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Muslim Canadian Congress endorses Same-Sex Marriage legislation PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Wednesday, 02 February 2005 11:48
Mr. Fatah said that under thinly veiled camouflage of
cultural and religious practices, a message of hate
and homophobia was being cultivated. "The hate mongering
against gays and lesbians must be stopped. Places of
worship should never be permitted to demean a section
of the community who are a minority, he added. February 1, 2005

Press Release

Human Rights for Minorities not up for bargain

MCC urges Martin, Layton and Duceppe:

Tour country to sell message of human rights and
tolerance

Muslim Canadian Congress endorses Same-Sex Marriage
legislation

OTTAWA, February 1, 2005 - The Muslim Canadian
Congress, a Toronto-based grassroots organization, has
welcomed the legislation presented by Justice Minister
Irvin Cotler that re-defines marriage to include
samesex partners, and has urged Muslims and other
minority groups to stand in solidarity with gays and
lesbians.

Addressing a press conference in Ottawa this morning,
Rizwana Jafri, president of the MCC said Muslim Canadians have experienced life as a marginalized
minority and have relied on the Canadian Charter to
fight for their right to be treated as equal citizens.

"It is incumbent upon us, as a minority, to stand up
in solidarity with Canada's gays and lesbians despite
the fact that many in our community believe our
religion does not condone homosexuality," she added.

"This legislation is not about religion; it is about
fundamental and universal human rights that are a
guarantee that all Canadians, irrespective of their
religious or ethnic background, feel part of the same
family. While, within this family, we may agree to
disagree we must respect each other and treat others
with dignity that is a hallmark of civil society, Ms.
Jafri added.

Ms. Jafri appealed to social conservative Muslim
organizations to stop being used by the Conservative
Party who are using this controversy to score
political points by spreading fear among racial
minorities.

She appealed to Prime Minister Paul Martin to make
sure his caucus supports the legislation and are not
allowed to wriggle out of their responsibility to
respect Human Rights and the decisions of majority of
Provincial Courts. Ms. Jafri thanked the NDP leader
Jack Layton for enforcing party discipline and not
allowing dissent on this important matter.

She called on Paul Martin to invite NDP leader Jack
Layton and Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Qu?b?cois to
tour the country to build support for this historic
legislation and present a common front on human
rights.

Tarek Fatah, host of the CTS-TV show, The Muslim
Chronicle, criticized the fear mongering started by
some religious institutions against same-sex marriage.
"The religious institutions who are spreading fear
among their congregations are not being honest about
this law. No mosque, church, temple, or synagogue will
ever have to conduct a same-sex marriage if they don't
wish to. The guarantee
of the freedom of religion in our constitution and the
legislation presented today ensure that every Canadian
will continue to have the right to

MCC Press Release February 1, 2005

"End Gender Apartheid" Page 2 of 2

"Separate Religion and State" practice their religion
as they deem fit. However, freedom of religion
cannot come at the cost of limiting the rights of
other groups in society.

Mr. Fatah said that under thinly veiled camouflage of
cultural and religious practices, a message of hate
and homophobia was being cultivated. "The hate mongering
against gays and lesbians must be stopped. Places of
worship should never be permitted to demean a section
of the community who are a minority, he added.

Barrister Arif Raza told the press conference that he
understood the concerns of some Muslims who are
worried that allowing same-sex marriage will dilute
the institution of marriage, but emphasized that those
asking for Prime Minister Martin to use the
Notwithstanding Clause should understand that one day,
the rights of Muslims too could be compromised if the
using the Notwithstanding clause became a precedent.

"I urge Canada's Muslim community and other minority
communities to show solidarity with Canada's gays
and lesbians even if they have reservations about
homosexuality. We don't have to agree with each other
to stand up for the human rights of those with whom we
disagree, Mr. Raza added.

He asked Canadians to be generous, kind and
compassionate in this matter. By supporting the rights
of a minority, we will be able to walk with our heads
held high among the nations of this earth. "Today we
have an opportunity to stand tall and demonstrate that
fighting for human rights is only worthwhile when we
fight it for the other, not just for ourselves," said
Arif Raza.
For more information, please contact:

Rizwana Jafri at 416-830-5067, Tarek Fatah at 416 -953-1798 or Arif Raza
at 416-558-4777

"I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest
significance and meaning." Pablo Casals.

From: Benita Bunjun < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2005 11:48
 

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