Mississauga Mayor Crombie refuses to apologize over mosque stance

Crombie called it correctly (Mississauga is about 12 percent Muslim):

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie stood up in council Wednesday and adamantly declared, “I stand by the remarks I made,” refusing to apologize to a group of residents alleging she had labelled them racists for refusing to support a new mosque.

Crombie told residents — who presented a petition demanding an apology, claiming she had turned a planning issue into a race issue — that she singled out only one resident at a council meeting two weeks ago for his views.

Kevin Johnston admitted distributing literature urging people to support stopping the mosque. He claimed if the mosque is built current residents would leave in droves, creating “another Canadian cultural hole.” He argued the mosque did not fit with the neighbourhood, would drive up crime and vandalism, set back women’s rights and impact housing prices.

The brochure depicted a Canadian flag with a Muslim crescent moon and star in the middle, instead of the maple leaf, offering it as a warning to readers. He urged people to visit his website, stopthemosque.com and sign a petition.

Johnston has since changed the content of the website to focus only on planning issues.

“It was uncalled for, it was unCanadian, it was heinous and it was wrong,” Crombie responded to the group of residents demanding an apology inside the council chamber, as a much larger group that filled one side of the seats erupted in applause.

In a verbal statement at council on Wednesday Johnston said he has paid a price for his position.

“What I would also like to say here is the term hate monger was regrettably brought forth by yourself Madame Mayor. It is something that well, congratulations to you, cost me my job and also, congratulations to you, cost me the ability to work locally so I will have to probably work outside of Mississauga but I won’t be leaving.”

“What I do want to say clearly to the entire Muslim community (is that) I do want to talk to you this is not something where I’m saying I am anti-Muslim, I am not anti-individual but I do know the problems that will come up with this building so if you do want to have conversations please call me,” he said.

Source: Crombie refuses to apologize over mosque stance | Toronto Star

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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