Dear Joël Lightbound, MP for Louis-Hébert:
What you said in the wake of the Quebec City mosque attack on the Tout le monde en parle talk show on Feb. 5, 2017 about your former comrades is true. Indeed, as everywhere in the West, people from the Maghreb and the Mashreq have gradually become ''Muslim'' in the eyes of the Canadian population.
When my grandfather spoke to me of Tunisia where he had lived a few years with my mother, he was never referring to a ''Muslim'' country, but rather to an ''Arab'' one. At that time, everyone was talking about Arabs and not Muslims.
That said, you are not getting to the bottom of things. You prefer blaming yourself publicly for a crime that only a degenerate can commit. Like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, you prefer to stick to a superficial analysis that only makes things worse by suggesting that all nationalist and secular Quebecers are indirectly responsible for the killing.
In fact, you don't want to see what might go against your own vision of living together. You only think of designating local actors, whereas crime has a global dimension. Despite your openness to the world, you did not think that the attacks in Paris, Brussels or Berlin could, in particular, have had a significant impact on a fragile personality.
You have to recognize that the rise of Islamism is a reality.
If our Arab friends have, as you said, become ''Muslims," it's because a major political force has emerged over the past decades: Islamism. As you probably know, this violent, conquering and intolerant ideology is trying to take all Muslim Quebecers hostage and impose a rigorous and traditionalist lifestyle on them. The Islamists try to separate the Muslim population from the rest of Quebec's and Canada's inhabitants in accordance with their obsession with religious purity.
Furthermore, the debate on wearing the veil for Muslim women is linked to this trend. How would you explain that the vast majority of Muslim women did not wear the veil in the major cities of the Arab world during the 1960s and 1970s, while some people here are defending it? How would you explain that some feminists here defend the right to wear the chador or the burqa while Iranian women wandered in the streets of Tehran in light summer dresses before the Islamic Revolution of 1979?
Several hundred people march on Feb. 5, 2017 in solidarity for the victims of the mosque shooting in Quebec City. (Photo: Alice Chiche/AFP/Getty Images)
More specifically, the times you referred to during this TV show were still marked by the influence of Pan-Arabism, a secular and political movement that sought to unify the Arab people. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, great political leaders, such as Nasser in Egypt and Bourguiba in Tunisia, deeply mistrusted the Islamist organizations. Most of them did not accuse the West of being unbelievers, but rather a colonialist civilization. Contrary to their successors, they thought that European and North-American cultures could still bring a positive contribution to their countries.
You have to recognize that the rise of Islamism is a reality. Acknowledging this fact is one of the first things you could have done to protect the Muslim community in Quebec City. To fight and prevent hate speech that comes from the far right, you also need to fight and prevent its counterpart.
Otherwise, all your efforts would be useless.
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