Hussein Hoballah - Montreal
Normally, group leaders might disagree as they seek gains and positions following accomplishments and victory made. But this community has broken the norm; discord showed along halfway, in time when the community’s targeted by Quebec’s current government and even before any great accomplishment is made. Eventually, any efforts made to face the continuously growing challenges might be weakened.
In a previous publication, while briefly commenting on Law 21, which had by then been passed since a year, I pointed out that “belittling what this law could do would be more dangerous than the law itself, especially when efforts were being wasted and activists were just getting further apart for no substantial reasons.”
I made those remarks following signs of discord that ensued a rally by Premier François Legault’s office downtown Montreal Sunday morning on 14 June. The rally wasn’t well amassed, and some influential community figures were absent even though the rally was meant to decry that law, which would affect the entire community, especially women, the most vulnerable.
I am discussing this again now that detailed news of the discord have been largely brought to attention within the community and outside it, too. Besides, many attempts to resolve the disagreement and to calm the situation failed, although they were made by prominent groups, and although meetings were held to support a group and calls were made to support another.
It might seem like the a trivial disagreement on the group that has the right to run the “No to Law 21” Facebook page, but in fact, it is a much bigger issue that must be tackled, though it is usually better not to publicise disagreements and write articles on them. After all, nothing can today be hidden anymore in time of the social-media “revolution” and in time when all are talking about this disagreement. Besides, overlooking this or not discussing it is quite risky. Perhaps those in charge will realise where they’re heading and how steep their way will be.
Among the most conspicuous issues reflected by the discord are:
- Someone from every community group is trying to belittle the others’ work.
- No consultations as regards the community are being made among the groups.
- Someone here is trying to strike someone there by organising an event here or there to mark the same occasion.
- Community supporters’ noses are being dug into the community’s disagreements, and that’s very alarmingly serious!
- Presumptions and guesses are coinciding with the disagreements and may even be considered a phase of the discord.
- Power is being abused, and some female activists are being warned against working for this association or that; it has been said that young female activists are being pressured to skip certain activities.
- The community institutions’ work lacks transparency.
- It is possible an outsider group is rousing tension among community activists.
Within these issues are points that must be approached with care; they are only fears that demand attention and thoughtful debate, away from selfness and ego.
What’s going on is good for none; all realise how serious things might get for us; all efforts made so far to challenge Law 21 and other harms might be wasted. All conscientious figures ought to do something. Community enthusiasts, too, ought to remedy things and bring people together, which “is better than the public’s prayers and fasting”, according to Islam.
It’s true things cannot be resolved by pretentiousness and ignoring the discord, as “Abu Milhim”, a famous Lebanese theatrician, would do. But things must be made right so as to show mercy to the little number of community activists left standing, and to our supporters from other communities. The points of discord I mentioned must be tackled right, and there may be others, too.
First, any media campaign being made must be stopped, and a meeting must be called to bring together the concerned and the numerous good-willed. Let us deeply reflect upon all discord points, and let’s discuss things rationally, driven by our care for this community. The community will show mercy to none if left alone before the precarious overhang, which has been created by unjust anti-Muslim decisions made by the different others, who claim they speak for Islam and defend it and Canadian Muslims.
It is true mistakes are made, but no group should be solely blamed. It’s natural to make mistakes while working; eventually, only those without action make no mistakes. Whoever cares for the community must compromise for its greater good. Whoever cares must willingly contribute to the solution rather than ignite a blazing fire.
Undoubtedly, today’s different others have, for long years, reflected through various positions wonderful images and made unforgettable achievements, which gave us hope we would overcome the consequent crises created by haters since long. Today, they are called on to maintain those achievements and make use of them; otherwise, the alternative is clear, and the future will definitely be darkened.
It’s not anybody’s right to devastate, defame or offend any other. If there’s no way to resolve certain issues and disagreements, let every party acknowledge the presence of the other, and let collaboration take place on common grounds, which are many! Let activities be shared and unrepeated lest all of us get weakened and start to lament the community’s partly efficient past.
It is greatly hoped you will act wisely.. You are the mindful minority actively working on ground.. You’re the only hope, so allow not despair to infiltrate our reality, and hurry to resolve things before they get out of control.