A Balance Between Openness and Vigilance

A culture-enriching “Canadian” named Hamza Chaoui jumped the gun a little bit and announced the opening of his new mosque in Montreal before the permit for it had actually been approved by borough authorities. Yesterday Montreal city officials — perhaps influenced by last month’s deadly jihad incidents in Paris — announced that the permit for the mosque has been denied.

As it happens, Mr. Chaoui used to preach at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu mosque, the same mosque attended by Ahmad Rouleau, a.k.a. Martin Couture-Rouleau, who ran over and killed warrant officer Patrice Vincent last October. He was also the leader of a Muslim association at Laval University, one of whose members, Chiheb Esseghaier, has been charged in a plot to derail a Via Rail train.

But those are just individual lone wolves, and we should not judge an entire religion based on their aberrant deeds. Especially when those deeds have nothing to do with Islam.

The video below shows Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre speaking at a press conference yesterday about Mr. Chaoui and his would-be mosque. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Below are excerpts from an article on the same topic from The National Post:

Anti-Democracy Imam Gets Cold Reception From Politicians Over Montreal Community Centre Plan

MONTREAL — A controversial imam who preaches that democracy and Islam are incompatible should think twice before trying to set up an Islamic youth centre in Montreal, politicians warn.

“I am against all forms of radicalism,” Mayor Denis Coderre said in response to news reports that Hamza Chaoui wants to open the Ashabeb community centre in Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough next month.

Mr. Coderre, who met with spiritual leaders Wednesday in hopes of fostering dialogue in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, said he will consult with borough mayor Réal Ménard about the plan.

But Montreal’s mayor said he rejects Mr. Chaoui’s rigid views on democracy and homosexuality, and his suggestion that democracy and Islam are antithetical. “That is not the message of the Qur’an.”…

Video transcript:

4:06   Thank you so much, Réal [Ménard].
4:10   You know, ladies and gentlemen, I have a responsibility towards my citizens.
4:14   I need to ensure a climate of peace, while respecting the rights of each individual.
4:22   It is clear today that what is at stake is not an issue of freedom of speech.
4:30   I said from the beginning that we require a balance between openness and vigilance.
4:37   You know that I have met religious leaders this week.
4:41   And they all had the same language, the common goal is to respect democracy, to be part
4:46   of the solution, and their message was a message of peace.
4:54   Thus, what we are dealing with today is a case of public security and public order.
5:00   The Cities and Towns Act obviously allows certain powers both at the level of suspension for a certain time lapse.
5:11   You have the application of the urban regulation rules and all that.
5:14   It’s for this reason that I fully support what my friend and colleague Réal Ménard mentioned today.
5:23   I once again thank and salute the sense of responsibility of the borough’s municipal councilors.
5:29   I consulted many authorities on the subject. I spoke with my director of [Montreal] Police Marc Parent.
5:42   What is clear from the analysis that I made and obviously in another life as a former
5:47   Minister for Immigration and Citizenship after the events of September 11 [2001],
5:54   we are dealing today with an agent of radicalization.
5:57   We are dealing with a purveyor of social tension.
6:01   What I certainly do not want is to stigmatize the Muslim community.
6:08   It is the work of an individual. We must not confuse the issue. We are not dealing with a religion.
6:13   We are not dealing with a community. We are dealing with an individual.
6:19   This individual for me is a radicalization agent.
6:23   Therefore we must act accordingly, and that is why I applaud the work of the Mercier Hochelaga Maisonneuve borough.
6:34   As I said, I spoke with several authorities. Both the Canadian government and the government of Quebec.
6:43   We currently face draft bill C-51, which I support.
6:52   I ask the Canadian Parliament, parliamentarians, to pass this legislation quickly.
6:58   I ask them of course, because I have already experienced this situation, we can put forward
7:03   a grandfather clause that will allow a renewal, for example, every five years.
7:09   Certainly to have a link with Parliament so that we can examine it.
7:17   However, what I ask specifically in this draft law is that we ensure that there is also transfer
7:21   of information among the authorities concerned.
7:26   Currently we speak of CSIS, and the RCMP, and we have to ensure that the information, if we want, in the area of prevention, can be applied, for example, at the level of the SPVM [Montreal police],
7:41   the Sureté du Québec [Quebec provincial police] and the rest
7:44   I want to send a clear message to the population. I will always be there to ensure their safety
7:53   We have seen what it means, the radicalization. We have seen what happened in St-Jean sur Richelieu,
7:57   and what happened in the House of Commons.
8:01   I will never let the people down. But I will work for us to respect everyone’s rights.
8:10   We are in a country where there are charters of rights and freedoms.
8:15   But the responsibility is to make sure that we can have a proper agenda of vigilance.
8:18   There is going to be following this bill 51, and I thought about it for a long time, we will be able to ensure the plan,
8:23   both the regulatory level and in collaboration with the Government of Quebec
8:31   We can have in our territory a vigilance agenda with capabilities that will allow us, while keeping this balance, to have the necessary tools in terms of prevention.
8:47   I know that there is a fine line. I read all the columnists. We all talked about freedom of speech. He [Chaoui] can speak nonsense.
8:52   We just have to counter his discourse. But we are not talking about this today.
9:00   A radicalization agent, an instigator of social tension can provoke things, and presently you see
9:05   what is happening with the Islamic State.
9:11   Lone wolves may exist, and it is the fruit of radicalization,
9:19   so this is why we will assume our responsibilities, both administratively and in terms of prevention,
9:24   and eventually on the urban planning side.
9:33   we will be able to take action.

