The Toronto Star – April 25, 2012
Mohamad Fakih built Paramount Butcher Shop for his wife Hanan after she complained about the state of halal meat counters and asked him to do something about it. Driven by the urge to unite “halal” and “gourmet,” Mohamad Fakih built himself a beautiful butcher shop in Mississauga. Mohamad visited non-halal competitors, including Pusateri’s Fine Foods, Cumbrae’s, Olliffe and the Healthy Butcher in Toronto, and researched fine butcher shops in London, Paris and Australia before designing his own 3,400-square-foot shop.
He bought the struggling Paramount chain in 2007 and transformed it into a vibrant and growing empire that employs 250 people, many of them young and non-Muslim. The Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurants showcase freshly grilled foods and breads.
For Mohamad, halal is about more than just slaughter. It’s about being conscientious about how animals are raised, a philosophy that dovetails nicely with the local food movement and the fact that consumers are asking more questions about what they eat. Mohamad has lived in Canada for 13 years and got his start at Tim Hortons.
Mississauga.com – October 23, 2011
Protesters were on the sidewalk in front of the Islamic Society of North America Canadian headquarters demonstrating their opposition to a Calling the World Back to Allah conference featuring speakers who have been previously linked to allegations of anti-Semitic and anti-gay remarks.
The full-day conference is part of the Canada launch tour of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a presence in Toronto and Montreal. They say the conference was held to build bridges amongst Muslim communities in Canada.
Toronto Star – September 28, 2011
Heeding the Qur’anic instruction to assist the needy, Jamia Riyadhul Jannah mosque in Mississauga, Ontario will start offering free meals, seven days a week from noon to 7 p.m., starting Friday. The Sunni/Sufi mosque, located in an industrial park near Credit View and Argentia Rds., is the first North American mosque to provide hot meals to all regardless of faith, organizers claim. The halal menu will vary daily, with the entrees ranging from burgers to pasta and other items.
Community outreach was a founding principle of the mosque when it opened last August, Sohawardy said. Future plans include providing temporary shelter for recent immigrants. The mosque has been putting the word out with flyers distributed through food banks and other community services. Initially, the food will be brought in, kept warm on site and be served in a small 18-square-metre dining room. But the mosque is equipped with a kitchen and additional dining space, leaving room for expansion.
The Canadian federal minister for the status of women, Rona Ambrose, went to an immigrant health centre to issue a warning that honor killings and other violence against women will not be tolerated in Canada. “There is a small minority in some communities who use violence against women as a method of avenging their so-called honor,” Ambrose said at the Punjabi Community Health Services in Mississauga, west of Toronto, which is home to many immigrants from South Asia.
The Conservatives have spent much time and capital courting the South Asian communities and Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week appointed a Pakistani immigrant who was a Tory candidate in the 2008 election to the Senate. With the death of Aqsa Parvez in 2007, Mississauga was the location of one of the most shocking cases of so-called honor killing in recent Canadian history.