By Kiran Malik-Khan

“Mom, are we going to leave Canada?” Shahzaib, my almost 10-year-old's voice was laced with nervousness, his big brown eyes filled with a worry that can cut through a mother's heart. But, my answer came gently, yet firmly.

“Yes, hon, if Bill 60 gets passed, and if it ever gets adopted by all of Canada; we would leave. In a heartbeat.”

 He got it.  Sheheryar, my older one was already asking follow-up questions.  I was glad, and relieved. They understood – being a Muslim came first. We had just discussed Bill 60. My sons couldn't fathom the “unfairness,” of it.

And, unfair just begins to describe it.  Bill 60 is the secular values charter being advocated in Quebec.  It is Parti Quebecoi's latest ploy to grab the headlines.  Funny how it manages to pummel basic religious values embraced by four major religions: Islam, Sikh, Judaism, and Christianity in order to create secular ones.  The separatist government led by Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville is championing the bill, which asks civil servants to get rid of “ostentatious religious symbols.”

Ostentatious? Right click the word and here's what you learn:  ostentatious is a synonym for flamboyant, showy, brazen, and pretentious.  It is the opposite of modest, which is exactly the main reason for the hijab, and other religious “symbols” being discussed. 

Maybe Drainville can use English lessons? But, I digress.  I am unable to comprehend the chutzpah possessed by Bill 60 supporters.  What gives them the right to single out the hijab, a mandatory observance for Muslim women, or the Sikh turban, the Jewish kippa, and the Christian cross?  How is it democratic to set aside the rights of those embracing their religions in favor of those who stand for nothing?  There is no method to this madness.
And, in what can only be deemed as phenomenally ironic – Drainville banned the use of “racist” during the Bill 60 hearings now going on in Quebec.  So he's not a racist? The supporters aren't racists. Who's the racist? If you can answer this question, you are surely smarter than I am.

Is this about emulating France? The Francophone in Quebec and their ceaseless yearning for the motherland has gone too far. Whatever unfulfilled desires Quebecers may have when it comes to their heritage, projecting them on other multicultural groups is simply uncalled for!

Nevertheless, here's how you can help.  And, it doesn't matter whether you wear the hijab, live in Canada, or what your political stance is – this is about basic human rights. This is what North America is all about – embracing democracy in its purest form. 

First things first

Quebec's Premier Pauline Marois has recently said she'll “listen to citizens,” when it comes to Bill 60.  Please e-mail her here.  Your two minutes will go a long way in helping her understand that this is making waves across the continent, if not the world.  Apathy needs to end where our religious duties begin.  This is for the sake of Allah.  Not tomorrow. Now.

There is also a petition going around, which is crawling at best.  Please take a moment to sign it, and add to the noise.  Every little bit counts. 

And, lastly there is a Facebook page and Twitter account of the same name:  Support Another, and while as a communications professional, I don't think they are doing a great job – the Facebook page is limited to photos only, and the Twitter account is unkempt – they are still portals.  Using the #Quebec and #Bill60 hashtags on Twitter helps as well.  They have turned out to be effective.

Rocking the boat has never been easy.  Leading your daily life with ease is perhaps the single most important thing dear to many of us.  But, what do we stand for? Is it okay to shrug and ignore this because we don't live in Quebec? How would we answer Allah on the Day of Judgement? How would we justify not caring for our fellow Muslims, and fellow human's plight? We are to care for all – regardless of religion – that's Islam.

Speaking of caring, I want to take this opportunity to thank Muslimmatters EIC, Hena Zuberi, who has been a big help masha'Allah via Twitter. She said Labaik when I requested her help. And, immediately invited me to write this piece.  JazakAllah Khair sister, I'm grateful. 

So once again, please take a few moments to e-mail the Quebec Premier.  Please sign the petition.  And, share them too.  If we won't care, who will?

[Ed. Note] Further readings:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/quebecs-charter-of-values-debate-a-hearing-in-name-only/article16397798/

http://globalnews.ca/news/1090217/quebec-charter-hearing-witness-relates-mosque-experience-in-testimony/

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Editorial+Couillard+needs+together+Bill/9408619/story.html

65 Responses

  1. faiyaz shafique

    assalam alaikum…islam is the way of life not a cult.Though i am not a Canadian i want my voice heard for the fellow Muslims and other why to curtail the religious rights.Hijab is a choice for Muslims as Cross for Christians and so on for others.Let love and peace prevail in the society.Its high time Ummah to get united for the good cause and follow the sunnah of the Holy Prophet with all seriousness.Surely Allah will help.

