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CSU takes papers to Human Rights Tribunal

by Archives August 8, 2001 0 comment
The Concordia Student Union (CSU) intends to make a complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal about three newspapers for what it considers to be racist statements about Arabs.
Laith Marouf, vp internal of the CSU, said the union will file a complaint against is The Suburban, The Jewish Tribune and The Canadian Jewish News.
“[The articles] invoke stereotypical images. If the use of the word ‘Jew’ as opposed to ‘Jewish’ is considered to be offensive, why can you say ‘Arab’ as opposed to ‘Arabic’?” said Marouf.
The grievance is about three articles that describe certain events that occurred at Concordia’s downtown campus last year along with the election of the present executive.
ACCESS, the current elected student government, supported a referendum question that asked the Canadian government to cut all diplomatic and economic ties with Israel. This question was passed.
Moreover, the articles described a poisonous atmosphere at the downtown campus and blamed the student group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) for having created much of the trouble.
“Certainly there is an Arabic language, and there is surely an Arabic culture, but there is no such thing as an Arab. There are Palestinians just as there are Egyptians, but there are no Arabs as such,” said Marouf.
Raphael Lallouz, a spokesman for B’nai Brith, has not received any kind of notice about the complaint, but he wanted to ask Marouf what he thought of the Arab League, and just what it was doing for the ‘Arab’ cause.
“This is an attempt by the Zionist media to blur the line between various religious, political and social groups in the Middle East,” said Marouf. “They use the word ‘Arab’ to describe any number of people, events, or situations in the Middle East.”
Marouf was not pleased with what the three newspapers had to say about certain events that had occurred at Concordia’s downtown campus during the past year and the newspapers’ reporting of the election of the current executive.
When called, Francois Longpre, the CSU’s lawyer said that this was the first he had heard of the case, and none of the publications named by Marouf have received formal notification of the CSU’s intentions.

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