POLITICS

NDP Election Signs Defaced With Anti-Muslim Messages

09/24/2015 12:26 EDT | Updated 09/24/2016 05:12 EDT
The NDP candidate in Montreal's Pierrefonds-Dollard riding has had to remove several signs this week after someone plastered them with anti-Muslim messages.

"No Muslim, no terrorism" was written a piece of paper glued to the signs of candidate Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, including some on Sources Boulevard.

Canadian Muslim Forum president Samer Majzoub says he received many phone calls from members who spotted the signs.

He believes the NDP signs were targeted specifically for the party's stance on the niqab.

Majzoub says he called Blanchette-Lamothe's campaign office and volunteers were sent out to take the signs down.

Montreal police say they were also alerted about the signs by a citizen. No official complaint was filed and no investigation is planned.

Majzoub says members of his community have also complained about the graffiti on a sign of NDP leader Tom Mulcair in Outremont where vandals spray-painted a niqab on him. Someone also spray-painted a niqab on the face of NDP candidate Anne Lagacé Dowson on a sign in Papineau.

Lagacé Dowson's office declined an interview request. Blanchette-Lamothe has yet to comment.

On Wednesday, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he supports the current requirement that women show their faces at some point in the citizenship process but that they should not be forced to remove a face covering while taking the oath of citizenship.

"This [stance] may not be liked by others," Majzoub said. "It is being used as political foible."

'This should not be an election issue,' Majzoub says

Majzoub fears a small minority is turning a minor issue that affects few Canadians into a major one.

"We strongly believe it is being used for a political reason, to increase this anti-Muslim sentiment, hoping to earn or reduce the support of the Liberals or NDP, especially in Quebec," Majzoub said.

Majzoub says only an extremely small percentage of Canadians wear the niqab.

"I, myself, have been here for 27 years. I haven't ever seen a lady with a niqab except for on television," he said.

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