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    • Nonbeliever

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • MaR2307

        Even if it is a “cult” facts are facts and voices need to be heard. You have no point. Also, what exactly is being forced?

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  2. Monsuru

    As-Salam Alayikum, Well I will implore the reader of this note that he or she should look from her own perspective the effect of this Hijab and all those other signs in society. Is it affecting human being for not doing there official duties at work? Is Hijab or Religious signs affecting the development of the Country or contributing any form of bad disasters to the Queebec. If they can provide any proof for us that it’s hazadeous to the economy or it’s affecting there weather, then we know that it’s something that is causing problem for the Queebec environments and Religious people will find solutions to there problems because I can’t understand why someone will just bring up his own thoughts and feelings then impose it on people in this modern world.

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  3. Seraphim

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Omar Butt

      One religion? Do you really think Jews, Sikhs, Muslims or even Christians would agree with this bill? Do you have any idea how many people wear crosses on their necks or have tattoos of them? Give your head a shake.

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    • Tanveer Khan

      Maybe it’s because at least one religous community gives actually cares about its rights?

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      • Nonbeliever

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Disbeliever

        I’m a lifelong vocal atheist and I hate this bill. I don’t want the government dictating what people are allowed to wear. I don’t want them remotely involved in matters of faith. I don’t want them deciding what constitutes a “religious symbol” (it could mean absolutely anything, as a pretext to persecuting / arresting anyone the government so chooses). I don’t want them deciding what’s a ‘socially acceptable’ religion and what isn’t.

        The withered old neo-con xenophobes behind Bill 60 can stuff it (while fingering the crucifixes hidden tastefully under their shirts, of course).

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      • eric

        Are you suggesting I can wear my “Free the Whales” shirt behind the service counter of city? How about my blue jays cap. Or no to steven Harper or down with the Liberals. Religion does not trump secular belief. That is the point being missed.

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  4. laraba

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  5. Junaid

    You know at first this comment offended me then I thought about it and it makes sense. Islam and the good Muslims are also a target of extremists. I don’t know about other Muslims but me, I would not want to live in any Muslim country as they are now. Intolerrant and ignorant. Of course there are Intolerrant and ignorant people everywhere.

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    • df

      I apologise if I offended you. I did not express myself clearly in my first comment. I would be very sad if muslims did not feel at home in Canada. But the extremists that keep screaming about everything need to realise that if their own extreme laws were to pass, everyone would be in danger. Respect to you Junaid for understanding my point and writing with compassion!

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    • df

      Dear Junaid,

      Apologies if I offended you and thank you for understanding what I meant. My comment was written clumsy but I assure you that it saddens me that muslims are worried about Bill60. Muslims should feel at home in Canada and I believe most Canadians like muslims. They are just worried about the extremists and the human rights abuses they see in countries were such people take over. However, I do not think that people should be banned from wearing their religious attire. This is indeed sad too.

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      • Shuaib

        Df.

        Your points are completely valid. it is really unfortunate today that with all the poverty, corruption, injustice and inequality in Muslim societies some people care more about a cartoon!

        For anything that it may be worth, do take note that most of the so called Muslim countries and the mistreatment going on there isn’t a product of some Muslim movement but rather secular regimes that have in fact limited Islam as much as they limited free thought. from Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali, Saddam, Military dictators in Pakistan, Taliban , Gulf royalty etc were all in power with the blessings of the US (which sometimes puts its interest over its values). I know its rather off-topic but I find the need to say this, Taliban isn’t a representation of Islam. No its not extremist Islam either, its something else formed from a fusion of misunderstood and cherry picked Quranic quotes, a doze of Pashtoon honor culture, a little soviet invasion, Saudi funding and US approval.

        Thirdly, Majid Nawaaz din’t do anything wrong. that was probably calculated to insight some elements of the British Muslim society that he is using for he’s political ambitions, he is after all one of the “Insider guy who knows it all” running Quillum foundation.

        Fourthly, as a practicing Muslim I am all for religions freedom. this ban not only goes against the secular values of Canada and the religious freedom it stands for but sets a bad example to other countries. I think women should have the final choice in whether or not they want to wear the Hijab (or follow any other tenet of Islam for that matter) if Canada can use the law and the arms of the state to force thm not to, as France has recently done; how the hell do we go about explaining to Iran and Saudi Arabia that they shouldn’t do the same -with an opposite effect.

