On Morning Joe Wednesday morning, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fought back against allegations that the NYPD had monitored entire mosques in the course of counterterrorist operations, telling host Joe Scarborough that the charges were the result of two reporters with an axe to grind, and the police department’s tactics were conducted lawfully and in the interests of the city’s security.
“They’re hyping a book that’s coming out next week,” Kelly said of the authors of the article with the allegations. “The book is based on a compilation of about fifty articles two AP reporters did on the department. If it’s a reflection of the article, then the book will be a fair amount of fiction. It will be half-truths, it will be lots of quotes from unnamed course sources.”
Scarborough asked if Kelly agreed that it would be improper to place entire mosques under police suspicion.
“Of course,” Kelly said. “We do according to the law. What we’re investigating, and how we investigate it, is done pursuant to a federal judge’s direction.”
Ahlul Bayt News Agency – August 11, 2012
In Toronto hundreds of Shia Muslims participated in the procession of the martyrdom of Imam Ali (a.s) on August 10th. Despite a rainy day in Toronto, housands of Shia men and women were goatherd in the Miliken park in Scarborough before start the procession there was a program held in the park in which Molana Sakhawat Hussain Sandralvi gave the speech. After the end of the program, procession was taken out from the park and moved towards Hussainiyah Pasmore after three hours procession end before Maghrib prayer.
The Globe and Mail – August 23, 2011
It’s a blur of activity in the kitchen of Al-Karam Sweets in Scarborough, where mithai makers are working up to 14-hour days simmering milk, roasting almonds and clarifying butter, all in high demand this last week of Ramadan.
The days leading up to Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of the month of fasting next week, are among the busiest of the year for South Asian sweet makers across Canada. In a typical week, Al-Karam sells about two dozen different mithais from the shop’s glass display counter, using 400 litres of milk to prepare them. This week, however, they expect to turn 2,000 litres of milk into the delicacies. Around Eid, they sell 10 times their normal inventory, with some customers walking away with as much as four to five kilograms of treats.
The Globe and Mail – July 4, 2011
This article profiles three Canadian Muslim artists: Sabrina Jalees, a lesbian comic of Pakistani-Swiss heritage who grew up in Toronto; Yassin Alsalman, a Montreal rapper known as The Narcicyst who uses the aggressive language of hip hop to denounce the heavy hand of U.S. Homeland Security and the war in Iraq; Boonaa Mohammed, a spoken word poet of Ethiopian extraction who celebrates Islamic history in his artwork when he is not teaching at an Islamic school in Scarborough, Ont.
But people who want to blend in rarely become artists: Jalees, who points out she could pass for Portuguese, began making jokes about her Pakistani heritage because she wanted to confront people’s new discomfort with Muslims.
The artists disagree about how well this work is received in Canada and how much Canadian attitudes are shifting. Alsalman, for example, argues that racism is still very prevalent and that the image of Muslims is generally a negative one; others perceive a gradual change in attitudes since the panic of 2001, precisely because people have been forced to confront the prejudices expressed against Muslims, and add that the popular rebellions of the Arab spring have helped build a more positive and diverse image.
November, 26 2010
A member of the so-called Toronto 18, who tried to raise funds for an al-Qaeda-inspired homegrown cell, rapped about the “predicaments of my present times” before being sentenced in a Brampton court 26 November 2010 to 10 years. Steven Chand, 29, who was a trainer at a camp to weed out potential recruits and who helped scout a safehouse, appeared relaxed in the prisoner’s box as Justice Fletcher Dawson delivered his ruling. The Scarborough man, who has been behind bars since his arrest in June 2006, was given slightly more than two-for-one credit of time served, which means he will serve an additional seven months and 10 days.
He faced a maximum term of life imprisonment for the fraud charge and up to 10 years for participating in the terror cell – with sentences to run consecutively – but the Crown and defence had agreed, early in the process, that an eight-year sentence would be sufficient. “Mr. Chand was ideologically committed to the cause… He was serious,” said Dawson, who also recommended Chand seek de-radicalization counseling. Before the ruling Chand read from a prepared statement asking the judge to sentence him to time served. He ended with a poem, or rhyming lyrics, which he delivered as a rap.
The final chapter in the story of the Toronto 18 terror cell closed last week with convictions, but experts warn there is no end to the threat of homegrown religious extremism among Muslim youth. Community members and security experts agree that youth are being radicalized in their own homes by tapping into an online jihadi cyberworld and also behind closed doors of private prayer rooms where firebrand religious ideologues go unchallenged. And increasingly, they are travelling overseas to countries such as Somalia and Pakistan to take up arms and fight jihad.
The arrests four years ago of what became known as the Toronto 18 woke up a country that had appeared immune to the kind of attacks that had terrorized cities such as New York and London. Evidence emerged of plots to storm Parliament Hill, behead the prime minister and blow up truck bombs in downtown Toronto.
The final two accused, Asad Ansari, 25, of Mississauga, and Steven Chand, 29, of Scarborough, were found guilty by a Brampton jury of participating in a terrorist group. It was the first time a Canadian jury has ruled on a terrorism case since the introduction of anti-terrorism legislation in 2001, passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Five friends, in their early to mid-20s, grew up and attended schools in Toronto, Canada. They spoke English and Somali. At least two of them were university students.The Star has learned Canadian intelligence officials were watching at least one of the young men several months before he mysteriously left home.
Mahad Dhorre, Mustafa Mohamed, Mohamed Abscir and a fourth we know only as Ahmed vanished the first week of November. A fifth, Ahmed Elmi, left his home in Scarborough about three months ago. A sixth man, an Afghan, who worshipped at the same mosque, is also reportedly missing.
Online propaganda – a mix of nationalist sentiment, religious ideology and tough talk – is enough to recruit young Somali men looking for a purpose and willing to take up arms in their homeland, say community leaders in Canada and the US RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers are investigating the disappearances, canvassing areas in Little Mogadishu and questioning families. Of the 20 or so Somali-Americans who have gone missing, at least five have been killed in Somalia. One died in a suicide bombing in October 2008, part of coordinated attacks that killed 20 people.
The Islamic Foundation of Toronto mosque overflowed as more than 3,000 people paid their respects to a dedicated mother and her two bright and friendly daughters, whose lives were cut short in a swimming adventure gone wrong. In 2002, the family moved to Toronto from Pakistan. On July 18, during a family trip to the Thousand Islands, the two girls and their mother, Naila Yasmin, 43, were found unconscious in the Best Western Country Squire Resort pool. They had slipped out of their room early in the morning to go for a swim. Yasmin was a schoolteacher in Pakistan and worked at a Tim Hortons in Toronto while caring for her husband and four children.
A police informant testified last week that the leader of an alleged terrorist plot to attack high-profile Canadian buildings and take members of Parliament hostage was well-developed and widespread. Authorities said that the alleged plotters, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, wanted Muslim prisoners being held in Afghanistan released. One of the lawyers of the accused, Mitchell Chernovsky, has called the alleged terror plot a fantasy. The informant, Mubin Shaikh testified that the terror plan was well-developed prior to his involvement as a paid police informant in the fall of 2005. Shaikh explained that its members met regularly at a half-dozen or more Islamic centres and mosques in the Greater Toronto Area and at one in Scarborough, a leader bragged that the regularly distributed jihadi CDs to disaffected Muslim youth.