Bigotry is not an opinion but a crime, just as hate speech is not freedom of expression but evil.

Racism directed against someone of a different race, based on the belief that one’s own race is superior, has throughout history led to miseries, exploitations, and violence. Our Western societies have been facing this troubling social disease, which exposes itself in different forms—and sometimes aggressively.

One of the main manifestation of racism is racial profiling, an exercise which has been witnessed often on the streets of our cities and that civic organizations have expressed strong objections to. Many victims or their families have come forward to raise official complaints to authorities in order to illustrate prejudices and stereotyping in the hopes that justice will be served.

Recently, there has been a sharp escalation of hate speech directed against certain citizens based on their religious and cultural backgrounds. Hate speech has become the platform of many of the political parties and some elected officials prior to and during general elections. The unfortunate reality is that the scapegoat of this bigotry has always been the same citizens that continue to experience moral onslaughts that turn increasingly vicious.

Bigotry is not an opinion but a crime, just as hate speech is not freedom of expression but evil.

Samer Majzoub

As a matter of fact, hate speech, which tends to be practiced by the right and far right groups and individuals, is not limited to this crowd only. We have heard statements by many politicians and officials, who appear to represent moderate mainstream political and social spectrums, compete with their peers by using forms of hate speech against a segment of their citizens based on their culture and faith. Hate speech has become an election tool.

The ultimate concern is that as time goes on, the general societal conscious becomes more tolerant to racial intolerance. This will lead to social tension and the absence of security and harmony within the population.

It is clear that there is a lack of political will to deeply address and tackle xenophobia at its root cause.

Samer Majzoub

It is clear that there is a lack of political will to deeply address and tackle xenophobia at its root cause. There is a very real need for elected officials, governmental agencies and the civic society to work hand in hand and come up with a clear vision, objectives and an action plan to confront this destructive philosophy. The necessity, for all democratic constitutions, is to place restraints and illuminate the danger of the misuse of freedom of speech, behind which xenophobes practice their animosity.

Hate speech should not be allowed to incite moral or physical violence against other people based on their ideological, political, religious, racial and sexual orientation backgrounds. Bigotry is not an opinion but a crime, just as hate speech is not freedom of expression but evil.

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A world “on the loose”.

mess

We are witnessing a world “on the loose”; a world that is losing order; a world that is losing its humanity and dignity.

One does not need to go far back in time to observe the collapse of the world’s structure after World War II. Following millions of casualties and the total destruction of cities and towns during the massive conflict, the victors at that time came together with a new social concept called “human rights”, trying to convince everyone that this concept is the most important.

What we are seeing now is that the prevailing languages amongst the “super powers”, the “civilized” nations, and the developing nations are violence and viciousness!

What is more alarming is the general acceptance by the majority of the world population that hostilities and conflicts ending in bloody consequences are normal courses of action. The moral standard of the human species seems to be declining as time passes. The selfish concept of “us versus them” creates this double “measurement” standard. As long “harm and misery” are being inflicted on “the others”—who may be from a different culture, religions or race—then it becomes tolerated, sometimes with carelessness and negligence.

For example, Syria’s human tragedy has been overlooked for years. Here in the West, we count the number of refugees trying to reach our land and all we do is condemn and denounce. The bloodshed knows no boundaries. The Middle East is in hot water with instability from one location to next. Regional and international powers fight through proxies. No one seems to care about the despair, loss of loved ones, devastation, poverty and frustration being inflicted. What do we expect after all these miseries?

Adding insult to injury, we rush, within what we believe to be the free world, to elect bigots into office. From North America to Europe, all that we see are people competing on clearly bigoted platforms to be legislators and rulers of these nations. This trend is becoming clearer by the day. Discrimination, stereotyping, bullying, and harassment is the content seen in many public speeches of potential office winners, openly applauded by so many. Slogans of human rights, civil liberties, women equality, justice, and fairness are all ignored in the face of this new political tendency.

