“We are a testament to their failures” (DATE DE PARUTION 16 OCTOBRE 2008)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

Three Canadian Muslims took a stand earlier this month against the extremist branches of their religion and appealed for Quebecers to stand up for their secular values.

Speakers Tarek Fatah, Raheel Raza and Salim Mansur all share the dubious distinction of being the subject of a Fatwah, an Islamist bounty on their heads, for having spoken out against extremists. What they also have in common is their fearlessness, their perseverance and their willingness to wear the Fatwah as a badge of honour.

islamist-talk---delmarbw.jpg“Islam seeks to intimidate or eliminate any Muslim who seeks to oppose Islamist inquisition,” said Mansur, a political science professor at the University of Western Ontario. “I am Muslim, as are my colleagues on this panel, but I am a Canadian. Islam is my faith, my pride my conscience…but it doesn’t take precedence over my duties and obligations as a citizen of a free society.”

Mansur helped make the crucial distinction between those who practice Islam and Islamists: The former are law-abiding citizens who hold personal religious beliefs and the latter, loosely defined, are extremists who transform those religious beliefs into a political ideology they hope to impose on Infidels, non-believers.

The conference, organized by anti-Islamist group Point de Bascule, comes before a federal election where a Muslim woman, who wears a headscarf and supports a form of Sharia Law, is running for the New Democratic Party in the east end riding of Bourassa. Samira Laouni told The Metroplitain that “if there was Sharia from the era of the Prophet - may peace and salvation be upon him - then I would say that the entire world would exist in peace.”

“She is playing the victim,” said Fatah, author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State. “She doesn’t represent the face of diversity. She represents the face of oppression.”

Before The Métropolitain’s interview with Laouni, she spoke with radio talk-show host Benoît Dutrizac and told him that she had never met an Islamist, despite having worked for the Canadian Islamic Congress; an organization that has been known to give radical Muslims a platform. After asking some tough questions about her beliefs, complaints of racism poured into the 98.5 fm studios, most notably from the Canada-Arab Federation and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

A Muslim woman who said she supported both Laouni and Hezbollah sparked a tense debate at the conference and faced Fatah’s wrath.

“We fought for civil rights and for equality, not to push women to the back (of the Mosque),” he said. “They are second-class citizens. You (the Muslim woman in the audience) are causing a problem for the Muslim community. You are the reason why there is so-called ‘Islamophobia.’”

On Elections Canada allowing veiled Muslim women to vote without revealing their faces, Raza asked, “are we now living in the Islamic Republic of Canada, where women can where masks?”

Author of Their Jihad…Not My Jihad, Raza is a feminist and a “proud recipient of a Fatwah” for having the gall to leading mixed-gender prayers in Toronto. She said an Islamist website has her ranked as they fifth most hated Muslim on earth and “my aim is to become number one.”

Though the three speakers put on an air of bravery, audience members were openly fearful of the perceived Islamist threat to Canadian democracy. Most were middle-aged, white Francophones and some said they struggled with the delicate balance between defending secular values and not being labelled a racist.

“I want to live in a place where the melting pot works,” said Pierre Trudel. “What can we do to avoid this threat?”

Mansur’s response to the question was that, in the immediate future, to ensure that Laouni is not elected. ~DD


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