The Muslim Who Saved Us From Ourselves

In 2005, the most populous province in Canada, Ontario, completely oblivious to the implications, came within a hair’s breadth of allowing Islamic tribunals to operate in the province.

Many Muslims were alarmed at the prospect of the medieval Sharia Law, which many had come to Canada to escape, was about to invade their sanctuary. Tarek Fatah, founder and spokesperson for the Muslim Canadian Congress spearheaded their efforts and set about educating McGuinty, politicians, the media and non-Muslim Canadians about the implications of such a move, especially when it came to women’s rights, forcing the McGuinty government to back away from its ill-considered initiative.

Muslims for whom the CMC speaks “believe in the separation of religion and state in all matters of public policy. [That] such a separation is a necessary pre-requisite to building democratic societies, where religious, ethnic, and racial minorities are accepted as equal citizens enjoying full dignity and human rights enunciated in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (from the CMC's mission statement)

Muslims for whom the CMC speaks want to be part of the Canadian mainstream, and like the Western tradition where everyone is equal before the law. Canadians owe the Canadian Muslim Congress (CMC) and Tarek Fatah a debt of gratitude for saving us from our ignorant selves.

Tarek Fatah passed away on April 24, 2023 at the age of 73.

Bernard Payeur

P.S. Since that singular victory governments at all levels, except in the province of Québec, have preferred listening to the voices of extremists.