Bloc Leader should resign for Islamophobic Comments

January 19, 2021.

This past week was a historic one for Muslims in Canada.  Omar Alghabra was appointed by Prime Minister Trudeau to be the Canadian Transport Minister.  Having a diverse Federal Cabinet that includes Muslims is one way that we can combat Islamophobia and ensure that our voices are heard at decision making tables.  Unfortunately, this proud moment was stained by Islamophobic remarks by the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, trying to attack the appointment by suggesting that Minister Alghabra had a questionable past due to his connection to an “Islamist political movement.”
Please join Hikma and other Muslim advocacy groups across Canada in calling for the Leader of the Bloc,Yves-François Blanchet, to resign. We shared the below with the Leaders of all of the federal parties and our local Members of Parliament:

I write to you today as a concerned Canadian, watching what is happening in the United States and praying that our elected officials take steps to ensure that Canada does not go down the same dark path.  Specifically, I am writing to you today about the Islamophobic comments made recently by the Leader of the Bloc,Yves-François Blanchet, on what should have been a bright day for Canada’s Muslim Community, with the appointment of the Honourable Omar Alghabra as Canada’s Transport Minister.  
On the heels of what we saw at the US Capitol recently, we trust that you understand that words from elected leaders matter.  There is no room in Canadian politics for dangerous political games around intolerance and hate.  There is simply no excuse to try and degenerate the great work of an elected official with such Islamophobic slurs.  If our elected leaders do not understand this, then they should step aside and let others who do take the lead.
Accordingly, we are calling on you, as our elected representatives, to insist on the resignation of the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Yves-Francois Blanchet, for his openly Islamophobic comments.  We now know what happens if we do not take decisive action to quell hate before it empowers others to follow suit.  We also know that if we want community leaders that are diverse and truly representative of the population, then we must stand tall and stand beside those diverse leaders when they are attacked on the basis of their diversity.  
I stand with Minister Alghabra and I am asking you to stand up for him and to stand up against the politics of hate and division.  There is simply no justification to hide behind partisan politics as an excuse to not condemn hate.

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