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Cue the political Boogeyman

It’s the last week before Election Day and as we’ve seen during the last debate, our four hopeful politicians are pulling all the strings possible to garner any votes they can in these few days. Whether it was through bringing up skeletons in each other’s closets or just plan old fashion mudslinging, the tensions are rising between parties as the big day comes around the corner and the people of Quebec decide who they want their next Premier of la belle province to be.

As per usual, Marois seems to always want to stick out in some grand way and this last week was no different for her. In recent statements, our current premier spoke about the possibility of fundamentalist Muslims taking over the province citing that the Charter would be of great importance to protect us from said fundamentalist Islam. It seems that in a last desperate attempt to sweep the elections, Marois is placing all her cards on the table including the one she hopes to be the most effective, the fear factor. Rather than come out with a platform about cutting time in emergency rooms, she seemed quite proud to have brought down the waiting time from 18 to 17 hours during the last debate, she has decided to go for hits bellow the belt and attempt to terrify people into voting for her.

In reality, the whole business of fundamental Islam is bogus and most scenarios are taken completely out of context in order to suit the message any given party wishes to present. In this particular case, Janette Bertrand stated her case by describing a fictitious scenario where two men, who were apparently unhappy at the site of women in the pool, would eventually want to take over the use of the pool by asking for segregated time slots. This blatant show of fear mongering is the last attempt the PQ is taking at this crucial time in the race. And again rather than cover important issues, they stick to the stories about evil beard-clad extremists taking over the swimming pool.

Muslims, as is the case with any minority group in Montreal, simply wish to live in peace and tranquility. Contrary to what the PQ wants people to believe, fundamentalist Islam is not creeping up on the province with the hopes to take over and apply Sharia Law. The members of this community wish to practice their religion in peace without hurting others and without feeling alienated because of the way in which they call upon God. Making statements that extremists want to convert people and are hoping to change the way things work in the province is insane to say the least. As immigrants, this community hopes to stay under the radar as much as possible, especially given the very negative press they’ve been getting since attacks started in the United States.

The issue they face as a community is that when the outliers decide to go out and do something violent and tie in religion, they leave the normal ones to clean the mess up. Although it may come as a surprise to many, Muslims are actually very peaceful people who simply hope to perform the rites of their religion without being singled out as aggressive or oppressive. Some of these rites are more public, such as donning the veil for women, and do create misconceptions with those who do not actively go out and ask questions. It is the farthest thing from a means of oppression for women, it takes great strength to cover one of her major physical assets and take on a more conservative way of dressing. I often wonder, why is it that a woman who bears all is considered confident while one who chooses to cover all is considered self-conscious.

This is Marois’s wild card, her last attempt to try to convince people to vote for her is through instilling fear in them from a non-existent source. She has decided that she would go out with a bang; beware voters, the Muslims are out to get you. First, they will take over your swimming pools then your gyms then your entire province. The only way to fight this is through my charter that will crush any fundamentalist from taking away what is rightfully mine. The fact of the matter remains that no one has any plans to take over anything. Many of the members of this community came here to escape repressive regimes, they chose this province because of the fact that it offered the opportunity for every one of its citizens to live freely contrarily to how things were working back home. In the meantime, Marois is convinced that the fundamentalists are out to get us, one can only hope that the people of Quebec know better.

The Prince Arthur Herald
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