Recent Coverage


New guidelines not enough to fix Quebec’s face-covering ban, lawyer says

By Jonathan Montpetit CBC News | May 12, 2018 Quebec's new guidelines on religious accommodation have failed to ease concerns about whether Muslim women will be able to access public services — such as riding a bus — if they wear a niqab or burka. The guidelines were released earlier this week, and are meant to become part of a law that requires Quebecers to leave their faces uncovered in order to give or receive public services. They state that exemptions to the law can only be granted on religious grounds if the demand is serious, doesn't violate the ...

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Should Quebec City mosque killer Alexandre Bissonnette have been charged with terrorism?

By Graeme Hamilton National Post | April 17, 2018 MONTREAL – It was a carefully planned assault on a Muslim place of worship triggered — the attacker acknowledged to police — by news that Canada was prepared to accept more refugees from Muslim countries. Evidence drawn from the assailant’s computer revealed his keen interest in right-wing commentators and conspiracy theorists and an apparent obsession with white-supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof. As evidence of what motivated Alexandre Bissonnette to open fire inside a Quebec City mosque on Jan. 29, ...

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Proposed police uniform changes set off alarm bells in Quebec

Montreal politician’s call to adapt city’s police uniform for Sikh and Muslim officers is reviving a long-running debate in Quebec over the reasonable accommodation of religious minorities By Allan Woods Toronto Star | April 4, 2018 MONTREAL — Suggestions the Montreal Police should change its uniform to accommodate Sikh and Muslim officers have stoked the embers of a fiery debate in Quebec. Montreal politician Marvin Rotrand is urging the city to allow Sikh cops to wear turbans and Muslim officers to wear hijabs while on duty in order to attract more ...

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Quebec mosque shooting suspect Alexandre Bissonnette pleads guilty

By Les Perreaux The Globe and Mail | March 28, 2018 In the 48 hours after Alexandre Bissonnette stood in court to own up to the mass murder of six Muslim worshippers, a bloody act that showed Canadians an unexpected face of extremism, a question was asked repeatedly among the small group of people who knew about the plea, including the judge: Why would he admit guilt now? The scene in the cavernous Quebec City courtroom on Wednesday where dozens of bereaved and healing Muslims filled the room with dignified calm and sadness, some taking a moment to comfort Mr. ...

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Mosque shooting: Relief at the guilty verdict, but the grief remains strong

Montreal Gazette | March 28, 2018 QUEBEC — For the Muslim community in Quebec City and the families of the many victims, Alexandre Bissonnette’s guilty pleas brought a measure of relief Wednesday. But for most in the courtroom, many of whom broke into tears as the names of their loved ones were read out, the grief of loss remains deep. Added to that pain was their frustration that the motivation behind Bissonnette’s crimes remain unclear, and his declaration that his crimes were not motivated by Islamophobia. “It’s a relief that we avoided a long court ...

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Letter: Neither censorship nor hate is acceptable

Vancouver Sun | March 2, 2018 Re: Criticism of religious groups is good for religion, Opinion, Feb. 12. David Haskell’s recent piece misrepresents positions taken by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). The NCCM in no way seeks to shield the Islamic faith, or any other belief system, from criticism. Moreover, the NCCM didn’t endorse the initial definition of Islamophobia used by the Toronto District School Board in its educator’s guidebook. In fact, our organization advised that the definition used by the Ontario Human Rights Commission should be ...

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Parents, Muslim group welcome budget’s $81 million for federal no-fly fixes

By Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press | February 28, 2018 OTTAWA — Parents of young children and a national Muslim group are welcoming a federal budget commitment to address fairness and privacy concerns with Canada’s no-fly list. The budget sets aside $81.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $14 million a year ongoing, to remake the much-maligned no-fly program. The money will go to the Canada Border Services Agency, Public Safety and Transport Canada. Families from the group known as the No Fly List Kids successfully pressed the government to ...

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Fundraiser for Quebec man paralyzed in mosque shooting reaches $400,000 goal

By Morgan Lowrie The Canadian Press | February 9, 2018 MONTREAL – A fundraiser launched to help finance a new home for a man paralyzed in last year’s Quebec City mosque shooting surpassed its $400,000 goal on Friday. Aymen Derbali, a father of three, lost the use of his legs when a shooter opened fire in the mosque on Jan. 29, 2017, killing six and seriously injuring five. Witnesses have said Derbali took seven bullets as he tried to get the gunman’s attention in order to help others flee. Canadian Muslim organization, DawaNet, launched the fundraiser in ...

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Opposition to anti-Islamophobia proposal proves its merits

As with last year’s absurd debate over M-103, the federal anti-Islamophobia motion, the opposition to a National Council of Canadian Muslims’ proposal appears to be a proxy for, or an attempt to pander to, more disturbing views. By Editorial Board Toronto Star | January 11, 2018 The Quebec politicians now fighting against a proposal to commemorate last year’s massacre of six Muslim men at a Quebec City mosque as an annual day of action against Islamophobia provide clear proof of the idea’s merit. As with last year’s absurd debate over M-103, the ...

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While Quebec Muslims mourn, politicians play word games

By Editorial Board The Globe and Mail | January 10, 2018 Linguists call it semantic change, whereby a word evolves to represent something other than its original meaning. An obvious example from our current political discourse is "Islamophobia." It's a noun, and not an especially inventive one, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force." Sounds straightforward enough, until someone asks the Coalition Avenir Québec, currently leading the polls ahead of next fall's Quebec provin...

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