It’s scary how things could turn. It’s time for people with ethics, intellect, principles, faiths, and universal values to unite as one voice and join the efforts to stand up for peace, unity, humanity against the violence of all sorts, and discrimination of all forms. It’s said that tyrants do not only rule due to the support and backing of a number of powerful interest groups but also due to the silence, inaction and passiveness of the equally powerful majority.

*Samer Majzoub, Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) president.

Canada’s Anti-Islamophobia Motion A Shining Example To The World.

Parliament Hill, Peace Tower, Ottawa,

Parliament Hill, Peace Tower, Ottawa,

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samer-majzoub/anti-islamophobia-canada_b_12881610.html

On Oct. 26 2016, the House of Commons, Canada’s Parliament, adopted unanimously a motion to condemn all forms of Islamophobia in the country.

The fact that the motion received no objection from any of the federal parties shows that the Liberal, NDP, Conservative and Bloc Quebecois members have a clear understanding that Islamophobia is a severe form of bigotry and is not a simple subject that can be ignored anymore. It has become a critical illness that raises concerns and requires a forceful push back from the federal legislators that represent all Canadians to denounce Islamophobia.

Canada, united in standing up for human values, will be on record as the first country in the Western world to adopt a motion that contains clear wordings expressing denunciation of any sort of bigotry towards citizens based on their religious and cultural background. This move has sent a strong message to xenophobes that their acts of violence, whether verbal, moral or physical, have been rejected, and that their beliefs stand against everything that Canada prides itself on: inclusion, equality and peace. Moreover, Canada can now be provided as an actual example to the world that nations are stronger through the diversity of their population.

This move has sent a strong message to xenophobes that their acts of violence, whether verbal, moral or physical, have been rejected.

It’s rational to say that the notion of inclusion of all people that share a common land within an identified border is the most effective tool and approach to secure peace, harmony, equality and fairness.

Democratic states have carried titles of freedom, liberty and human rights slogans for a long period of time. We have been witnessing for the last two decades or so that some governments try or adapt official policies that lead to social friction amongst cultural, religious or ethnic lines. These strategies, despite appearing to be pay off through some political gains for a very limited period of time, certainly will end in devastating consequences that lead to social tensions that can be easily avoided.

By the same token, exclusion of groups of citizens because of their social, spiritual or intellectual convictions, skin colour or political views may lead to feelings of isolation and negligence, especially in the youth segment of society. This may lead some of youth to turn to inappropriate actions, creating a generation that is looked at and dealt with as second-class citizens and under siege at all times.

Canada has proudly taken a step in enhancing human values.

Anti-Semitism, racial profiling, islamophobia, bashing of any culture or race are all characteristics of bigots and portraits of racists. They are the individuals who rush to express their hatred and hostility toward any inclusive move and mind-opening exchange toward citizens of all faith, beliefs and views. Societies across the universe have suffered at the hands of these extremists elements that target all those who do not belong to their line of philosophy.

Canada has proudly taken a step in enhancing human values by condemning Islamophobia. The concepts of hate speech, bigotry and stereotyping have received a blow from the moral gesture taken by the House of Commons, the house that represents citizens from coast to coast, in unanimous consent without the opposition of any of the legislators on the floor.

The next step is for the federal government to set up policies and orientations to address and deal profoundly at all levels, social, economical and political, with Islamophobia symptoms that present themselves strongly in our society. Canada is exceptional in its values and human standards, and can remain the multicultural icon of the world with the continued condemning of bigotry.

Samer Majzoub is the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF).

Islamophobia Is Now A Canadian Concern

islamophobia-is-now-a-canadian

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samer-majzoub/islamophobia-canadian-concern_b_12533736.html

*By Samer Majzoub

The notion of discrimination has been the plague of humanity since forever. People have been targeted and persecuted for their skin colour, religious affiliation, race, nationality and others attributes. History is full of bloody periods where men, women and children have been exposed to violent hostility and deadly means for no reason besides their unique identities which their aggressors have used as pretext for crimes and atrocities inflicted upon them.

