Diplomats to Study Islamic Culture

August 19, 2005

Source: Edmonton Sun


On August 19, 2005 the Edmonton Sun reported, "Canadian diplomats will hit the books to learn about Muslim civilization, 'not just contemporary politics,' says Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew. Pettigrew described a new diplomatic course about all things Muslim as part of a federal initiative to better understand Arab culture and defend against negative cultural labels that have arisen since 9-11. 'Religion is not the cause of extremism,' he said yesterday, speaking to the National Council of Canada-Arab Relations in Edmonton. Pettigrew quoted teachings of tolerance from the Qur'an and spoke of reaching out to Muslim communities through educational and economic development initiatives. 'Societies where governments are unable to create gainful employment, (to) allow freedom of expression or (to) provide equality of opportunity ... are societies that create the dismal mix of conditions that incubate violence,' he said."