montréal-Nord (AMMN); Centre culturel islamique Ach-Choura (CCI Ach-Choura); Centre islamique BADR; Centre islamique Sainte-Rose (Centre Kawtar Laval); Mosquée Montréal (MM); Regroupement des Algériens du Canada (RAC); Regroupement des Marocains au Canada (RMC). Bassam Hussein, vice-président, Association El-Hidaya.
Samer Majzoub, président, Forum canadien musulman (FMC-CMF), qui représente les organismes suivants: Association communautaire AlHijrah (ACA); Association musulmane du Canada (MAC-Québec); Centre culturel musulman de Brossard (CCMB); Centre culturel musulman de Montréal (CCMM); Comité de la femme musulmane canadienne (CFMC-CMWC); Congrès islamique canadien (CIC- Québec); Mosquée Al-Rawdah; Regard Alternative Media (APM-RAM); Scout musulman canadien.
Ehab Lotayef, vice-président, Parole arabe.
Mohamed Sherif Kamel, Comité de coordination de CJPP, collectif Échec à la guerre.
Mohamed Habib Marzouqi, président, Centre culturel Abou-Baker.
Mohamed Zrig, secrétaire général, Association des droits de la personne au Maghreb.
On this day of Ramadan, we congratulate, with great pleasure and honour the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe, on the 20th anniversary of his election as MP in the House of Commons.
A man of integrity and national aspiration, Duceppe vigorously defends the interests of Quebec in the Canadian Parliament and calls for authorities to safeguard the cultural and francophone character of Quebec society.....
We support the political interventions of Mr. Duceppe in support of a Quebec's culture, its language and its model of coexistence.....
For us, Gilles Duceppe is an example of a politician committed to defending the principles of equality, social justice and the fight against intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
* Les signataires de la lettre:Mohamad Sawan, président du comité exécutif, Centre islamique libanais; Bachar El Solh, président, Fédération des Canadiens musulmans; Bassam Hussein, vice-président, Association El-Hidaya; Samer Majzoub, président, Forum canadien musulman (FMC-CMF) et Ehab Lotayef, vice-Président, Parole arabe.While most of the signatories represent Muslim Arabs of French extraction, some are associated with Canadian National organizations which poses the question as to whether these letters of support represent national policy.
I think not. One of the national organizations mentioned as a signatory doesn't even have a French web site! Link
It seems that the Quebec wing is running amok. (like the NDP Quebec wing, many moons ago)
At any rate, Canadian Muslims have always been generally bad at public relations, their representative organizations and lobby groups doing little to promote the image of modern Muslims integrated into Canadian society. The general perception of Canadians from coast to coast is that Muslims are outsiders, unwilling to integrate in Canadian society, whether it is true or not.
It's surprising that Muslims with all their image problems haven't created an anti-defamation league as the Jews and the Italians did in relation to their own particular image problems. Heavens knows the Muslims can use such an advocacy group!
It seems that Muslims in the USA are no smarter and suffer the same poor image and do public relations as poorly as their cousins in Canada. The latest bugaboo is the building of a large mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Nobody denies their constitutional right to do so, but you'd think they'd have better sense. It seems like a provocation that the community could do without. Sometimes, self-inflicted wounds are the worst.
The rationale behind the support for Gilles Duceppe by these Muslim organizations is his position in favour of 'open secularism' in Quebec, which basically allows for the burqa and such. This policy is directly at odds with the Parti Quebecois' position and Richard Martineau in Journal de Montreal blasts Duceppe for taking a public position at odds with that of the PQ, something the two parties agreed not to do.
But backing Duceppe is a no/win gambit for Muslims.
Unless Mr. Duceppe becomes head of the PQ (which is a possibility) he may talk a good a game, but ultimately can deliver nothing.
Backing the wrong horse will not endear Muslims to Canadian federalists, the only group that can truly offer them serious and meaningful support.
If they think sovereignists are in their corner, they are sorely mistaken. No political constituency is less sympathetic to their cause. A few kind words from Duceppe won't change the fact that Quebec nationalists want to do away with religion in public.
Gilles Duceppe is in the position to promises all things to all people, he will never be in power. Supporting Duceppe is like supporting the Tooth Fairy, an illusion. Better to remember that it's your parents who put money under your pillow.
Muslims should pray to Allah that the federalists stay in power.
Flirting with Gilles Duceppe is a recipe for disaster.