Reluctance among residents in Quebec to accept thousands of Syrian refugees is deepening a rift with the province's Muslim community. Nathan Frandino reports.
For most of Montreal's Muslim population, life has never been easy...but after last week's attacks in Paris, it's becoming a lot harder. An anti-refugee petition in circulation across Canada, has already garnered more than 75,000 signatures nationwide. It's designed to stop Canada's plans to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees this year, and Samer Majzoub of the Canadian Muslim Forum, says he's worried. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN MUSLIM FORUM PRESIDENT SAMER MAJZOUB SAYING: "We don't ask for security to be compromised but to associate it with Syrian refugee is so much injustice." Majzoub says Quebec residents fear that the refugees would become radicalized... a fear he says is misplaced. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN MUSLIM FORUM PRESIDENT SAMER MAJZOUB SAYING: "Strange enough that people who are so-called radicalized are people that have been born in town, not people coming from outside." Other Muslims in the city agree. 26-year-old Ashma Patel, says she's cautiously optimistic. (SOUNBITE) (English) TWENTY-SIX YEAR OLD MONTREAL RESIDENT ASHMA PATEL SAYING: "Unfortunately, after hearing all the things that are going on, especially with the Muslim woman who was attacked in Toronto and everything. So obviously I feel a bit scared but I also feel quite hopeful because right now I was walking down the street and an old lady she just looked at me and smiled and said hello, you know Ça va bien." But with anti-refugee sentiments rising, maintaining trust and peace is proving to be more of a challenge now than ever before.