MONTREAL — B’nai Brith Canada has joined a Quebec cabinet minister in asking Ottawa to bar certain speakers scheduled to appear at an Muslim youth conference because it objects to their views on women.
In particular, Nader Abou Anas, president of l’Association D’clic, a youth organization in France, has been cited by Agnès Maltais, the provincial minister for the status of women, as spreading radical Islamic views that are completely contrary to the Quebec value of gender equality.
Maltais wrote to her federal counterpart, Kellie Leitch, on Aug. 21 asking that Anas and Farid Mounir, also from France, not be admitted to Canada to attend the Sept. 7-8 conference at the Palais des congrès. The organizer, Collectif 1dépendance, describes itself as dedicated to educating young Montreal Muslims in their faith.
B’nai Brith also objects to the planned presence of Sheikh Mohammed Patel and Mohamed François, who spokesperson Harvey Levine said “are known to preach hate toward women in the extremist sharia type fashion,” including via online videos.
B’nai Brith urged Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Chris Alexander, minister for citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, to prevent these men from entering the country.
“Those who would espouse hatred should be barred from preaching it in Canada,” said Allan Adel, national chair of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “The messages coming from the Collectif 1dépendance conference treat women as second-class citizens and go against the very core of Canadian values.”
The president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, however, said they shouldn’t be barred from Canada because of their religious views, which, he indicated, have been misunderstood.
“They jumped to conclusions before listening to both sides,” he told the CBC. “I think [Maltais] should have tried to have a meeting with them, and try to get an explanation to what she has read, and the concerns that she has about the treatment of women and the fact about education of women.”
A spokesperson for Alexander stated: “If they have done anything that violates our laws, they may be deemed inadmissible to Canada.”