News Agencies – November 15, 2012
Months before the Muslim women’s helpline was launched, the phone at the Mississauga-based Women’s Resource Centre started ringing. In October 2012, after months of research, training and fundraising, the Women’s Resource Centre launched what is believed to be the country’s first helpline specifically for Muslim women. Confidential and anonymous, it’s meant to be a place to which women can turn for emotional support, peer counselling and referrals.
In its first few weeks, the helpline has already received dozens of calls from women across the GTA, with concerns ranging from marriage and relationships to information on shelters and food banks, and in a few cases, abuse.The helpline is staffed by 13 counsellors and is open for two hours a day, five days a week.
Toronto Star – January 31, 2011
A Shia-Sunni Muslim cemetery — the first of its kind in the GTA — is in the works in Richmond Hill, Ontario and could be operational by fall. The Shia and Sunni communities in the GTA bought the 14-hectare site at the southwest corner of Bethesda Sideroad and Leslie St., from Beth Olam Cemetery Corp., for $6.8 million, says Abdulhuq Ingar, who represents the Sunnis’ Islamic Society of Toronto.
The cemetery will cost about another $2 million in development and overhead costs, says Sabi Ahsan, a Shia Muslim who helped coordinate the deal, which he described as a “positive accomplishment” for the Shia and Sunni communities. The land had “become surplus” for the Beth Olam group, he says, which has other cemeteries. The Shia and Sunni Muslims will operate independently as part of the Toronto Muslim Cemetery Corp. and will share resources to minimize costs and maintain the property.
Most Muslims have been buried in sections of non-denominational cemeteries in the GTA, according to certain key requirements such as being buried within 24 hours of their death and having their body washed and buried in a shroud with their face turned toward Mecca. But because of traditional cemeteries’ operating hours, meeting some of those requirements has been problematic.
The Toronto Star – November 15, 2010
The Qurbani Project, an initiative of the Toronto chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada, aims to distribute 1,360 kg of meat to as many as 300 GTA families for Eid al-Adha — many of whom may not eat meat at all because they cannot afford it. Up to 30 volunteers from MAC and from multifaith and Muslim groups at U of T will help distribute halal beef and mutton through the Scadding Court community centre on the weekend. They will also help provide lunch for families receiving donations.
Meanwhile, thousands of Muslims will celebrate by attending the 25th annual Eid Festival Tuesday at Exhibition Place. Following a sermon and prayers at 10 a.m., the festivities will include a bazaar, rides, a petting zoo, shows, sports and meals throughout the day. It’s also an occasion for MAC to reach out to help not just Muslims, but everyone across the GTA, with a food drive and other programs.