        Thanks
        Shuaib

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    • ZAI

      Br. Junaid,
      Count me as a Muslim who agrees with you…
      …and I was not offended by DF’s comment either.
      I think the comment rightly points out exasperation many in the West or even among
      many of us Muslims in Muslim countries or Muslim communities in the West
      are feeling with extremists and ideologues among Muslims who have a voice
      WAY beyond their numbers, just as many of us in Muslim world or community
      are exasperated by Pamela Geller’s of the world.

      I would also never want to live in any modern Muslim nation…with the exception
      of Turkey…maybe. Further, while I think what’s happening to Muslim women
      in France and Canada is absolutely wrong and not befitting a fair and democratic society…
      I’m not signing this petition. I’ll sign it when I see a similar petition at the same time
      demanding Muslim majority nations let women make their own choices in dress as well.

      I’m sick and tired of Muslim double standards. There has to be some kind of consistent standard
      applied over rights, etc. that I don’t see often among Muslims. We just look out for OUR interests
      or the interests we happen to agree with. It’s this attitude, not just hijab, but this underlying
      attitude with everything that is causing a lot of the resentment! Ironically, the way we act or
      what we choose to act on has more in common with ideologues, extremists and many governments
      in the West rather than the people who are fighting for rights, preservation of liberties, etc.

      If Snowden was a Muslim and citizen of Saudi Arabia, you don’t even have to imagine what the reaction
      woulda been. He exposed Saudi spying on internet? “So what. It is the duty of the ruler to establish Shariah
      and maintain order. He’s a traitor and a kafir.”. 100% those comments would be made. Heck some fundoo nutjob would already be on his way to Moscow to kill him. Again, imagining this is not necessary tho. Just see
      what happened to Salman Taseer.

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      • df

        Dear ZAI and Shuaib,

        Thank you for sharing your views. It is of great relief to see such open mindedness.

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    • Nonbeliever

      All over the world, non-Muslims are the target of Islamic extremists. The best thing would be to stop being part of their numbers. You are the beneficiaries of these “extremists,” as they take over and force Islam on everyone else.

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  6. df

    I would like to clarify that my question about moving to islamic countries was targetted at the extremists who keep telling westerners islam will win and their western ways are sinful while preaching death for apostasy and other things. My heart goes out to the muslims who suffer from both extremists and islamophobes. But my point is that Canadians are not intolerant in general. They are afraid of the loud extremists that keep telling them their western ways are wrong.

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  7. Sarah S

    I am a Muslim and I do not tell others how to live their life!
    I mind my own business and never let my opinions to be forced on others. Live and let live. Also, I have seen news on Quran being burnt and cartoons being made but I did not kill anyone because I know God is watching and he is way beyond all this that humans do on earth i.e. spread hate. I know there are good and bad people everywhere but we should not generalize everyone for being the same. You know I would love to move back to my country, all the killing shown on t-v is bull and overly exaggerated, we have good jobs back home. Doctors who came from back home are suffering to make a living here whereas when we were back home we had servants all over our houses!

    What does media show; negativity…

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    • Lamya

      Do not worry Sarah. People know muslims are good people. It is really just extremists they are worried about. I am sorry you are struggling. Why can you not move back to your country?

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      • eric

        Does the koran tell people what to think or believe or accept as truth? Are muslims considered superior?

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      • Parvez Khan

        Yes the Quran tells us the truth and to believe in Allah and His Messengers.

        The Quran tells us to live and die as Muslims. thus indicating that being a Muslim is superior in terms of faith and spirituality and success in the hereafter.

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    • Denise

      Yes, media spreads a lot of trouble. We must keep calm heads and support all people, all religions and all orientations. Peace and understanding to all!

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  8. Hector

    “Maybe Drainville can use English lessons?”

    No he can’t. The Charter was written and put forward in French. Perhaps you can use French lessons and lessons in the history of Quebec. Someone who complains of Quebecois “racism” without knowing or caring what the main language in Quebec is is in a dubious situation.

