Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor Meets with Muslims, Discusses Potential Backlash After Arrests

June 7, 2006

Source: CBC News


On June 7, 2006 CBC News reported, "There's a 'real danger' of a backlash against Muslim Canadians, says James K. Bartleman, Ontario's lieutenant-governor.

Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman greets Kazem Mesbah Moosavi, founder of the Islamic Iranian Centre of Imam Ali and other members of the Muslim community at Queen's Park. In the wake of a string of arrests in Toronto for alleged bomb plots, and vandalism at a local mosque that happened after the arrests were made, Bartleman said we must turn to our Canadian fundamental values � values such as tolerance.

'Leaders have to speak out at this time to make the point that the rights of everybody must be respected, and that we have to keep our cool in these circumstances,' Bartleman said Wednesday to about 60 members of the Muslim community at the lieutenant-governor's suite at Queen's Park.

'We must always remember that we can't throw out the baby of all our values with the bathwater of our fight against terrorism.'

Bartleman denounced the vandalism of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto Mosque in Rexdale, Ont., and said the 750,000 Muslims in Canada should not be tainted by the alleged actions of a few.

'[Muslims] are wonderful members of the Canadian community, and we would not condemn, for example, the Italian community because of the mafia. We would not condemn the Irish community because of the IRA,' he said.

Imam Hamid Slimi of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto agreed that the community is in a 'phase of a backlash.'"