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.
News Agencies – July 24, 2012
A 14-year-old boy was able to buy liquor at three LCBO [Liquor Control Board of Ontario] outlets without having to show identification. A stunt orchestrated by the Sun News Network has shed light on how easy it can be for minors to buy alcohol in the Greater Toronto Area — provided they dress the part. As the Toronto Sun reports, controversial broadcaster and writer David Menzies sent a 14-year-old boy clad in a full-length burka and face veil to buy liquor at three LCBOs north of the city.
His goal, he said, was to expose deficiencies in the province’s Liquor Licence Act, which prohibits the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 19, and to challenge their claims of social responsibility. The three unopened bottles, he said, were later taken from the teen after he left the store. Critics of the host’s undercover crackdown flipped the legal accountability finger back at Menzies, calling for his arrest over “coercing” a young boy to purchase alcohol and for “corrupting the morals of a minor.”
The Toronto Star – July 12, 2012
A Canadian woman at the centre of Somalia’s Al Qaeda is known among the intelligence agencies that track her and the foreign militants who praise her simply as “Mama Shabab.” It is an honorific title for former Toronto resident Fadumo Jama, who intelligence agencies allege is the den mother of al Shabab who runs a safe house for Western fighters recruited into the militant Islamic organization.
While she moves frequently, using forged passports from African countries, it is believed she has operated a home in the Somali town of Merca for at least four years and has supported American and European recruits in the weeks before their suicide bombing missions. Jama is a well-known figure to intelligence agencies in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Somalia, yet her name does not appear in any public documents and she has not been charged. Her role facilitating Western recruits exemplifies the increasing importance of women to the Shabab — although her position of authority is rare, as most females are recruited only as wives for the fighters or suicide bombers. Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Richard Fadden told a Senate committee earlier this year that this was an emerging trend.
Two young Toronto women raised in Canada after their parents fled Somalia when the government collapsed two decades ago were among those reportedly lured into the group last year, defying their families and flying to Kenya’s capital before crossing the border.
News Agencies – July 16, 2012
Canadian laws should be changed to require women to “cover themselves” to prevent sexual assaults, says an Islamic street preacher in Toronto. Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, a 33-year-old Islamic convert, called for legal change in response to recent sex attacks at York University. Atangana is connected with a group called Muslim Support Network and is one of a number of street-corner clerics commonly seen at the Yonge and Dundas Sts. In an e-mail to the Toronto Sun, Atangana said “the reason … these sex attacks are continuously happening is because (of) Canadian laws, which give too much freedom to women” when it comes to how they dress.
Moderate Muslim writer Tarek Fatah says Atangana’s view is a stark example of radical Islamist misogyny. It is an example, Fatah says, of passages taken from the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book, and exaggerated to fit an antiquated, patriarchal ideology such as that of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Alia Hogben of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women sees things differently: Atangana’s opinions are not as much to do with Islam as much as they reflect a general patriarchal desire among some men to control women.
The Globe and Mail – June 21, 2012
After years of planning and work, developers in two cities are set to meet a burgeoning need by opening two cemeteries – the Toronto Muslim Cemetery and the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery. While there are currently five Muslim cemeteries in Ontario, as well as a few others scattered across the country, the new additions are the first to cater to Muslims in Canada’s largest city and its capital. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Muslims in Canada is expected to almost triple over the next 20 years, from about 940,000 in 2010 to nearly 2.7-million in 2030.
Work on the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery began in the early 1990s when Abu Nazir, now the president of the group behind the project, started talking with the community about the need. Until that point, most of the Muslim community had been focused on establishing itself by building mosques and schools, he said.
The Toronto Muslim Cemetery, located just north of the city in Richmond Hill, is bigger than its Ottawa counterpart – a $10-million partnership between the area’s Sunni and Shia communities with a capacity of about 40,000 graves. Close to 5,000 plots have been pre-sold, according to Sabi Ahsan, a local developer and chairman of the cemetery’s board.
News Agencies – June 15, 2012
Students at the University of Toronto have set a goal of raising $70,000 by September to fund a year-long contract for the first-ever full-time Muslim chaplain on a Canadian campus. In a video on the campaign website various young people make the case for donations. “I had to sit in class and listen to my professor tell me Islam degrades women,” says one young woman. “In my field, relationships are built at the bar. What am I supposed to do about that?,” says a young man. “There’s something about mosques that makes me uncomfortable,” says another man.
Muslim Chaplains provide spiritual guidance at dozens of universities in the United States. Unlike Imams, chaplains may be women. The chaplain’s role includes spiritual guidance for students and interfaith work too. Richard Chambers, director of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto told the Toronto Star that a Muslim Chaplaincy could help fix an “imbalance” created by the fact that Jewish and Christian campus groups have full-time staff, while Muslim groups currently rely on volunteers.
Toronto Star – May 17, 2012
A charity that normally deals with international disasters is answering the call of a Toronto Food Bank. Islamic Relief Canada has launched a campaign that will match dollar for a dollar any donations to help the Flemingdon Community Food Bank pay off the $30,000 it owes in rent.
Last week, the food bank — which serves 3,800 families in the high-needs area of Flemingdon Park — launched an urgent appeal to help it raise the money needed and save it from shutting its doors. Over the past three years, the rent of the food bank has increased from $22,600/year to $31,200, said Abdul Hai Patel, the acting chair and treasurer of the food bank. That is in addition to monthly costs of $3,100 for expenses, delivery, pest control and supplies, he said.
An Islamic school that had been using teaching materials that dis Jews and encouraged boys to keep fit for jihad has lost its license to use Toronto District School Board property. The board suspended a permit issued to the Islamic Shia Study Centre, which operated the East End Madrassah out of a Toronto high school until an outcry last week over the content of its curriculum booklets.
But the school’s curriculum, which it has now taken off its website, referred to “crafty,” “treacherous” Jews and contrasted Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.” The passages were from two books published by Iranian foundations. Girls, meanwhile, were told to limit their involvement in physical activities and to instead engage in hobbies that would prepare them to become mothers and wives.
The Toronto Star – May 4, 2012
When Al Qaeda contemplated the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, the organization didn’t forget to include Canada in its plans. Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn mused the organization should reach out to a group of 30 to 50 select journalists and writers who would be candidates to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
It was important, Gadahn stressed to Osama bin Laden and others in January 2011, that Al Qaeda not rely on Jihadi Internet forums, which he said were “repulsive to most of the Muslims,” or Al Jazeera. Instead, Gadahn wrote the group should target journalists in seven countries — the U.K., U.S. and Canada in the west, as well as Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. Among the journalists Gadahn favoured were Eric Margolis, a longtime columnist with the Toronto Sun, and Canadian author Gwynne Dyer, a syndicated columnist based in London.
News Agencies – May 10, 2012
A Toronto Islamic school’s teaching materials, which have prompted a police hate crimes investigation because of their portrayal of Jews, were originally published by Iranian organizations, records show. The passages of the East End Madrassah’s texts that drew the most widespread condemnation are excerpts from two books, including one published by the Al Balagh Foundation in Iran.
The other book, which contrasts Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis,” was published by the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, which the U.S. alleges was a front organization for the Iranian government.
Jewish community groups were disappointed to learn that materials from Iran had found their way into Canadian school texts. Neither the madrassa nor its parent organization, the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat, could be reached for comment. The East End Madrassa rents space every Sunday in a high school owned by the Toronto District School Board. The madrassa apologized to the Jewish community earlier this week and promised to review its teaching materials.