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    • victoria

      Quebec is also a part of Canada and darn time they start acting like it this bill.is ridiculous! What people wear isn’t hurting anyone yet is a okay for woman to walk around half naked. Canada is suppose to be about rights and multicultured well those symbols are part of these people and yet were trying to take that away from them. Why don’t we just tear down all the churches/mosques as well….. Take religion out of Canada completly . should be focusing on more important issues! Ashamed to be Canadian!

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  9. Paine

    Whoever wrote this petition is being dramatic and childish. The Bill proposes that Civil Servants not bear symbols of religious affiliation, it condemns nothing from the civilian populace.

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    • eric

      Finally some sense. However the muslims want to frame the argument as an attack on their person.
      Manipulation. They us the human rights ideals as a sword

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  10. Obadiah Wright

    First of all, I’d like to make clear that the following is coming from a non-religious person. & I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon this, especially since I’m not Canadian…
    I would probably be a lot more outraged if this bill applied to common citizens rather than just Civil Servants, but still, this makes me shake my head.
    I wish I could find a source that linked to what this bill actually says, because these days it’s easy to get worked up over petitions written with one shade of grey (if you get what I mean).
    But symbols, “ostentatious” or not, are such a part of identity for some; they become part of one’s person. That someone might feel “disrespected” or “intimidated” by someone else’s identity is just a sign of ignorance. Would you not agree that respect, and demeanor should come from and be evaluated by someone’s attitude and actions?If instead a group suppress their identity to “service” people who might otherwise feel “disrespected” or “intimidated,” is that not also feeding to their, the general population’s, ignorance?

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    • an idea

      Dear Obadiah,

      Maybe you should read this article http://muslimmatters.org/2014/01/17/kaafir-new-f-word/ where non-muslims are described as kaafir who will be sent to hell and do not deserve to be in anyone’s prayers. Bill 60 is not right. It targets innocent people of all religions. But it has come about as a result of religious people hating non-religious people simply because they are not religious. You might want to read the comments. They are particulrly hateful.

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      • really!

        Or you can speak to a Muslim like me for example and realize we are just like anyone else trying to make a life for ourselves. I respect everyone’s opinions and choices even if I would not choose it for myself.

        I am the RULE not the EXCEPTION.

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  11. Jubril

    Islam is a religion of Peace. One of our women’s identity is to put on their Hijab. There is not misconception in this issue of Hijab, as we all know that hijab has no influence or impact on the economic growth or development of any country, then you don’t have to give yourself anxiety, concerns, or any problems.

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  12. Northern Lights

    Canada is a largely secular nation & the province of Quebec particularly so. Quebec endured many centuries of almost complete control by the Catholic church that was eventually challenged by the “Quiet Revolution”. This bill isn’t directed at the citizenry at large but the provincial employes who are expected to maintain a degree of ambiguity & not express affiliation with any group but the state. While it might violate personal freedom of expression, most people know that when you take on employment, personal beliefs & self expression quickly get pushed aside in order to do the job & do it without controversy. Truthfully if Bill 60 were to be fully implemented, the province of Quebec would alter its flag & remove the large cross from it. Canadians have a right to believe in and practice a religion but Canadians also have the right not to practice or believe in a religion. We have the right to express our viewpoints & to question the viewpoints of others, but we can also expect to have government services that do not emphasize or promote any particular deity or path.

    ““Yes, hon, if Bill 60 gets passed, and if it ever gets adopted by all of Canada; we would leave. In a heartbeat…..He got it. Sheheryar, my older one was already asking follow-up questions. I was glad, and relieved. They understood – being a Muslim came first.”

    If your religion has more importance to you than this beautiful land you call home then perhaps you should leave…..there are far too many people in Canada & not enough of them are actual Canadians.

    & to the non-Quebecers who are trying to influence this from abroad; please mind your own business & stop trying to influence the ways in which Canadians govern themselves.

    Thankyou.

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  13. Dina

    First I would like to clarify that I am completely against an all out ban on so called ‘ostentatiously religious symbols’, it is your liberty at stake here and claps to the author for the link to petitions, people that can be emailed etc. It’s great to empower your audience instead of just winding them up. However, there are some errors her that I must correct.

    Firstly “the hijab, a mandatory observance for Muslim women” is misleading. It is not mandatory for a muslim woman to wear a hijab except when in prayer, I would know because all of the religious people in my family are muslims without exception and have been for the past few hundred years and no women in my family has ever, I reiterate, ever worn a hijab. Come to think of it neither do any of my islamic friends. The fact of the matter is that faith is between yourself and god, your clothing doesn’t come into it, anyone who believes otherwise has clearly missed the point. Likewise, there is nothing immodest about leaving your head uncovered in an environment where the majority of the population does so, if anything, it is ostentatious.

