Denis Coderre defends anti-radicalization plans
New anti-radicalization centre will 'provide tools to prevent radicalization,' Montreal mayor says
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is defending against accusations a committee formed to set up an anti-radicalization centre lacks diversity.
Coderre has taken heat for not consulting with members of Montreal’s Muslim community ahead of Monday's announcement.
- Anti-radicalization centre to be set up in Montreal
- ANALYSIS | Has Ottawa been too slow to take on radicalized Canadians?
In an exchange Tuesday with CBC Montreal's Daybreak host Mike Finnerty, Coderre said the city will begin by working with partners from social services, public safety and education.
“It's going to be very inclusive, but first things first, we're talking about expertise,” Coderre said.
Haroun Bouazzi, co-president of the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a secular Quebec, told Homerun on Monday he was concerned Muslim Montrealers hadn't been approached about the centre.
“We actually are very disappointed,” he said, explaining that he received a call from the city only a few hours before the announcement.
“We hope dialogue can be better.”
Bouazzi said his group wants to see government policies that will ensure Muslims feel welcome in Quebec.
“That will make actually less and less kids that feel excluded from their society,” he said.
“Today, they are actually having a huge amount of hatred against them, in the social media and in some conventional media.”
For his part, Coderre said the anti-radicalization centre will not target Muslims in particular, even if the plan comes on the heels of reports six Quebecers had been recruited to join Syrian jihadists.
“Of course, we had a situation just a few weeks before but it's deeper than that,” he said.
“We are providing tools to prevent radicalization.”
Coderre told Finnerty he wanted to make sure Montreal remained open and diverse.
“I'm not excluding, I'm including,” he said.
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?