Controversial ad spurs debate in Toronto

News agencies – April 4, 2012

A Muslim advertisement stating “There is no god but Allah” has started a vigorous debate amongst TTC riders and sparked a review from the Toronto Transit Commission Advertising Commission Group. After five complaints were made, a working group including Councillor Karen Stintz has decided to allow the advertisement to remain in the Kennedy subway station.

According to the Islam Info Centre, the ad — posted in January — is aimed at raising religious awareness. They have not received any complaints directly. In fact, he said they have been receiving many more visitors inquiring about the religion.

Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said it is offensive to all non-Muslims.

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, does not agree with the ad, either. “This is what is called the declaration of belief. It basically reads ‘There is no god but God,’” he said.

But the Muslim group translated part of the text into English, and left “Allah,” an Islam word for god, as is.

Tariq Ramadan to Speak at 9/11 Forum in Montreal

The National Post – September 6, 2011

 

The Dalai Lama will join controversial Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan in Montreal for the Second Global Conference on World’s Religions After Sept. 11 organized by McGill University and the Université de Montréal. Organizer Arvind Sharma, a professor of comparative religion at McGill, says the goal is to debate how religions can contribute to peace in the world. Rather than promising inspiration in a world plagued by religious tumult, the conference has already stirred up controversy and dissension as critics charge that the Dalai Lama is being duped into promoting Islamic fundamentalism. Mr. Ramadan will be participating in a panel discussion on Peace Through Religion with Robert Thurman (Buddhism), Gregory Baum (Christianity) and Steven Katz (Judaism). In addition to the Dalai Lama, there will also be a presentation by author Deepak Chopra.

For Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, this is just a way of saying religions are above reproach and tacitly endorsing Sharia law, and he is furious the Dalai Lama would be asked to support that. Mr. Sharma says he understands that Mr. Ramadan is a controversial figure, but says he is the most prominent voice on the place of Islam in the modern world.