In the present days, at the time where the human civilization declares its superiority, new forms of hatred and bigotry have come to light. Modern stereotyping and what is considered to be the old fanatic stereotyping share many parallels, one of which is that both are discriminatory towards groups of people due to attributes of their identity, race, convictions and cultural background. The “new concept” of discrimination has been demonstrated under various titles, such as racial profiling, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

In 2010, the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) had led a community delegation to the House of Commons in Ottawa Hill. The objective of that parliamentary day was to create awareness and shed more light to the legislators over the notion of Islamophobia and the very troubling sharp increase in reported incidents that were related to this issue. Statistics and points of discussions were presented. Concerns over the moral and physical violent incidents against Canadians because of their visible religious identity had been some of the focus points brought up during the trip to Parliament that day.

As the years have passed, the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF), community organizations, activists, human rights groups, some public figures, intellectuals, elected officials and others have kept their worries very well exposed over the intensification of Islamophobia in the country.

Media statements, seminars and lectures, raising the subject matter to elected officials and creating awareness amongst the communities and the general public have all been means used to demonstrate the danger of letting hatred and intolerance prevail, which would lead to a toxic environment by bringing up friction within the society and creating fear in the hearts and minds of young Canadians who have been victims of verbal and physical aggressions by bigots and hatemongers.

In early 2015, the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF), in a press conference held in Montreal, voiced citizens’ frustrations and denunciations over using the Muslim community as a political football by certain politicians in hopes of gaining more votes during election periods. Furthermore, there were notes over the role of a few media outlets in inflaming Islamophobia during these times.

As hate speech moves from being a phenomenon to a social disease, some politicians, public figures and other media outlets joined in on the warnings expressed previously that Islamophobia has to be stopped, rejected and deplored. On Oct 1, 2015, Quebec’s National Assembly came together to condemn Islamophobia. Furthermore, more declarations started to be heard from various sides, whether from the governmental ruling side or the opposition side, all joining together to warn against the looming upsurge of hate speech.

The tackling of Islamophobia as a Canadian issue took another step ahead on the ladder of interest in the country. On June 8, 2016, a petition had been initiated by myself and sponsored by Frank Baylis, federal Liberal MP of Pierrefonds-DDO, calling on the House of Commons to condemn all forms of Islamophobia in Canada. The petition known by e-411 collected close to 70,000 signatures, making it the most signed online petition in the history of the House of Commons. Canadians from coast to coast showed their support for the request that the petition carried to denounce discrimination against Muslim citizens.

Based on the solid support that the petition e-411 got from Canadians, a motion to condemn all forms of Islamophobia was submitted, on Oct 5, 2016, to the House of Commons for unanimous approval by all MPs. Although the unanimous motion didn’t pass through due to the refusal of a small group of Conservative representatives out of the 338 members in the House of Commons, the fact that it earned the consent of the vast majority of other legislators proves that the Islamophobia is becoming a true Canadian concern.

Surely, the trip to recognize and to condemn discrimination, as it is a total contradiction to Canadian values, has not come to an end yet. Canadians from all stripes of social, political, racial and religious backgrounds are coming together at a much faster pace to stand united up to hate and smear campaigns against their fellow citizens.

Samer Majzoub, E-411 petition initiator

Condemning Islamophobia Promotes Human Values!

Yesmeena Buzeriba (C) chants along with other students at a rally against Islamophobia at San Diego State University in San Diego, California, November 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samer-majzoub/condemning-islamophobia-canada_b_11150012.html

The initiation of the online petition e-411, sponsored by Frank Baylis, the Federal Liberal MP of Peirrefonds-Dollard, comes at a time when extremists from every side are attempting to hijack civic peaceful societies and cause friction amongst groups of people through destructions and devastation.

The world has witnessed many dangerous events: violent “lone wolf” individuals, who are ready to commit bloody criminal attacks on civilians in the name of a religion, extremist groups, politicians; and persons who engage in hate and discriminatory smear campaigns, and people who attack citizens on the streets based on their faith and visible dress codes.

As if this miserable view is not enough, North America is observing a surge in racial tensions, with law enforcement forces being accused of discriminatory use of deadly force against men based on their skin colour. On the other hand, police officers are being ambushed and shot dead by angry individuals.