    Secondly, “And, in what can only be deemed as phenomenally ironic – Drainville banned the use of “racist” during the Bill 60 hearings now going on in Quebec. So he’s not a racist? The supporters aren’t racists. Who’s the racist? If you can answer this question, you are surely smarter than I am” Ok, well, seeing as no particular race was mentioned here, no racism has occurred. Please not, islam, Judaism and christianity are all faiths, not races. Where a person of any race can chose to alter their religion to join any faith, you cannot change your race regardless of your religion. Clearly the author has fallen into the racial-religious stereotype so I would like to suggest that if anyone here is a racist (as determined by making assumptions about such as that they should belong to a particular religion based solely on their race) it is the author of this article.

    Lastly, as I have said before, the government has no right to all out ban any item of clothing, an employer has every right to expect their employees to dress in a particular way regardless of their personal beliefs or tastes. This is because in the employer/employee situation you maintain you right to choose how you dress by choosing to leave the job if you do not wish to follow the requirements that your employer has placed on you. Seeing as this bill only concerns public servants, i.e. employees of the government, the government has the right to ban any item of clothing in the work place be it a turban or t-shirts. If civil servants don’t like it, they can quit their jobs and move into the public sector. Of course, they also have the option of petitioning their employer, but ultimately, the employers wishes must be respected.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      Sister , the only difference in opinion is regarding ” niqab/face veil” whether it’s obligatory or not .

      There’s no doubt whatsoever regarding hijab being fard because the versus are so explicit in the quran .

      If I wrote down everything here, it would be a long post :) so am posting a link ( you can find several other articles on it)
      http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/quran/hijab-fard-obligation-or-fiction/

      Btw,’ to reduce vision’ is translated as to ” lower gaze “. We have to remember the quran Q&A revealed in Arabic , not English .
      The words khimar ( head cover ) is right there in the verse. Pre islamic women also worn some sort of khimar but would leave the ends open, so the neck and chest is not covered by khimar. ( you can still see many hindu and Christian women still wearing the pre-islamic khimar style)

      Allah’s command was to bring the ends of the khimar close , so as to cover the chest in the front . That’s how muslim women cover today – the headscarf( khimar ) is wrapped , not only to cover the head , but also the neck and chest .

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      • Umm ZAKAriyya

        Typo :

        Quran was revealed in Arabic

        ( not -quran Q&A …)

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  14. Nonbeliever

    “being a Muslim came first.”

    Thanks for admitting what we all know: Muslims have no loyalty to anything or anyone other than Islam and the ummah. Muslims are free to be traitors wherever they may live. You’ve just proved it to be so.

    Being a Muslim comes first – damn the law of the land, screw the rest of the world. We’re taking over and subjugating everyone else. That’s Islam!

    And Islam is AGAINST democracy, so please quit trying to use that against us in your quest for global domination.

    Also, Islam is NOT a race, so playing the racism card won’t work with intelligent and moral people.

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  15. Riz Khan

    Let me show you the true Islam!

    The Promise of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) to The Christians of St. Catherine

    In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and requested his protection. He responded by granting them the following charter of rights. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in modern-day Egypt and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.

    The Eternal Promise:

    “This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

    The promise is eternal and universal. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment. The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties.

    The document is not a modern human rights treaty but, even though it was penned in 628 AD, it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.

    If someone wants to validate, please visit http://www.sinaimonastery.com/en/index.php?lid=68

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    • Koshur_Muslim

      This a great example of acceptance, however you said:
      “The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges.”

      These aren’t privileges, these are RIGHTS, we’re not doing them a favor if we abide by this charter, we’re fulfilling their rights.

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      • Riz Khan

        It is a simple copy and paste from another site. I found it relevant in a way to the current article. Our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is called Rahmatul-Lil-Alameen. This convent is one of the many many proofs.

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  16. love all

    This is esp to Nonbeliever. Your comment ” Islam is provoking people to commit violence, murder, rape all over the world” shows your misunderstanding the evil actions of man as the Word of GOD Almighty. Plse know that people’s actions do not represent any religion be it judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc etc. Lay blame squarely on the indiviiduals n groups of extremist.