4 thoughts on “A Balance Between Openness and Vigilance

  1. I’ve heard nothing of Gavin Boby for many months. I hope he’s okay.
    He was so active a year or so ago.

  2. On January 31, 2015 the organization known as CMFP-Canadian Muslims For Peace held a demonstration at Toronto City Hall, to condemn Bill C-51 unveiled recently by Prime Minister Harper, and insist that the Bill targets an entire community of believers because of the actions of the few who have tarnished the reputation of the “Perfect Deen/Arabic for religion”, a title bestowed by Allah on Islam-The Religion of Peace.

    It seems that CMFP managed to elevate hypocrisy into an art. Instead of admitting openly that Isalmic radicalism has permeated the ranks of every Muslim community from Ottawa, to Montreal, to Toronto, to Calgary, to…and instead of supporting the Federal government’s efforts to prevent and contain Islamic radicalism, by insisting that Islam has to reinvent itself in Canada, CMFP is using Bill C-51 as a smoke screen to divert attention from the critical fact that, hatred against Canadians is disseminated every Friday in almost every mosque, coast to coast with absolute impunity under the freedom of religious worship.
    We all know that every mosque opens the prayer session with “The Salat Al Fatiha” known in English as the opening prayer. In it Muslims seek Allah’s Divine help to stay on “The Right Path” established by Prophet Mohamad. “The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors[Muslims]. Not the path of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down [Jews], nor of those who go astray [Christians].” The Koran 1:7
    Imams and preachers remind the Ummah (Arabic for the nation of Muslim believers) that Canadians are not worthy of forgiveness, because Allah has instructed all Muslims in the following verse to abstain from any form of prayer seeking redemption for the Kouffars of the world (the infidel Jews, Christians, Hindus…) destined for hell: “It is not fit for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists and The People of The Book, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are inmates of the flaming fire.” The Koran 9:113
    Preachers and Imams remind Muslims also that they have a binding duty to “…fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in your hardness the chastisement they deserve; and know that Allah is with those who struggle/JIHAD against the evil propagated by The People of The Book.” The Koran 9:123

    Preachers and Imams insist also that JIHAD does not have to be the spiritual realm, because Allah has sanctified wars of terror directed against infidels in the following verse:“We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews, Christians, Hindus…) They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers”. Koran 3:149
    At the end of the Friday “khutba” (sermon), the cleric asks the believers to join him in the ritual prayer to Allah to grant Muslims victory over infidels/non-Muslims. That prayer is: “O Allah, pour patience upon Muslims, strengthen their feet and give them victory over ‘Qawm -el Kafiroon’ (Non-Muslims).”O Allah, give victory to our brothers the Muslims, the oppressed, the tyrannized and the ‘Mujahedeen’ (those who fight jihad against non-Muslims).” Tarek Fatah The Toronto Sun January 13, 2015 “Muslims shouldn’t pray to defeat non-Muslims” http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/13/muslims-shouldnt-pray-to-defeat-non-muslims
    Muslims worldwide, and especially in Canada, should study very closely the following statements of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who argued, in a widely publicized January 1, 2015 speech at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, that “It is inconceivable that the wrong [Koranic] ideas which we sacralise should make the entire Umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction for the whole world. This is not possible…We have reached the point that Muslims have antagonized the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] want to kill the rest of the world’s population of 7 billion, so that Muslims prosper? This is not possible.”
    Muslims of Canada must reinvent Islam instead of condemning Federal efforts (Bill C-51) to contain Islamic radicalism rampant in too many mosques in Canada.

    Sergei Bourachaga

  3. I fully agree with Sergei’s comment above.

    I will add that in a city in which there are currently about 100 mosques


    , the whole point of not allowing this individual of opening a new one is moot. Because of free speech law, he will be allowed to do it elsewhere. The only reason for this spat is that he dared speak against women and gays, which are considered as holy as God in Quebec society.

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