Feb 29, 2024
Feb 29, 2024
by Najam Gilani
Last week, on Friday October 20th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid an unannounced visit to a mosque in Toronto. The purpose of the visit and the reason for choosing this particular location are still unclear. Rumors suggest that Trudeau initially planned to visit a mosque in Oakville but changed plans due to potential backlash, resulting in a sudden visit to a mosque in Etobicoke, Toronto.
Trudeau and his team likely anticipated the response from the crowd, as the welcome he received was not pleasant. Some expressed displeasure while others advocated for giving him a chance to speak. Trudeau briefly addressed the crowd, greeting them with "Assalam Alaikum" and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to pray alongside them but did not provide clarity on the purpose of his visit.
As he departed from the mosque, he was met with a chorus of boos, vibrant banners, and vocal expressions of discontent, revealing that a certain faction within the community did not respond favorably to his presence. It is important to highlight that the mosque he chose to visit is mostly frequented by the South Asian demographic.
Trudeau mostly has been popular among the community, but it seems some recent events have turned the tide against him.
The community is abuzz with differing opinions on how to approach the visit of the Liberal Leader, causing a clear divide. One faction advocates for engaging with Trudeau, promoting dialogue, and offering him an opportunity to clarify his stance, believing that this could foster better understanding. Conversely, another faction perceives Trudeau's past and recent actions as evidence of his indifference towards the community. For them, his mere presence is disconcerting, leading them to advocate for a boycott, as they see no value in engaging in dialogue or discussion.
These contrasting views within the community make it difficult for community leaders to build a consensus on the approach. It remains uncertain whether this visit marks the end of Muslim community support for Trudeau and his Liberal Party, who have been in government since 2015, or if there is still some support left.
Currently, it's hard to provide a definitive answer. However, a week is a long time in politics and certain politicians possess the skill to transform criticism and failures into opportunity. Trudeau seems to possess that ability, but only time will reveal if he can do so in this case as well.
The underlying lesson for Trudeau is that he no longer enjoys unwavering support from the Muslim community, although he still has a dedicated fan base willing to advocate on his behalf.
Given the unpredictable nature of the current situation, the outcome of this is challenging to foresee. However, it will undoubtedly be an interesting event for political enthusiasts and keen observers alike.
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