Are Muslims being used as ‘political footballs’ in Quebec?

MONTREAL — The Canadian Muslim Forum held a news conference on the integration of Muslims in Quebec society Friday morning.

The group told reporters that Muslims have been “used as political footballs” in recent months to gain points in opinion polls.

Kathy Malas, vice-president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, speaks to reporters at a news conference in Montreal on Friday, February 20, 2015. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press


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Last week, the Parti Québécois tabled a bill to name a special observer to study religious fundamentalism in the province. It was passed at the first reading in the National Assembly with a unanimous vote.

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READ MORE: PQ tables bill to study religious fundamentalism

The PQ’s bill intends to appoint a special observer whose job it would be to collect data on radical groups. The PQ called for a nominal vote to put the Liberals on the spot.

“If there are dissensions, let’s air them out,” said PQ House Leader Agnès Maltais on Feb. 11.

The Canadian Muslim Forum stated that public debate should not be focused on radicalization that casts Muslims as “other,” and that doing so contributes to a climate of fear and division.

Vice-president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, Kathy Malas, left to right, speaks to reporters as Sameer Zuberi, Samer Majzoub, and Samah Jabbar look on at a news conference in Montreal on Friday, February 20, 2015. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

The group cited an increase in hate speech and anti-Muslim violence as of late.

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READ MORE: Shots fired at Muslim school in NDG

“Our children are being targeted at schools because of their faith, our women in the streets are being spit at and sworn at because of their dress, our men are being deprived sometimes of jobs because of their names,” said Canadian Muslim Forum President Samer Majzoub.

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