A Montreal-area developer says too much “fiery passion” and public misunderstanding has forced him to temporarily halt an idea to build a Muslim housing development in a Montreal suburb.
Nabil Warda told The Huffington Post Canada on Friday he decided the timing just isn’t right to present his proposal for his Brossard, Que. project.
The Montreal suburb of Brossard, on the city's South Shore. (Photo: Tino Rossini/Creative Commons)
Warda wants to build dozens of homes in the community, but news of his idea has elicited widespread backlash — including from Quebec’s premier.
Speaking to reporters from Marrakesh, Morocco, on Tuesday, Philippe Couillard called the project discriminatory. “Inclusion goes in both directions,” he said, as quoted in The Toronto Star.
“There is too much fiery passion and not enough cool reflection.”
Warda explained his proposal has been misunderstood or misrepresented — or both. “There is too much fiery passion and not enough cool reflection,” he said.
“Let's let things settle down.”
Because of the belief among some Muslims that paying interest constitutes a sin, buying homes can sometimes be an obstacle for Muslims. The Egyptian-Canadian accountant said it’s his goal to help Muslim families buy homes.
Warda said he was slated to present his idea at the Islamic Community Centre of South Shore on Friday in hopes of assessing interest in his idea, but a deluge of negative messages to the mosque forced the meeting to be cancelled.
‘No reason to put more oil on the fire’
Mohamed Yacoub, a management committee co-chairman at the mosque where the meeting was supposedly planned to take place, denied any involvement with the idea.
“Since it’s causing so much controversy, there’s no reason to put more oil on the fire. We told [Warda], ‘We don’t want any presentation. You can do it somewhere else,’” Yacoub told The National Post.
Islamic Community Centre of South Shore building. (Photo: Google Street View)
But Warda did have the support of provincial politician Gaétan Barrette, who represents the riding where Warda wants to build his housing development.
Barrette defended the merits of the project, comparing it to Montreal’s Chinatown.
With files from Daniel Tencer and The Canadian Press
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