Canada is witnessing a sharp increase in Islamophobia, which has even been described as an “epidemic” in certain large areas of the country. Citizens are aggressively and physically attacked on the streets, shopping malls, and community centres. Moreover, places of worship are being firebombed and vandalized. Islamophobic political campaigns have become very troubling, mainly during theelection periods. Furthermore, some media outlets add salt to the wound by becoming venues for anti-Muslim rhetoric under the justification of “freedom of speech,” which seems to be without boundaries and irresponsible when it comes to bashing Islam and Muslim citizens.

All human beings deserve to live in peace and safety.

Under this gloomy climate, citizens from all aspects of society, responsible media, and honest, elected decision makers have the civil duty and moral obligation to stand up united to denounce all sorts of discrimination and prejudice. To come together with initiatives that clearly condemn and refuse any act, talk and policies that lead to hatred, hostility and lack of harmony within society.

On June 2nd 2010, The Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) led delegations consisting of representatives, young professionals, activists, women advocates and others on Parliamentary Day at the Hill. The main objective of meeting the Federal parties’ caucuses on that day was to introduce and express concerns about Islamophobia, and its impact on Arab and Muslim citizens. From that day, the most noticeable remark was that most of the policy makers were not fully aware of the dangers of Islamophobia, and its implications on Canadian society.

After a long and, at times, very hard journey, Islamophobia is currently recognized as a harsh reality that needs a strong political will and social awareness to undertake, engage in, deal with and find concrete solutions and remedies to cure such an “epidemic” phenomenon and terminate its harmful symptoms from the society at large.

All human beings deserve to live in peace and safety. Attacking women because of their visible faith as they stroll around a shopping mall or take the metro to school or work, denying jobs because of a candidate’s name and background, and vandalizing community and religious properties should stop once and for all. Such aggressions are against woman’s rights, human dignity and the integrity of Canadian society.

Mr. Frank Baylis, federal MP, Pierrefonds-Dollard, recently said on Le Huffingtonpost, “I am against all forms of discrimination. That’s why I am supporting this petition (e-411). It’s not a petition for Muslims; it’s a petition against discrimination.”

Violent extremism represents itself. The perpetrators of acts of devastation have not been voted for to speak on behalf of any religion, cultural or human groups.

Civilized people stand up against all kinds of prejudice, hate-speech, unfairness and intolerance that are expressed in various forms of bigotry, such as anti-Semitism, racial profiling, bias based on personal orientation and Islamophobia. Such a noble stance promotes human values, civil rights and enhances equality amongst all.

Samer Majzoub, initiated of petition e-411

 

Article: The Rise And Fall Of The Megastore

Morning in Laramie

by Samer Majzoub

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samer-majzoub/rise-and-fall-of-megastores_b_9860996.html

Establishing or expanding retail department stores to new market requires in-depth knowledge and profound business study. The focus should be on crucial data such as: social dimensions, population taste, habits, life styles, financial capacity and historical spending trend of the targeted clientele.

Furthermore, a highly professional and precise business plan should be the root of the final decision whether to proceed with the new venture or not. Defaulting or missing any of the detailed investigation and analysis of the subject matter may end up in fatal failure and the loss of millions of dollars and hundreds of employees.

The main strategy for any firm is to create a concept that is so different and persuasive that it places competitors in very difficult situations and unable to copy or react to it, and then to apply that concept in such a way that core customers stay loyal. Another main method of the continuation of successful department stores is to maintain a distinctive offering that attracts an extremely loyal customer base.

Exploring more of the base elements for a successful business is to have a clear vision that connects products to core customers. Successful execution of the business concept is another factor that is needed for business to flourish and carry on. By developing culture and a set of values, the business will keep attracting the core customers to its customs and traditions. The strong bond between the services/products offered and the core clientele of any retail department store means profitability and continuity of the business project. Celebrating the work success with customers gives them their sense of belonging, strengthens the loyalty to the store chain and toughens its root presence in the market.

