Protests around Canada emerge in solidarity with Egyptians

News Agencies – January 30, 2011

About 100 people showed up Sunday afternoon in front of a downtown Montreal high-rise where the consulate general of the Arab Republic of Egypt is located. Expatriate Egyptians and supporters have been gathering for the past several days at the same spot, chanting slogans and singing the Egyptian national anthem, waving Egyptian and Canadian flags and placards and calling for the immediate ouster of Mr. Mubarak, who has had an iron grip on the country for 30 years. Organizers of the Montreal demonstration vowed to return every day until Mr. Mubarak leaves.

There were similar non-violent gatherings over the weekend in several other Canadian cities. No incidents were reported by police. In Toronto on Saturday, an estimated 400 people staged a rally at Yonge-Dundas Square, chanting in Arabic with many hoisting signs that read “Egyptians in, Mubarak out.” In Vancouver, a crowd gathered at Library Square in the city’s downtown Saturday to listen to speakers and express their support for anti-government actions in Egypt.

About 100 turned out for a rally at Churchill Square in front of City Hall in Edmonton on Saturday. In Halifax, about two dozen people were reported to have showed up for a show of support at Victoria Park on Saturday. Another rally was expected to be held Sunday at Halifax’s Grand Parade.

French National Front leader says Islam is not compatible with secular society

News Agencies – January 28, 2011

The recently appointed leader of France’s far-right National Front party has turned her attention toward Islam, saying it is “absolutely not compatible” with a secular society. Marine Le Pen, who took over as head of the party two weeks ago, has regularly faced accusations of Islamaphobia. “I think that France can be secular because it’s a Christian culture and you notice that in Muslim countries they have more difficulty,” she told LCP, the French parliament’s TV channel. “France is France. It’s a country with Christian roots and that’s also what’s given us our identity. It’s secular, we’ll hold this identity and we won’t let this identity be changed.”

In December, the 42-year-old compared Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation during World War II, shortly before she took over from her father Jean-Marie as head of the anti-immigrant party.