About ten years ago, there was a controversy about whether The Lord’s Prayer should be recited in schools across Ontario and I recall writing a column in favour of allowing prayer, saying that any prayer is better than no prayer as I naively thought a simple prayer could cause no controversy. Eventually a decision was made not to have the Lord’s prayer as schools are a place of secular education. I also realised that this was the most sensible decision because Canada has become a country where diverse faith communities are represented in the school system so giving one faith tradition priority over others is not fair.
This week there is a new hullabaloo raging about the Valley Park Middle School on Overlea Blvd. in Toronto where Friday prayer congregations for Muslim students have been held since a few years. Now the Canadian Hindu Advocacy and some other Toronto-area groups have voiced their opposition to this practice, saying that they would protest outside the school until these sessions are stopped.
Whether they have a point, there needs to be a better understanding and handling this volatile situation, without turning it into communal riots.
First off all, the Toronto District School...More >>
On Canada Day (July 1) hundreds of new Canadians take their oath of citizenship like my family did 23 years ago. So this date has always held a special place in my heart and it’s significant that I’m celebrating my son’s wedding reception on this auspicious day.
But there’s more. This year dear Canada, I want to renew my vows with you. You see 23 years ago, I wasn’t sure what we were going to share. Today I’m older and wiser and hopefully so are you so let’s review where we’re at because both of us have had our ups and downs and are ready to settle down.
When I entered this relationship two decades ago, it wasn’t a fly-by-night decision. It was well planned and thought out based on mutual agreement of rights and responsibilities. However the official who presided over our agreement, told me a lot about my rights but not enough about responsibilities and definitely didn’t describe you in detail. Over the years I’ve learnt that rights without responsibilities are not workable in a healthy relationship. And you know I’ve worked hard at getting to know who you really are and what makes you...More >>
In the past few years, one country has consistently been in the news, often in a negative way. If you pick up a newspaper anywhere in the world from Abbottabad to Atlanta today, there is usually at least one story dealing with problems related to this country and its citizens. This country, sadly, is the land of my birth: Pakistan.
Pakistanis, who are Muslim in the majority, are spread all over the world but also live in large numbers in Canada. In fact, the last statistics showed Pakistan as one of the five major countries from where immigrants come to Canada.
Most Pakistanis love conspiracy theories. They believe it must be a media conspiracy that their fellow countrymen are in the news. Let’s take a quick look at current events and the denial that goes with it.
According to many well educated, elite Pakistanis, Osama bin Laden was really not living in Pakistan and is actually not dead – all this is a hoax; two Florida Imams accused of supporting the Taliban have been set up; the Toronto 18 were innocent and in Ottawa a Pakistani businessman with links to...More >>
Last month I spent a week travelling across Universities in the UK speaking out against hate on campus which leads to radicalization of youth. From there I decided to go to Pakistan for my annual visit, much against the advice of family and friends who warned me that the situation in Pakistan is troubling. The cold blooded murder of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in January had left a pall in the air but if I had expected to see some sort of accountability or justice, I was sadly mistaken.
Pakistan has lost its soul. I heard educated and refined Pakistanis support the death of Salman Taseer and it reminded me of Nazi Germany. First ordinary people were in denial, then they were indifferent and later they accepted the propaganda that made another human being worthy of killing. Pakistanis are now in the acceptance stage. This mindset was confirmed on March 2, 2011 when Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down in Pakistan.
The elephant in the room in Pakistan is the dreaded Blasphemy Law which...More >>
Canada’s non-election to the UN Security Council doesn’t come as a complete surprise. It’s obvious that Canada’s entry was barred primarily by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) which has a permanent delegation to the United Nations, with 57 member states and a powerful grip due to their large numbers. Adding insult to injury is a message by the president of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), titled, "Don't Give Canada a Security Council Seat.” It seems that the OIC have spokespersons right here in Canada.
Last month I was invited to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva (UNHRC) as member of an NGO on human rights, and for the first time I observed a direct clash of civilizations.
The OIC was ostensibly at UNHRC in Geneva like others, to address issues of human rights violations. In the entire week that I attended the sessions, not a single one of them mentioned human rights violation in their respective countries. After getting quite shocked at this blatant display of denial, I did some research and found that...More >>
In Why Ground Zero Still Matters to America, The Propagandist recently took a controversial stand against building the proposed mega-mosque in the vicinity of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Prominent moderate Muslims like Muslim Canadian Congress board member Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah are now publicly opposing the Cordoba House project, laying into religious extremists and their politically-correct supporters.
"As a Muslim, I'm not buying that at all. How does building a mosque in the very place where Muslims murdered so many Americans create any kind of respect?" Raza says in a interview on The O'Reilly Factor.
"We don't show our caring for them by being intolerant. Building a mosque or a place of worship in the particular place across the street from Ground Zero is a slap in the face of all Americans," she adds. "Bloomberg and other bleeding-heart white liberals like him don't understand the battle that we moderate Muslims are faced with in terms of confronting radical Islam and Islamization and political Islam in North America, which has only grown since 9/11 because of political correctness."