Hearing from other faith voices

By 
  • September 23, 2008

Religion and politics are constant bedfellows, so it's no surprise that Catholics aren't the only ones weighing in on this election. Among the religious voices raised in the early going of the short, six-week campaign, Muslims and Jews each have their concerns.

The Jewish human rights organization B'nai Brith has issued its own election guide, highlighting aboriginal issues, immigration and refugee rights, anti-terrorism legislation, the role of human rights commissions in countering hate speech and the need for security guards at the doors of synagogues, Jewish schools and other obviously Jewish institutions.

On the international front B'nai Brith is worried that Canada's policy in favour of an independent Palestinian state gives terrorist groups such as Hamas a free pass, and they want Canada to take the threat of a nuclear armed Iran more seriously.

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations steps into the election debate with its take on a Sept. 19 Leger Marketing poll which found two out of every five Canadians holds anti-Muslim views. Cair-Can notes with concern the rise of intolerance among Canadians, including increased anti-Semitism.

"Any increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is unacceptable, and concrete initiatives are required to fight against such intolerance," said Cair-Can community relations director Ihsaan Gardee in a release.

The Canadian Islamic Congress has been working on a document about the ethics of voting, but won't have it ready before the Oct. 14 vote.

The relatively tiny and liberal Muslim Canadian Congress hasn't said anything about the election so far, but the topic is bound to come up at the Oct. 4 meetup for progressive and secular Muslims in Toronto.

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