Other fundamentals that are significant to the success of retails departments can be summarized by crucial tips such as location — choosing your location is the most important step in making your dream of a successful department store come true, stocking shelves with merchandises — filling up the stores with products and commodities will positively give the clientele to more options of items choice, and keeping the theme of the chain stores. All these tips are crucial tools used in maintaining loyal customers committed to buying and promoting your business to higher levels.

An illustration of the securing elements of success for department stores is the Wal-Mart success story. The chain store had come into the Canadian market with a strong concept of “discount.” It created a culture that has been appealing to its core clientele since then.

In 1994, the year Wal-Mart first came onto the scene in Canada, it presented lines of products that competed, with great achievement, against their “rivals”. The chain has filled up the shelves with a great variety that is affordable for most social classes. Wal-Mart waited 12 years, until 2006, to open its first supercenter store. It took more than a decade for the establishment to expand in size, having studied the market thoroughly and experienced all its dimensions rigorously.

In cases where big chain stores decide to move to a new market, one might think that the CEO would never sign off on the idea unless thorough “homework” has been done. However, this is not always the case. Some of the big names in the market may have their big move without proper groundwork and a detailed plan to address the requirements of the new venture.

One of the risky steps that may be taken by big department stores is to expand fast, wide and large. Establishing numerous new stores in a wide geographical area in a short time period puts tremendous pressure on the operational system of the new outlets. Such a huge move requires high management skills, effective marketing approach, competitive pricing, efficient distribution centers, and strong human resources that execute the work timely and fashionably.

A clear example of a big fiasco that reflects the ill business decision making of random expansion on lose ground was the failure of Target in the Canadian market. In 2013, Target took a bold decision to expand internationally from the States to Canadian soil. The chain store had in mind that Canadians have been cross-border shopping from its department stores for years, so why not moving to Canada and offering direct services to its loyal clientele. Under the shadow of $4.4 billion expansion plan, Target bought more than 120 Zellers stores from the Hudson Bay Co. in 2011. In less than two years, the huge Target chain stores announced that they are pulling out of the market by the year’s end, incurring a loss of two billion dollars.

Many experts had begun analyzing and explaining why Target had witnessed such a disastrous failure in Canada while the chain store continued to witness success in the American market. There is consensus among the experts that one of the apparent reasons that Target failed in the Canadian market was their failure to keep their shelves filled with the expected products. It had been an extreme challenge to establish a solid, working distribution mechanism that was able to properly allocate the products to over 100 stores. The distribution default had led to waves of client complaints over the lack of merchandise in the stores\ shelves.

Another factor of the Target expansion failure had been the location of its newly bought stores. Having bought Zellers locations, many have criticized these spots as non-suitable settings for Target’s bigger space requirements. To add more complexity to the expansion process, Target had to renovate all of Zellers stores in a one year period. This task by itself needed tremendous work, time management and cost in order to meet the deadline for the chain to open its stores. The process ended up as an unfinished task, and yet still the stores had to be opened on time.

A third element that had added pressure to the malfunctioning of Target stores in Canada was the high pricing competition from its competitors. Overestimation of the potential market, and the fact the stores’ products were not appealing to the customers, had been an additional pressuring factor on the chain’s already great running difficulties.

No one can deny the fact that establishing and operating successful big chain stores is a great challenge that requires a full set of decision making expertise, management skills, operational experience, effective marketing plans and human resources in order to have the work run on the right track. Flying blind and having no background information on the market to decide which expansion should be planned is a devastating recipe for any work affair. Any new venture should have its conditions and details met and respected completely in order to make it a success stor

Morning in Laramie

Morning in Laramie

Multiculturalism Is A Canadian Success Story. *Samer Majzoub

Canadian flag

Throughout the years, the nation of Canada, as we are aware, became a land of immigration, a home to millions of people from different lands, ethnicities, cultures and religious beliefs. Every new comer that has settled in Canada in the last few hundred years and those who will settle in the future share one common name: “immigrants.”

*Samer Majzoub

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samer-majzoub/multiculturalism-in-canada_b_9388576.html