Developer behind ‘Muslim housing project’ in Montreal says anyone with shared values welcome

MONTREAL – Nabil Warda says he just wants to make it easier for Muslims who believe that paying interest is a sin to buy a house. So last month he had an email sent to members of a suburban Montreal mosque to gauge interest in a housing project with a halal financing arrangement that would skirt the need to pay interest on a conventional mortgage.

Radio-Canada broke news of the “Muslim housing project” planned for Brossard Monday and, within 24 hours, the three main parties in the National Assembly had denounced it.

Premier Philippe Couillard, speaking Tuesday in Morocco, where he is attending the United Nations climate conference, worried non-Muslims would face discrimination.

“Discrimination works in both directions, and so does inclusion; we are in favour of mixed housing for cultural communities and religious groups,” Couillard said.

The proposal to build up to 80 homes became a hot issue in the legislature, where members unanimously adopted a motion Tuesday directing the Minister of Municipal Affairs to inform municipalities that “no real-estate development can be based on religious or ethnic segregation.”

Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, whose party is proposing a values test for all immigrants, described the proposal as an affront to Quebec values.

 

Developer behind ‘Muslim housing project’ in Montreal says anyone with shared values welcome