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An interesting news item about Alghabra

Reader comment on item: Is Omar Alghabra of Canada's Liberal Party an Islamist?

Submitted by Elliot Rosenberg (Canada), Oct 23, 2008 at 12:24

I ran across this in the October 23, 2008 edition of the Toronto Star. Please note there is a distinctly conciliatory and moderate message being cited to Omar Alghabra. Your comments are welcome.


here is the text for those who cannot access the link.

NDP candidate accused as 'traitor to Islam'

Mississauga candidate says he's been threatened since election in which Tory defeated Muslim MP

Staff Reporter
Mustafa Rizvi says he's been labeled a "traitor to Islam" for running against a Muslim MP in last week's federal election.

Rizvi ran a distant third for the NDP in Mississauga-Erindale, won by Conservative Bob Dechert, who eked out a 239-vote win over Liberal incumbent Omar Alghabra.

Rizvi, a 28-year-old insurance adjuster, said he's received nearly two dozen threatening phone calls since election day, accusing him of splitting the Muslim vote and costing Alghabra his seat in Parliament.

"I've been getting harassment and phone calls from angry people," he said. "But this isn't faith-based politics; this is a democracy. Everybody has a right to run anywhere in the country.

"I ran as an equal Canadian," Rizvi explained. "I ran as an NDP candidate. Just because I'm a Muslim running against a Muslim, why is that a question? Why is it not a question when one Christian runs against another Christian?

"The Muslim community is closed-minded in that sense and that's what I'm trying to look beyond. I have a future in this political business and I want to maintain it. I enjoy my religion, but I don't make it a part of my political life."

Alghabra said he doesn't think Rizvi's candidacy cost him the election.

"We just didn't get the voters out," Alghabra said in an interview from Ottawa, where he was attending a Liberal caucus meeting.

"We didn't get even the same number as last time. We got almost 3,300 votes less than in 2006. Obviously, the Conservatives did a better job of getting the vote out."

It's an explanation borne out by the numbers from election day this year.

Just 55,754 voters went to the polls in Mississauga-Erindale, more than 4,000 fewer than in 2006.

In the last election, Alghabra beat Dechert by more than 3,300 votes. This time, Dechert received just 271 more votes than in 2006, but it was enough to give him a slim win over the incumbent.

Rizvi polled nearly 1,900 votes less than the previous NDP candidate.

Alghabra said it was simply a matter that "too many Liberals stayed home."

"There will always be a few individuals who are over-zealous and frustrated and go over the top," he said. "That's unacceptable.

"In a democracy like Canada, we should be congratulating people who run for office, not threaten them. It's disappointing and disturbing that some individuals might do that.

"Voting for people based on ethnicity or religious background is an outdated notion," said Alghabra, who wouldn't rule out running again. "I don't think anyone voted for him or me based on those things.

"There may be a very small number of individuals that will vote against or for someone because of their ethnic background," he said. "Unfortunately they exist, but they are not representative of our riding or our country."


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Reader comments (77) on this item

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The Quebec election and the CAQ wins by a large majority! [36 words]dhimmi no moreOct 2, 2018 09:27245161
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1Yawn... [26 words]TajOct 30, 2008 20:29141576
1Concerned Canadian Citizen [236 words]AngOct 27, 2008 14:21141151
An interesting news item about Alghabra [534 words]Elliot RosenbergOct 23, 2008 12:24140771
The Canadian Conservative Party is now "Islamist Free" ... Wooot! [63 words]KristaOct 16, 2008 10:30140282
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1To Daniel Sklar - There is NEED to worry [850 words]hrJan 31, 2006 16:5233122
I agree, but.... [327 words]Daniel SklarFeb 1, 2006 13:2833122
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With all due respect.... [164 words]Daniel SklarFeb 1, 2006 22:4233122
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almughtarib Arabic NewspaperDec 6, 2006 05:1833122
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Who is father Zakaria [300 words]Ebrahe MohyJan 25, 2006 23:4632488
1To Ebrahe Mohy - heard of google ? [288 words]hrJan 27, 2006 06:3232488
So Ebrahy Mohe: did Omar al-Ghabra win in the election? [143 words]dhimmi no moreJan 30, 2006 13:2032488
The Truth [60 words]elachoFeb 1, 2006 09:0032488
Father Zakaria, the brave man [142 words]f.shaDec 18, 2006 22:4532488
if you want to understand islam go learn arabic first [103 words]nabilDec 29, 2006 01:3932488
I openly praise you for standing up as an honest muslim against ignorance [13 words]BrunoApr 26, 2007 15:2632488
Hr [86 words]BrunoApr 26, 2007 15:4532488
Father [50 words]Nathan D'MarcoApr 18, 2008 07:2432488
He Has been re-elected [7 words]J.S.Jan 24, 2006 15:4832344
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To DDS [174 words]hrJan 21, 2006 06:1730502
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AlGhabra is WEASLE [721 words]HRDec 23, 2005 05:5130443
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Every single day, Yuval [31 words]Heather ClarkDec 23, 2005 21:2530420
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Canadians' Heads are buried in the Snow re: Islam and C Parrish [272 words]Jeff BercovitchDec 20, 2005 18:3730304
1Carolyn Parrish [79 words]DaveDec 20, 2005 16:2330290
More on Carolyn [21 words]ddsDec 23, 2005 12:1630290
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Serious questions remain despite the denials [90 words]Mark JamesDec 20, 2005 15:2930282
Just a matter of time [213 words]GitaDec 20, 2005 15:2430281

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