In a recent announcement made by Palais des congress, it has disclosed to have canceled a conference on Islam at Montreal’s largest convention centre in light of security concerns. The conference entitled called Entre Ciel et Terre (Between Heaven and Earth) was scheduled to take place on Sept. 7 and 8. Quebec’s minister for the Status of Women, Agnès Maltais, prominently criticized the conference, asking the Canadian government to ban several invited guests from entering the country, asserting that the speakers are “radical Islamists” who didn’t respect equality between men and women.
However, the conference organizers defended its choice of speakers, explaining that they only got to know about their guests’ controversial statements through the media. Spokesperson of the Conference, Ishaq Moustaqin, alleged that he doesn’t endorse these specific messages, while highlighting that his group shall not be held accountable for what was said outside of Canada. He stated that “we can’t control what people can say. We assure the public that none of those messages will be allowed at our conference.”
The president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, Salam Elmanayi, mentioned in a statement that comments made by a prominent French Muslim were distasteful, though while considering them a blunder, he alleged that Maltais did not have any right to ask Canada to deny entry of speakers into the country. Elmanyi alleged that “we don’t let a civil servant somewhere sitting at his desk decide, who you’re going to say, what you’re going to say tomorrow and when you’re going to say it.”
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