Another Veiled Mosque in Quebec

Last Thursday we posted an article about the Quebec government’s decision to shut down a mosque in Terrebonne that had been operating without a permit on an industrial estate.

Now comes a story about a similarly camouflaged mosque in the adjacent city of Laval, a western suburb of Montreal. In this case, the mosque in question was functioning on the premises of a defunct commercial business without any identifying signs, in violation of the city’s zoning ordinances.

The following article about the Al-Iman cultural center has been translated by Carolus. The translator includes this note:

So far, I can’t see any evidence that Quebec bureaucrats recognize the threat of Islam and of any mosque anywhere in the land. There are approximately 100 mosques in the city of Montreal, and they are under no pressure from the bureaucracy to shut down or move.

The translated article from Le Journal de Montréal:

A mosque travels under the radar for two years

by Marie-Christine Noël
Wednesday, February 25

A mosque installed in a commercial building for the past two years is under investigation by the City, because houses of worship are forbidden in this area.

“Our agent went inside, but there was no one. We must therefore return there to acquire the proof that it is indeed a house of worship.” – Valérie Sauvé, City of Laval spokesperson

The mosque known under the name “Al-Iman cultural center” houses an association founded in 2008, offering educational and social services to the community. The association’s web site states that the main premises are indeed at 4800 Laurentides Boulevard in Laval. However, the center stayed under the radar for the past two years.

According to an employee from a neighboring business, there many members come there, especially for the Friday noon prayer. Dozens of cars are parked near the other businesses, because the entrance door is behind the complex. “This sometimes causes a problem, because cars block our delivery alley,” says the employee.

From outside, nothing indicates that a mosque is housed in the premises. The tenants have installed opaque curtains in the windows, so it is impossible to see inside.

On the front of the building, the sign from the previous business has been left up, and a notice written in Arabic has been posted on the front door.

The city gets involved

The landlord who rents the place to the Al-Iman Center was furious after an agent from the City of Laval came to the premises yesterday morning.

“The city came and will evict them”, sniped at us the landlord Richard Giguère.

It was only after Le Journal notified the City of Laval of the existence of the mosque that they decided to investigate. The city’s agent must now determine whether the place is a house of worship or not.

If that is the case, the mosque will have to move, since the zoning regulation forbids houses of worship in this area.

Verifications to make

If it is proved that the place houses a mosque, the Al-Iman Center will receive a notice of non-compliance and will have to cease all activities not permitted by the zoning regulations.

The organization will have ten days to contact the city.

If the tenants do not comply, a notice of infringement will be sent to them, as well as a formal complaint.

“These are the normal procedures for zoning infractions. In Laval, we have zones reserved specifically for houses of worship,” confirms Valérie Sauvé, a spokesperson for the City of Laval.

It was impossible to reach a spokesperson for the Al-Iman Center, despite the multiple attempts made by the Journal.

Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.

6 thoughts on “Another Veiled Mosque in Quebec

  1. I’m no apologist for Islam but a zoning regulation that tells citizens where they can, and cannot, pray is authority going much too far.

    • If the value of your property were zero because it was directly adjacent to one of the Jamat al-Fuqra compounds in the US then you might feel otherwise, though all of those are in remote enough areas that zoning regs wouldnt help you.

      What it comes down to is that without zoning regs people lose money, and they don’t like losing money. So you end up with zoning regs.

      Routinely having large events in an area with insufficient parking, etc, can cause property value loss just in and of itself, but throw in the involvement of a religion that advocates beheading infidels and burning people alive and even the most politically correct individuals aren’t going to pay much if anything for your property regardless of how often they say “not all Muslims” and “religion of peace”. Talk is cheap, losing money is not.

  2. Of course, I see your point. But this particular ‘mosque’ was ‘under the radar for two years.’ In other words, no-one (at least no-one of any importance) cared a damn about it. However, my assertion was more general. Liberty is messy and it sometimes pisses off certain groups but one thing it is not about is saving money for interested parties.

    • Zoning laws protect people who live and work in an area. Review determines whether the requirements of a place of worship exceeds the capacity of an area, then it deemed incompatible. A business can’t operate when its access road is blocked by a superabundance of vehicles improperly parked.

    • The delay isn’t necessarily an indication that nobody cared and that there was no nuisance. Without more information it’s impossible to say for sure, but it’s very possible and very believable that the zoning admin and board have been sitting on complaints for a long time for some reason, be it laziness, incompetence, or political correctness out of control.

      The principle of liberty requires that people have rights up until the point where their rights start denying other people of their rights. For example people don’t have the right to just kill anyone they don’t like because that infringes on others right to live. In that case it’s pretty clear, but do people necessarily have a right to their property value the way they have a right to live?

      The processes of legislation and common law end up being responsible for computing the solution to this tradeoff problem. What they’ve eneded up “computing” in most places with these systems in place is that people don’t have a right to a guaranteed property value but they do have a right to not have their property value degraded by certain types of nuisances if their property is zoned for a particular set of purposes.

      So it basically comes down to determining the tradeoff between rights infringing on rights in cases where there isn’t an obvious answer. I agree though that recently people have been inventing new and unreasonable rights for themselves, such as the “right” to not be offended by others’ speech.

  3. I think I would rather have all mosques in industrial areas. It would slow down the ‘no-go’ zone phenomenon for a space. Actually, I’d rather have all mosques confined to Arabia. Or the moon.

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