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MCC thanks Prime Minister Harper for standing up for Religious Minorities & People with no Faith

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  • Tarek Fatah
    ...let me express the thanks of many of my colleagues for your remarks about the protection of the rights of even those who have no faith in any religion. You
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2013
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      "...let me express the thanks of many of my colleagues for your remarks about the protection of the rights of even those who have no faith in any religion. You may very well be the very first head of a government who has spoken up for the human rights of agnostics and atheists, a group that faces torture and death at the hands of vigilantes and governments in countries where any expression of a lack of faith in religion or the divine, is sufficient grounds for the death penalty."

       

      February 21, 2013

       

      The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
      Prime Minister of Canada
      Langevin Block
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0A2

       

      Dear Prime Minister:

       

      On behalf of the members of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), please accept my congratulations on your announcement that scholar Andrew Bennett will lead Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom.

       

      As Muslims we are particularly delighted that this announcement was made inside the environs of a Muslim community centre that hosted people from all faiths as well as people of no faith.

       

      We in the MCC believe in the strict separation of religion and politics, but we are also cognizant of the fact, religious minorities in many parts of the world, and unfortunately in almost all Muslim-majority states, face systemic institutionalized discrimination and are forced to live as second-class citizens. It is for this reason we support the future work of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom.

       

      In addition, there are a number of countries where Muslims are a minority and face discrimination at the hands of non-Muslim majorities. The example of Myanmar and Thailand come to mind. We hope Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom will offer such countries assistance in how to protect the rights of Muslim minorities, the way such rights have been successfully protected in Canada.

       

      We were particularly pleased at your reference to the late Shahbaz Bhatti who was assassinated simply for standing up for the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan.

       

      In closing, let me express the thanks of many of my colleagues for your remarks about the protection of the rights of even those who have no faith in any religion.

       

      You may very well be the very first head of a government who has spoken up for the human rights of agnostics and atheists, a group that faces torture and death at the hands of vigilantes and governments in countries where any expression of a lack of faith in religion or the divine, is sufficient grounds for the death penalty. It is indeed a pity that not a single newspaper reported your words on this subject.

       

      Prime Minister, in standing up for the rights of religious and non-believing minorities, you have made us all proud of our country, Canada.

       

      Thanking you,

       

      Yours sincerely.

       

       

       

      Salma Siddiqui
      President

       

      Cc.  The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship
             The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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