Pdf format English : http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/citstateeng.pdf
version française: http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/declarcitfr.pdf
Citizen's Statement: For A Harmonious Life Together
Issued November 22, 2007 - Montreal
For more information please contact Mohamed S. Kamel at: 514-863-9202 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are at home here: citizens and permanent residents, born of families established for generations, or come to build our lives in a land of peace and open doors.
We practice all trades; you will find us in every profession; in factories, universities, and businesses.
We hold the highest esteem for Québec's democratic tradition, its deep respect for fundamental freedoms and equality between all citizens, its struggle for the preservation, enrichment and strengthening of the French language; its right to its particular nature, its distinct character.
We identify with its historical rejection of war and with its pacifist tradition, with its repudiation of oppression, and with its dedication to solidarity.
We remember, when we think of the Québec that is home to us, those great personalities- men and women from all political allegiance - who helped shape it.
We salute the Québec tradition of social solidarity, which extends from the right to organize trade unions to universal suffrage, from the creation of a universal public health-care system to the establishment of a public education system, the consolidation of state neutrality with regard to citizens' opinions, practices and beliefs; be they secular or spiritual.
We believe that the identity issue that has come to the fore can be traced back to conscience of the history and reflection over Québec's future. Quebeckers themselves will be building that future together, and defining the common good. It is a future and a common good that we intend to enrich with our own multiple and productive contributions.
These are the values and principles we hold dear, that we commit ourselves to defend and promote. Gained through constant toil and effort, they embody the work of generations. These are - we proudly proclaim! - values and principles that cannot be diminished, even less restricted.
This is why we are disappointed and preoccupied by the increasing level of intolerant, even discriminatory, comments and deeds since the beginning of the public debate over the issue of "Reasonable Accommodation" launched in the fall of 2006.
This is why we note with growing concern the raising of voices that would seek to limit the exercise of democracy, that would attempt to redefine the rights and liberties enjoyed by citizens, to set up categories of citizenship based on opinion or belief. Worse yet, that would endeavor to profit from international tensions, conflicts and wars, to turn citizens against one another for the worst of motives.
The society of tommorrow that we hope to bequeath to our children will not restrict citizens' aspirations to express freely their opinions, or to give voice to their spiritual or secular heritage. The society of tomorrow can only be built on a foundation of mutual respect and shared responsibility that are the bedrocks of democracy and peaceful social coexistence.
We therefore affirm that:
- It would be prejudicial that in the name of equality of the sexes, the dress that expresses a woman's beliefs becomes a source of discrimination against her, against her right to work, her free-will; that it be an obstacle to her full participation in social life, in the labor market, in her recreational pursuits. That in the name of such equality, there be less equality. We reject demands for "equality" that make a mockery of its very founding principle.
- It would be prejudicial that in the name of secularism - the neutrality of the state with regard to the opinions, beliefs and practices of its citizens - that harsh, insulting and demeaning language, often tinged with racism, is used to denigrate certain citizens. We reject the attempts to pervert public debate, and to impose, on pretext of solving a problem, radical measures that could lead to social instability by amending our reference texts or the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
- It would be prejudicial that in the name of free speech, the media discourse leads to the disappearance of social ethics, mutual respect, and their respective promotion. We reject the media groups that broadcast words calculated to hurt, strategies designed to divide citizens, and even to mislead by repeating a lie that eventually becomes "truth".
- It would be prejudicial that in the name of democracy, democracy be weakened. We reject any limitation of rights, any reduction of fundamental freedoms. They must be strengthened, broadened.
Just as the values and principles dear to Quebeckers are not for sale at any price, neither are equally universal values and principles of other cultural horizons that enrich Québec. The two are not in opposition, rather they enhance one another, with the same quiet resolve and the same far-reaching commitment to justice, sharing, and equality that we believe motivate us all.
We therefore call for a true debate, an unhurried debate carried on in an atmosphere of peace of mind and unfailing respect for the rights of all, men and women, who live in Québec.
Signatories of the Citizens Declaration
Association - ?cole Al-arabiya
Association Musulmane de Montréal Nord (AMMN)
Association Musulmane Québécoise (AMQ)
Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relation (CAIR-CAN)
Centre Communautaire Musulmans de Montréal (CCMM,
Centre Culturel Musulman de Montréal (CCMM, Al-Hidaya)
Centre Islamique BADR
Centre Kawtar de Laval
Comité de Femmes Musulmanes Canadienne (CFMC)
Congrès Islamique Canadien (CIC-Montréal)
Forum Musulman Canadien (FMC-CMF)
Mosquée Assunna Annabawiyah
Mosquée de Montréal (MM)
Mosquée Khaled Ibn Alwaleed
Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)
Muslim Community of Québec (MCQ)
Muslim Council of Montreal MCM
Présence Musulmane Montréal (PMM)
Regard Alternatif Média (APM-RAM)
Regroupement des Algériens du Canada (RAC)
Regroupement des Marocains du Canada (RMC)Organizations (25)
Artistes pour la Paix
Association Bel Agir
Association Canadienne des Nation Uni (ACNU)
Association des Jeunes Libanais Musulmans
Association des Jeunes Professionnels Marocains
Association des Universitaires Musulmans de L'UQAM
Canadian Egyptian for Democracy (CEFD)
Canadian Islamic Centre Al- Jamieh (CIC)
Centre Communautaire Islamique Rive-Sud
Centre Islamique Libanais
Centre Justice et Foi
Cercle des Familles Algériennes
Fédération Canado-Arabe (CAF)
Fondation du message de l'islam (FMI)
Mission Communautaire de Montréal, un ministère
communautaire de l'?glise Unie du Canada
Mosquée Abou Bakr Assidiq
Palestinienne et Juif Uni (PAJU)
Parole Arabe (PA)
Shalom Salaam Montreal (SSM)Indivduals (58)
Imam Mohammed Habib Marzougui
Mohamed Aziz Chraibi
Riham Sayed Omar
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