Montreal opposes new Islamic centre
Imam Hamza Chaoui, above, does not believe in democracy. He is also homophobic. But he imagines he’s the right guy to set up a community centre in Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough next month.
But, according to this report, Chaoui – originally from Morocco – is facing hostility from politicians, and “needs to think twice” before proceeding with his plan.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, said:
I am against all forms of radicalism.
Coderre, who met with spiritual leaders in hopes of fostering dialogue in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, said he will consult with borough Mayor Réal Ménard about the plan.
He said said that he rejects Chaoui’s rigid views on democracy and homosexuality, and his suggestion that democracy and Islam are antithetical.
That is not the message of the Qur’an.
Chaoui studied electrical engineering at Université Laval, where he became the imam to Muslim students there.
In postings on his Facebook page, Chaoui argues that Islam and democracy are “parallel lines that never intersect” because democracy allows for the election of:
An infidel or a homosexual or an atheist who denies the existence of Allah.
In other teachings, he has denounced the World Cup of soccer, where stadiums were rife with the temptations of music, dancing and alcohol.
Yet he disagreed with Saudi Arabia’s refusal to let women drive, saying it was not nearly as risky as the alternative – the possibility of women coming into physical contact with men while travelling by taxi or public transport.
Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, Kathleen Weil, Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, said Chaoui’s views are “dangerous” and “unacceptable” in a democratic society like Quebec, where the rule of law applies and men and women are treated as equals.
The city of Montreal, I am sure, shares our values, which are Quebec values. Clearly, my desire is that we don’t have this [community centre] where someone can spread these concepts. It’s unacceptable that we can have people on our territory who are teaching this to other people and the new generation.
Later, Agnès Maltais, the Parti Québécois spokesperson on secularism, and the PQ’s Carole Poirier denounced the imam’s statements and called on authorities to do everything in their power to impede him.
The Imam Hamza Chaoui has made radical statements in the past, including stating the democracy and Islam are not compatible and that the vote is a sin. We strongly denounce these medieval statements.
They said the situation shows that Premier Philippe Couillard’s statement that fundamentalism is a “personal choice” as long as the laws are all respected is illogical.