Liberal Leadership: "Muslim delegates are not a herd of cattle for sale to the highest bidder"
- November 27, 2006The Liberal Party Leadership Race:MCC expresses concern: Islamists
duping Liberal leadership hopefuls"Muslim delegates are not a herd of cattle for
sale to the highest bidder," says Salma SiddiquiTORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress has expressed concern that self styled leaders from the Muslim community are making false representations to Liberal leadership hopefuls by suggesting they control Muslim delegate votes at this week's Liberal Party convention.Salma Siddiqui, Vice President of the MCC said in a statement, nearly 200 Muslim Canadians will be attending the Liberal Party convention as delegates, but unknown to them, the Canadian Islamic Congress's Mohamed Elmasry is speaking on their behalf to various leadership candidates. "Muslim delegates at the convention are not a herd of cattle for sale to the highest bidder," Ms. Siddiqui protested.Ms. Siddiqui, who will be attending the convention as a delegate, said, "Muslim Liberal delegates will vote according to their conscience, not the dictates of Elmasry. Some of us back Michael Ignatieff while others have been elected on the Bob Rae team. We are not answerable to Elmasry nor have we given him, or his organization, the authority to bargain on our behalf.""Muslim Canadians are not a tribe led by some medieval clan leader. Any leadership candidate who thinks he can buy our loyalty by appeasing one self-styled community leader, is in for a sad surprise," she added.Ms. Siddiqui expressed disappointment that one of the leadership hopefuls was associating himself with Mohamed Elmasry's grandstanding. "We want all the leadership hopefuls to know that the Muslim community is not a mindless group of people willing to dance to the tune of an Islamist Pied Piper," she reminded them."We urge Muslim Liberal delegates to vote according to their conscience, and not be bullied by the dictates of those who represent the the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran in Canada," she saidFarzana Hassan, president of the MCC expressed regret that some Liberal Party leadership hopefuls were treating Canada's Muslims merely as a homogeneous tribe rather than as as individuals, each with their own vision of Canada, who can make a positive contribution to Canada's secular democratic society.Munir Pervaiz, Secretary General of the MCC asked Canada's politicians to put an end to the practise of 'ethnic politics,' of pandering to self styled community leaders who are inspired by Islamist ideologies, opposed to the fundamental liberal values of Canada. "The racism of lower expectations must come to an end, once and for all," Pervaiz added.- 30 -For more information:In Montreal call Intizar Zaidi at (514) 889-6397In Toronto call Farzana Hassan at (647) 504-5650