My manicurist’s brother’s girlfriend just had her fifth abortion on the public dime, I learned yesterday. No worries. This is Quebec, which “enjoys” twice the abortion rate of the other provinces. The right to abortion is sacred here – as many and as often as you like. In fact, support for unlimited access to abortion is apparently a litmus test for one’s worthiness to enter politics.
Someone running for office in the Conservative Party, for example, who adheres to a faith holding that abortion is morally wrong may be publicly censured by the Bloc Québécois leader.On the other hand, a candidate linked to terrorist apologists in Quebec won’t raise the slightest objection from that same party leader.
Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe has taken umbrage because a candidate for the Conservative Party, Nicole Charbonneau Barron, running in the South Shore Montreal riding of St Bruno-St Hubert, is a member of Opus Dei, a personal prelature within the Catholic church.
Attempting to whip up fears that the Tories want to take away a woman’s right to choose, Duceppe complained that “those people are against a lot of things that are generally accepted in Quebec.”
It is true that members of Opus Dei do not support abortion. On the other hand, Opus Dei members do not sympathize with Hamas and Hezbollah or believe Jews are legitimate targets for terrorism, surely views that are not “generally accepted in Quebec” as well?
Which brings me to what should be the actually worrying case of Ms Samira Laouni, the NDP candidate for the riding of Montréal-Bourassa. Some of us in Quebec who keep our eye on activities and players in the Islamic community wonder why Monsieur Duceppe is so fascinated by Ms Charbonneau-Barron’s privately held views on abortion, but is not at all exercised by Ms Laouni’s enthusiasm for Sharia law and anti-Western agents provocateurs.
Ms Laouni was interviewed by outspoken popular radio host Benoit Dutrizac Wednesday. He asked her, “What is the difference between a good Muslim and an Islamist?” She replied: “I don’t know, I have never been around an extremist...”
I attended a Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) fund-raiser in September 2007 in Ms Laouni’s riding that featured the notoriously controversial British journalist Yvonne Ridley. As Project Manager for the CIC's Quebec branch, Ms Laouni’s name was listed on the program as an organizer and contact person.
Ridley, a convert to Islam after a period of captivity with the Taliban, is famous for her provocations: She has defended the Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev, the mastermind behind both the Moscow theatre hostage crisis and Beslan school massacre, as a “shaheed” (martyr) with an assured home in Paradise; and is on record counselling British Muslims "to boycott the police and refuse to co-operate with them in any way, shape or form." Ridley performed as expected that night, praising the misunderstood Taliban, Canada's mortal enemies, cheering on Hezbollah, and bashing the West at every turn. I’d call that extremist.
Ms Laouni’s active participation in the leadership of the CIC is problematic. This organization has petitioned to have Hezbollah and Hamas removed from the government’s official terror list. CIC’s president, Mohamed Elmasry, has declared every adult Jew in Israel to be a legitimate target for murder.
Ms Laouni’s name may be vaguely familiar to those who followed the Reasonable Accommodation hearings in Quebec. She was co-chair of the delegation that went to the famous town of Hérouxville to lecture its residents on “respect” and “tolerance.”
That’s a bit rich in the light of a rather shocking poem that had just been published, written by Ms Laouni’s riding association president (and until recently her campaign manager), Haydar Moussa. Allegedly an expression of the pain felt by Muslim women who experience prejudice, Moussa’s poem lashes out at heritage Quebec culture, portraying Quebec women as promiscuous drunks:
"My veil is not a kerchief," "It's my skin/My modesty, my dignity, my respect.
"And if you, old-stock immigrant/You have neither faith nor law/And you spent your youth drunk/And went from one male to the next/That's not the case for me."
Moussa, who has yet to apologize for the poem, is vice-president of the Association des Jeunes Libanais Muselmans de Montréal. Their website features the Hezbollah war anthem Ya Ashraf An Na (United We Stand), which calls on Muslims to fight the tyrant (the U.S. and Israel presumably) because victory is promised by God.
The association’s website also has links to a number of radical Shiite ayatollahs, including Hezbollah’s spiritual leader, jihadism strategist Sayed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who, for the record, supports terrorism, although, ironically enough, does not support abortion. Has anyone asked Ms Laouni what her private views on jihadism, as well as abortion, are? Or, she being Muslim, not Catholic, and NDP, not Conservative, would such an intrusion into her private conscience be considered too politically indelicate?