Toronto Star – August 30, 2011
The debate over Muslim prayers at a Toronto school wove its way into Eid al-Fitr celebrations on at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Speaking to a crowd of more than 10,000 gathered, Jamal Badawi, a prominent author on Islam, called attempts to stop the Friday prayers at Valley Park Middle School a form of “secular fundamentalism.” Critics, including several religious groups, have condemned the school for allowing an imam to conduct prayer services for Muslim students in the cafeteria.
The festival, which includes carnival rides and a bazaar, has been organized by the Muslim Association of Canada for 26 years. Premier Dalton McGuinty made a brief appearance, thanking the attendees for their contributions to the province’s economy and culture. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath also addressed the crowd.