Evidence of meeting #8 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was egypt.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Barbara Martin  Director General, Middle East and Maghreb Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Marie Gervais-Vidricaire  Director General, Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Jeffrey McLaren  Director, Gulf and Maghreb Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Hani Tawfilis  Board Member, Mississauga, Canadian Coptic Centre
  • X  As an Individual
  • Antoine A. Malek  Chair, Coptic Orthodox Community of Greater Montreal
  • Hugh Segal  Ontario, CPC

10:05 a.m.

Board Member, Mississauga, Canadian Coptic Centre

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

What are we waiting for?

10:05 a.m.

Board Member, Mississauga, Canadian Coptic Centre

Hani Tawfilis

It's not my place to say. I push for it.

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

But do you think the government is waiting for something? Do you think the government should have said something? Do you think the government should have stepped up the very next day, after they got their marching orders on Tuesday? “Prime Minister, pick up the phone and call Ban Ki-moon”...?

We heard from the officials who were here this morning that they don't know whether this has happened. Do you think that this Prime Minister should have picked up the phone the very next day, after the minister...? Actually, he was the one who gave the government their marching orders. Do you think this should have been done?

10:05 a.m.

Board Member, Mississauga, Canadian Coptic Centre

Hani Tawfilis

It should have been done.

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

It should have been done.

10:05 a.m.

Board Member, Mississauga, Canadian Coptic Centre

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Thank you

I have no further questions, Mr. Allison, and I thank you.

And I thank the....

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

Which witness is going here...?

Mr. Malek? Okay.

Go ahead.

10:05 a.m.

Chair, Coptic Orthodox Community of Greater Montreal

Antoine A. Malek

Earlier, in response to Mr. Dechert, I said that we thank every stakeholder who does justice to this issue, regardless of the colour of his or her party. We are not here to support any particular party in a partisan manner.

I myself have sent thank you letters to people in the Conservative Party and to people in the Liberal Party who stood up in Parliament last week to debate the motion.

I acknowledge the contributions of every individual. We're talking about deeply human problems. We're talking about human rights, murder, rape and kidnapping. When you get to this level—

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Allison, I want to thank the witness.

However, sir, this has been going on in Kandhamal, in Orissa; it has been going on in Indonesia; it has been going on in Pakistan. And yet this government is saying that it's going to have an office of freedom and justice, or whatever they want to call it, and they want to put in there $5 million.

How far do you think this $5 million is going to go? Is it going to cover the bureaucracy in Canada? Is it going to cover their travel? Is it going to cover Egypt? is it going to cover Indonesia? Is it going to cover Pakistan? Is it going to cover India? Honestly, although they have good intentions, I think it's a farce.

10:10 a.m.

Chair, Coptic Orthodox Community of Greater Montreal

Antoine A. Malek

I made an initial suggestion when I talked about establishing an operational unit, a task force on Christians in the Middle East. If such a unit exists, it will very well be able to focus on logistical and other problems.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

Thank you. That's all the time we have.

Mr. Goldring, you have time for a couple of questions.

October 25th, 2011 / 10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for appearing here today.

I hope you could help to clarify something for me. We talk of sharia law. I'd like to know what it is based on. I understand that it's based on the Koran, but is it a written understanding, an interpretation, or is it word by word in the Koran? When we talk of sharia law and the concerns for human rights and other issues, how exactly is the sharia law constructed in the Koran?

10:10 a.m.

As an Individual

X

Sharia law was formulated by the followers of Prophet Mohammed after his passing, by his friends collectively, from verses in the Koran as well as references to his ideology and teachings to his colleagues or people around him. It was formulated as guidance to how everything should be judged.