    My adivice to u, is to quit being a fan of “islam hate sites” as your above rant of blatant lies, is being spewed frm such hate sites.

    Plse people of all faiths! do pray for ‘hate filled’ souls such as ‘Nonbeliever’ n let’s unite all peoples of this beautifull world.

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    • Jack

      To love all:

      You need to study your Quran and Muhammad. Any study at all of Islam’s beliefs, writings and history will show Islam PROMOTES violence, murder and rape.

      *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

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      • Aly Balagamwala

        Dear Jack

        I am sure your comment is based on your sincere study of Islam’s beliefs, writings and history and not what you learned casually browsing Islamophobic sites. The numerous people who convert to Islam daily, really need to study up what they are getting into. Can they come and study Islam with you so they are enlightened?

        Best Regards
        Aly

        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

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      • Umm ZAKAriyya

        Who’s the one hating here ? :)

        Perhaps I would have done the same thing as you if I did not study islam and know what it really is .

        Have an open unbiased mind and start studying islam . From islamic resources , not anti-muslim hate sites .
        Good day !

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  17. Koshur_Muslim

    If Bill-60 does get passed, it’s only going to affect Quebec(not the rest of Canada), so I don’t see why you have to leave Canada because of this bill, perhaps you could leave Quebec and move to another province if you really want to wear your hijab, but if think rationally, is it really conducive for you and your family to move to another province/country?Will be able to quit your job,sell your house and pull you children out of school and move to some place where they might have difficulty fitting in?I think it would be very unfair for children to just move elsewhere because of bill-60.

    One more thing i would like to say, you claim that the Hijab is a “mandatory observance” for Muslim women, could you cite any sources for that?I believe based on what my understanding of Islam is, the Quran does not command women to wear the Hijab, it only tells them(and men too) to dress “modestly”(a subjective term), so wearing the Hijab is purely a choice, however many Muslim women/girls i know of, get pressured into wearing it by their fathers/brothers/husbands or by other self-righteous Hijabis(not all of them are self-righteous).

    All of that being said I do not support bill-60 and believe in freedom of expression, however where is the “ummah” when Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and Iran aren’t given the freedom to wear anything but the Burka?We’re lucky that there are many noble non-Muslim people speaking for our rights, but there are far fewer Muslims speaking up for the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.

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    • ZAI

      “We’re lucky that there are many noble non-Muslim people speaking for our rights, but there are far fewer Muslims speaking up for the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.”

      Afrin! Well said.
      …and the few brave souls that speak up get the Salman Taseer treatment!

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  18. Matthew French

    Though I generally agree with the writer, am I the only one who finds dealing with people with covered faces puts one at a serious disadvantage? Trust and empathy just go right out the window. How is it different to dealing with people wearing a hoodie and a bandana over their mouth, or a balaclava, both of which are considered HIGHLY socially unacceptable. Wearing a symbol I understand or wearing a non-obstructive piece of clothing. But let’s say a religion existed whose principal belief was that they had to carry knives. There is no way it would simply be allowed because of religious freedoms, because in the end the freedoms of the many outweight the needs of the few and there will always be more people not belonging to a particular religion than belonging to it.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      When many people wear it( overt religious symbols)as a part of their religion , and have good social behaviour , and no negative remarks about them in the media,the rest of the public do not associate them with anything harmful or unacceptable.

      Such as Sikh turbans( wrapping long uncut hair) in India , niqabs in Saudi etc

      In parts of coastal south India , many women wear niqab ( in predominantly non muslim areas), and it’s seen as something normal . You will see niqabis chit-chatting with hindu women at the bus stands , cracking jokes in the stores etc . All while their faces are covered in public!

      People are always accepting of other good people ( even if they carried knives as some Sikhs do)

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      • Umm ZAKAriyya

        But yes , it does put niqabis at a serious disadvantage in places like America where people generally don’t get to meet/ befriend/work with niqabis . And with all that shown in the western media , things get even more difficult .

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  19. Robert

    Canadian first Muslim second is the correct answer otherwise do let us know if you need directions to the airport.

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  20. jnoll

    Pass the bill then when all the Muslims leave repeal it and don’t let anymore in.

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  21. Victoria

    I think the comments on here are disgusting coming from an adult! Canada is suppose to be welcoming hope for a better life, freedom. And adults are suppose to set examples for our children our future. How do we expect our future for our children to be better if we show them hate! Shameful are we human beings or animals!

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