Wednesday Zen Moment: Muslim prayer at Quebec zoo prompts backlash and support

Audrey Tremblay noticed a prayer group during a visit to Zoo Parc Safari outside of Montreal a couple of days ago and shot a video of Muslims practising their religion.

In her Facebook posting, Tremblay said she didn’t think it was appropriate for a zoo to host such a gathering despite making clear she respects all religions.

Without a debate without pointing a finger more religion than another…

Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, atheist risk you will want… personally I’m crazy about your beliefs but I find it inappropriate that at safari park on a Sunday afternoon we hear on the speakers a prayer,
Can you just do this in your living room and not impose it on me please!

The video has sparked lots of online comments, including many racist statements, prompting the zoo to issue its own statement.

Safari Park is a welcome place for all, regardless of nationality, religion, culture, language and sexual orientation. Safari Park does not discriminate against any group and does not tolerate hate attacks on its site.

Safari Park regularly receives corporate groups on its site. Companies, associations or groups can book a picnic area and enjoy the day on the site. Through this program, on Sunday, July 2, Safari Park hosted the Muslim Association of Canada. Following their visit, several complaints were made.
The group had a space reserved on the site, away from passers-by and they received the same guidelines as any other group. Their celebration had to be done in respect of guests and animals. Thus, the group should not block paths, make demands on visitors or disturb the activities of the safari park. These standards have been complied with.
The group brought a sound system. It operated independently and was not connected to the safari park system. In addition, the group had to comply with the standards required by the safari park, or not exceed a certain volume so as not to disturb visitors or animals and not to broadcast hate messages or run against the values of the safari park. All standards and regulations have been respected by the group. Otherwise, the group, like any groups or visitors who do not comply with the rules, would have been expelled from the site.
Following the release of a 46-second video on Youtube, it appears that the presence of this group at safari park has offended people, whether present or not, during the day.
Safari Park is sorry that freedom of religion may offend people. In any case, this was not the objective.
Since last Sunday, Safari Park has been a victim of hate and racist comments.
Safari Park is a place where everyone is welcome. A Zoological institution is by definition a multicultural place where small and large can discover the wonderful diversity of nature and animals and thus develop affection and respect for this diversity, these differences, and their intrinsic beauty.
We repeat: Safari Park is a place for everyone, regardless of nationality, religion, colour, culture or sexual orientation. Safari Park will not accept any call to hate or inappropriate vocabulary on our social networks, by phone or on its site. All hate messages or inappropriate messages will be deleted from our page.

h/t: Facebook Audrey Tremblay

Photo credit: Zoo Parc Safari

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