Members of Montreal's Jewish and Muslim communities say the time has come to start the healing process and build more bridges in the wake of the provincial election and the post-secular charter aftermath.
"I believe yesterday's election was a big, big lesson for those politicians who really followed the wrong way," said Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum. He said the overwhelming support for the Quebec Liberals also shows the overwhelming opposition to divisive identity politics as represented by the PQ's proposed secular Charter.
Luciano Del Negro, vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs agrees.
"It's an unprecedented rebuke, a stinging one I might add, of not only a political party but the division that it presented to the people of Quebec," Del Negro told CJAD 800 News.
"The Parti Québécois basically abandoned their principles, they made a Faustian deal, selling their souls, simply for what? For seeking political power and stoking the fires of intolerance and discrimination," Del Negro said.
Majzoub said premier-designate Philippe Couillard should dialogue with various cultural community groups before legislating religious accomodation.
"We said clearly that most of the points of the charter, we had no objection to. But there are certain points (where the PQ) really went too far," Majzoub said.
Del Negro said whatever concerns there are have to be addressed.
"There appears to be a consensus which is to entrench secularism, the equality of men and women in the charter, come up with some balises, reasonable accomodation, services to be given with the face uncovered, which is what initially the Liberals had proposed," Del Negro said.
"They can put this to rest quite quickly and then tend to the real problems. This is what people want to deal with."