Refusing Intolerance in Quebec.

December 1st, 2007 | Posted in Lebanon, Quebec, Religion, Tadamon!, Politics, Repression, Resistance
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    Press Release: November 20th, 2007.

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    Photo: CBC. RIQ Network launches actions to challenge the
    biased debate on ‘reasonable accommodation’

MONTREAL: As the hearings of the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences approach their final stage, the group ‘Rejetons l’intolérance au Québec’ (RIQ) calls on the Bouchard-Taylor Commission and Quebec society to tackle the causes of the current, biased ‘reasonable accommodation’ debate and to challenge its foundations in political opportunism.

RIQ demands that the Commission send a strong message opposing all forms of racism, islamophobia, and xenophobia and embrace the efforts of marginalized communities to be treated with respect and fairness.

“Reasonable accommodation should begin with the rights of workers. Accommodating reasonably implies the protection of basic rights, decent wages, rapid recognition of credentials, and terminating ‘guest worker’ programs that deny rights,” said Anna Purna Malla.

“This is a constructed debate. It is of particular concern that few appear to have clean hands; have any of the major political parties in Québec shown themselves to be above manipulating ‘reasonable accommodation’ for their own interests? It seems that excluding particular groups to gain or retain power has a long tradition in Quebec, especially where language and religion are concerned. This might be a classic strategy, but it will never be a winning formula. We need to develop ways of living together in mutual respect and equality, and to challenge the intolerance that is preventing these relations from being developed,” said Carmen Chouinard.

“Much of the mainstream media focuses on the inflammatory, racist and ignorant comments of politicians and groups that use false arguments of secularism and feminism to advance exclusionary agendas, while giving little air time to those who challenge the basic assumptions of the debate,” according to Nazila Bettache. “For example, in all of this debate, it is forgotten that, in relation to indigenous people, everyone else is an immigrant,” she noted.

“The debates over wearing hijab, turban, or kippa and religious displays in public spaces too often cloud a latent racism and patriarchy in our society. These are important issues that all Quebecers should be tackling. Instead, a valuable opportunity for meaningful public debate is being squandered,” said May Haydar.

RIQ is a network to coordinate initiatives of a broad spectrum of groups, organizations, and individuals in the Montreal area opposed to the racist assumptions, the political manipulation, and the media sensationalization of the ‘reasonable accommodation’ debate.. The RIQ network is inclusive of diverse perspectives and strategies; members of RIQ respect each other’s democratic right to express our shared opposition to racism in different ways.

Rejettons l’intolérance au Québec/Refusing Intolerance in Québec (RIQ) is a network to coordinate the diverse initiatives of community groups, organizations, and individuals opposed to the racist and neo-colonialist assumptions that are at the base of the ‘reasonable accommodation’ debate. RIQ stands to challenge politicians, members of the media and the general public to reject the racist social assumptions that resulted in the ‘reasonable accommodation’ debate.

    Members of the RIQ network include:

    Al-Hawraa Zeinab Foundation
    Al-Hidaya Association
    Al-Karbalaiya
    Al-Khoei Foundation
    Al-Rissala Libano-Canadien Association
    Al-Zahraa Foundation
    Association des Jeunes Libanais Musulman
    Canadian Islamic Congress
    Centre Communautaire Musulman de Montreal
    Centre Islamic Libanais
    Group of Five
    Imam Hussain Foundation
    Immigrant Worker Center
    Muslim Youth of Montreal
    No One Is Illegat
    Tadamon!
    The Truth Bulletin

    Endorsed by:

    Canadian Arab Federation
    Muslim Council of Montreal

4 Comments »

Salam,je m appelle Mr Fennouny Aziz president de Dialogue et solidarite,un organisme communautaire qui travaille pour les immigrants en leur offrant des services pour une meilleur integration,rattrapage scolaire,langues etrangeres ,acceuil et orientation des nnouveaux arrivant,de meme il est implique dans plusieurs problemes qui touchent les immigrant,membre actif dans la com pour abolir le certificat de securite et autresprojets.
Je propose de contribuer dans votre cologue en participant avec vous pour certains ateliers.Mes coord:514 245 4449.
Recevez l assurance de nos meilleurs salutations.

Comment by Fennouny Aziz Dialogue et solidarite — December 4th, 2007 @ 2:06 PM

The network does not support all points of view though

Comment by News — February 26th, 2008 @ 11:49 PM

Network in Quebec involves those attempting to combat racism in the province in the context of the current debate on ‘reasonable accommodation’. A ‘debate’ that at it’s root is fundamentally racist, as the recent state-run commission essentially put the cultural and religious practices of immigrant communities on trial…

Comment by Stefan Christoff — February 27th, 2008 @ 1:16 AM

I am an orthodox Jew and wonder why you guys haven’t teamed up with Jewish organisations on this subject. your list only shows muslim organisations!
Being a tolerant person and for inter-faith relations, I wonder why Jews and Muslims can’t work together on such occassions. I know we have our differences, but then again we have so much in common!

Comment by Mordechai — November 3rd, 2009 @ 6:23 PM

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