Finally, an organization, representing the Kabyle community living in Canada, has been born in Montreal. After more than a year of hard work of proximity and mobilization of groups of Kabyles, composed of determined men and women. A group who is convinced that the usefulness of the creation of an organization is likely to offer visibility to the Kabyles of Canada and make them an influential political actor.
On Mai 13, 2018, a little more than 250 Kabyle congressmen gathered for a whole day in a festive atmosphere, open to debates of ideas. The CKC, Congress of Kabyles of Canada in this case, offers itself a structure and leadership, sets goals, and develops strategies and action plans to support the interests of the Kabyles of Canada. The CKC was officially born on May 13, 2018, which will certainly become a historic date for Canada’s Kabyle community. The members of this organization identify themselves as a lobbying force, representing the interests of the Kabyles of Canada. The CKC wants to be a serious interlocutor with the public authorities, an interlocutor who has a vision of living together, similar to that of the host society. The CKC does not claim any special treatment or religious accommodation, it only demands the equal treatment of members of the Kabyle community. However, regarding religion, the speech of CKC specifies that it must remain in the private sphere. This new organization explicitly advocates religious neutrality and is respectful to the freedom of conscience. Indeed, this relationship to religion is not strange to the ideological aspirations of the majority of Kabyles here and the country of origin. It should be noted that for years the Kabyles have expressed in many ways their acceptance of the ideals of modernity as equality between men and women, respect for human rights and separation of religion from the state. Therefore, it’s no wonder that the CKC embraces these universal values. They firmly believe that they are essential for building bridges of communication with the host society and other communities. Its members are convinced that integration depends on what they share with others and not on what seperates them.
But unfortunately, even though Canada claims to be a multicultural nation, there is no place for a community that does not identify with its religious affiliation. No politician, whether at the municipality, the province or the federation, has expressed an interest in this community, which is hoping to escape anonymity. It is also unfortunate that no journalist spoke about this event, when it is enough for an Islamist leader or organization to change a comma in a comment on their Facebook page, to talk about them and write long articles. It seems that the task of CKC is difficult; in fact, their secular posture prevents them from being visible and from finding a place in a context favorable to discourses conveying stereotypes and Orientalist cliches bordering on racism. In short, it remains that CKC’s greatest challenge is to construct a coherent and clear discourse, capable of freeing the Kabyles from the stereotypes which imprisons them in frozen cultural and ideological categories, unable to represent them in their cultural reality and to highlight their Kabyleness.
By A . Kaidi
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