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Muslims wish religious freedoms weren’t an election issue

MONTREAL — Marwa Abozed is very concerned about what she fears is a culture of growing intolerance towards Muslims.

“We are very sorry for this,” she said, in reference to an alleged attack against a pregnant Muslim woman when her hijab – or head scarf – was pulled off by two adolescents.

Abozed said acts of discrimination are becoming more common.

She said her own daughter was a target.

“Sometimes when she takes the bus, the bus driver was not so friendly with her, speak tough with her,” she said.

Abozed added she felt it was because she was wearing a hijab.

In a show of solidarity, Quebec’s immigration minister endorsed a motion by Quebec Solidaire to denounce Islamophobia in the National Assembly.

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The motion passed unanimously.

“I couldn’t resist the invitation,” Kathleen Weil said.

“When they asked me to join them I couldn’t resist the invitation.”

The debate over religious freedoms is becoming a major issue in the federal election.

The Conservative party passed a law in 2011 banning women from wearing niqabs or veils while being sworn in during public citizenship ceremonies.

The law was struck down by a federal court.

The Conservatives are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Canadian Muslim Forum is discouraged by all the negative attention surrounding niqabs and hijabs.

They call it an election ploy to win votes.

“I know elections is a very hot subject and I know every politician would like to use all weapons on hand to really earn votes,” said Samer Majzoub, the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum.

“But it’s so sad, so outrageous, so frustrated by creating hatred and discrimination they think or they assume that they will win the election.”