A Movable Feast

A week ago we reported that a conference in Quebec for Muslim youth organized by a group called “Collectif Indépendance” had been cancelled, due to security concerns. The event was originally scheduled to take place at the Palais des congrès, a convention center in downtown Montreal, but was pulled at the last minute.

Now it turns out that Collectif Indépendance was able to move the venue to a nearby mosque, and the conference went ahead on schedule.

A reminder: the security threat was alleged to be posed by demonstrators who were expected to gather to protest the associations — including the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim World League — of the organizers of the event.

Update: Vlad Tepes has uploaded a video of the news report:

Here’s the story from CTV News Montreal:

Muslim Conference Goes on at Nearby Mosque After Palais Des Congres Cancellation

MONTREAL – A Muslim conference that was cancelled last week after the PQ government objected to the participation of four speakers invited from France was held anyway Sunday at a downtown mosque.

The conference, entitled Between Heaven and Earth, was to take place at the Palais des congres convention centre in downtown Montreal on September 7 and 8. It was instead held at the Al-Omah Al-Islamiah Mosque on St-Dominique St.

About 100 people attended the conference at the new location, where organizers wouldn’t comment to media, but several participants told CTV Montreal they felt it was unfair the event was initially cancelled. They said they did not feel there was anything extremist about the nature of the conference.

About 1,000 to 2,000 people were expected to attend the event at the Palais des congres, which the convention centre cancelled last Saturday due to security concerns after some groups threatened to protest against the event.

A protest planned for Sunday evening outside the mosque on St. Dominique brought out two people.

CTV Montreal reporter Kevin Gallagher attended a session where speakers discussed how to be a good Muslim; giving examples of donating to charity and being kind to neighbours.

The Independence Collective, which had organized the event, held a press conference last Friday to defend itself against charges of embracing a radical view of Islam and denounced what they said was a vilification campaign against the event.

The speakers from France slated to address the conference included Mohamed Francois, president of the Information Culte Musulman, Farid Mounir, President of the Islamic Sociocultural Centre, Nader Abou Anas, president of the D’CLIC Association and Mohammed Patel an expert on legalities of Islamic finance.

The four are experienced speakers who frequently address Muslim crowds and many of their speeches can be seen on YouTube.

The Quebec authorities objected to some of their ideas, which include a critique of what they consider the sometimes too-liberal clothing habits of western women.

One speaker, Nader About Anas, had previously said that women are “servants of Allah” and are “not free to do what they want in this world.”

Agnes Maltais, the provincial minister in charge of women’s affairs wrote to her federal counterpart Kelly Leich on August 21, asking her to “take the measures necessary to avoid the propagation of dialogue unacceptable to Quebec women.”

Gallagher noted Sunday that the room was divided by gender, with the men in front, near the speakers, then a rope divider, and women at the rear of the room. Women were dressed in traditional burkas and headscarves, whereas some men were dressed in casual wear, including jeans. Women attending the conference told Gallagher, however, they felt they were always treated as equals.

Federal public safety minister Steve Blainey said last week that several federal departments had been looking into the case and that the Canadian Embassy in Paris had been researching the background of the speakers.

For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

Hat tip: JP.

3 thoughts on “A Movable Feast

  1. This is one of those issues that ordinarily gets polarized into two groups of people who both hate freedom.

    On the one hand you have the group that hates leaving people free to determine their own actions. Then in “opposition” you have another group that hates having people be free to experience the outcomes of their actions.

    Always left out are the people who advocate leaving people free to act, with the understanding that the whole point is for them to use their actions to select their outcomes.

    Women should be allowed to wear whatever clothes they wish. And they should in turn accept that how they dress has a significant impact on how others view and treat them. This is why it is important for them to be free to choose how they will dress, because they are the ones that will experience the consequences. If women dress like cheap whores, they’ll attract the sort of man who is looking for a cheap whore, and repel the sort of man who does not want a cheap whore. That doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t be allowed to dress like cheap whores if that’s what they want. Because there are always lots of men that are going to treat women like cheap whores anyway, so they might as well be allowed to easily find those women who choose to be treated that way.

    Men should be free to choose to treat women like cheap whores, as long as they are willing to then be treated like a whoremonger who is unfit for public or private trust. Of course, adhering to these simple and obvious principles of freedom would cause the sudden ejection of most of our social/political/economic leaders from their current positions, but I fail to see how that is a bad thing.

  2. Kevin Gallagher, CTV News Montreal says:

    “…There were about a hundred people inside the mosque, men and women, they were divided on either side of the room, men at the front near the speaker, women at the back behind a rope, most of the women, all of the women I should say, were wearing hijabs or burkas, now the speaker really had a message of peace and serenity, and also you know, giving to charity, and that makes a good muslim, and those sort of things, so really not the controversial statements that we have heard so many people say, here at the conference say, that this is part of the example of how they have been judged unfairly.”

    Finally, an honest portrayal of Islam. Islam is really about peace and serenity and giving to charity. Forget about the men at the front and the women behind the rope part. Forget about death to apostates and homosexuals. Forget about the subjugation of infidels, and beheadings on the streets of London.

    Islam is about peace, serenity and uh… charity. This has been a Public Service Announcement from CTV News Montreal. And pick up that can citizen.

  3. Hmmm, curious words from a professional reporter. He doesn’t get to hear the speakers that everyone is concerned about, but he is allowed in and given controlled exposure to a speaker of their choice, and all he hears about is Kumbaya. Then at the end of his summary he sums up with a definitive value judgement: “…they have been judged — unfairly.”

    Journalism is dead.

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