Letter Sent to CBC Ombudsman

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Screen capture of CBC video

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On July 19, 2021, the CBC aired a video in which NCCM chairperson Mustafa Farooq was featured, giving outlines for the Summit on Islamophobia held July 26.

Reference:

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1923337795802?fbclid=IwAR2OJdtacSvhNoGSKmw_s9faZMPr33BwVxUwOZNu4AvPY_GOQj_8u1ePhFs

Our concern is that when the CBC gave a platform to Mr. Farooq, they were not simply reporting on what he said.

Mr Farooq has had very controversial views in the past concerning not only the LGBTQ community, but also the Jewish community, the Christian community and the West in general.

Reference:

Mustafa Farooq says NCCM aspires to live by ideals of Malcolm X [known for anti-Jewish statements]

https://news.acdemocracy.org/mustafa-farooq-says-nccm-aspires-to-live-by-ideals-of-malcolm-x-known-for-anti-jewish-statements/

“Today we begin with El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, otherwise known as @Malcolm X. His message of truth and justice are ideals we aspire to live by at NCCM. “

NCCM’s Mustafa Farooq: “How are we Muslims going to recreate Cordoba [Caliphate] in any Canadian city?”

https://news.acdemocracy.org/nccms-mustafa-farooq-how-are-we-muslims-going-to-recreate-cordoba-caliphate-in-any-canadian-city/

“ How are we Muslims going to recreate Cordoba* in Edmonton/Toronto/Montreal/any Canadian city? We have a massive task ahead of us, but I really believe that it is one at which we can succeed, one in which we erase these artificial “nation-state” identities, and move together to pursue Jannah [paradise].”

NCCM’s Mustafa Farooq calls Christian street preachers “awful people”

https://news.acdemocracy.org/nccms-mustafa-farooq-calls-christian-street-preachers-awful-people/

“A bunch of awful people showed up in Ottawa to scream about the redemption of Christ and All Lives Matter”

NCCM Mustafa Farooq’s statements critical of alliances with LGBTQ

 

https://news.acdemocracy.org/nccm-mustafa-farooqs-statements-critical-of-alliances-with-lgbtq/

NCCM’s Mustafa Farooq calls pro-mujahideen Imam “amazing Canadian,” “national treasure”

https://news.acdemocracy.org/nccms-mustafa-farooq-calls-pro-mujahideen-imam-amazing-canadian-national-treasure/

“Mustafa Farooq commended Imam Ibrahim Hindy for his firm stance on revoking Ghada Melek’s candidacy. Farroq wrote: “Ibrahim Hindy is an amazing Canadian and as far as I’m concerned a national treasure.”

On July 19, 2021, FHIC sent a letter to NCCM requesting that they remove a tweet that could be seen as to incite hate without just cause. As of today, July 28, 2021, the tweet is still visible. They have not removed nor amended the tweet as we requested.

Reference:

https://fhic.ca/2021/07/19/letter-sent-to-nccm/

We believe a review is in order of the individuals that CBC allows a platform. An individual who espouses the opinions above should be carefully reviewed according to CBCs journalistic standards and practices:

https://cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/vision/governance/journalistic-standards-and-practices

We are open and straightforward when we present interviewees and their statements. We make every effort to disclose the identity of interviewees and to give the context and explanations necessary for the audience to judge the relevance and credibility of their statements. In exceptional cases and for serious cause, we may decide to withhold such information in whole or in part. In such cases we explain the situation to the audience without disclosing the information that must be kept secret.”

However, in this case, it seems that CBC violated these journalistic standards by not providing the relevant background information about Mr. Farroq’s statements on issues directly related to the topic of his speech.

We strongly suggest that CBC add background information or links concerning Mr. Farooq’s previous statements to their article posted July 19. In addition, we recommend giving Mr. Farooq an opportunity to explain these controversial statements.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Letter Sent To NCCM

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TEXT

NCCM

NATIONAL OFFICE
P.O. Box 13219
Ottawa, ON
K2K 1X4

To the executive of NCCM,

It has come to our attention that a tweet that was sent out by your organization on June 28, 2021 was revealed to be incorrect.

Please see reference:

Although the tweet did not specifically say that an incident in Edmonton was a hate crime against the Islamic community, it certainly implies such, and as a result, the response from your followers followed a predictable course.

Reporting on hate crimes is important, but if they are disproved, the report should be removed or amended.

We ask that you amend or remove your tweet.

Fighting hate in all areas of Canadian life is imperative. Propagating hate is counter productive.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Letter Sent to PM Justin Trudeau

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This letter was CCd to all the major political parties in Canada.

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The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

We are writing to you out of our grave concern regarding the pressure from our government on the Christian community in Canada.

Mass graves have been discovered beside residential schools for indigenous children, schools instituted by the Christian community in Canada in general, and more predominately by Roman Catholic diocese.

While we mourn this discovery, we also wait for investigations to be completed. Much needs to be uncovered, which is indeed exceedingly difficult with the sparse record keeping that was kept of these children at that time.

As a result of this tragedy, many Christian churches have been vandalized and burned within the past several weeks. Extraordinarily little is said by our currently elected government, and in some cases, the burning is almost justified because of what happened within the residential schools.

“I understand the anger that’s out there against the federal government, against institutions like the Catholic Church. It is real and it’s fully understandable, given the shameful history that we are all becoming more and more aware of and engaging ourselves to do better as Canadians.” Justin Trudeau.

Reference:

https://www.cp24.com/news/trudeau-calls-on-catholic-church-to-take-responsibility-for-residential-schools-1.5456605?cache=yes%23tabsTVListingsNOn_tab2

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canadian-archbishop-says-trudeau-comments-on-church-s-role-in-residential-schools-unfair-1.5458553

On Canada day alone, 10 churches were vandalized in Alberta. In recent days, four small Catholic churches on Indigenous lands in rural southern British Columbia have been destroyed by suspicious fires and a vacant former Anglican church in northwestern B.C. was recently damaged. Two other Anglican churches were set ablaze, and a few days ago, another church was burned down in Saskatchewan.

Reference:  

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tofino-kitwanga-anglican-church-fire-1.6088601

With the very weak condemnation of the vandalism and burning of churches by our government, we are highly concerned about attacks on the Christian community in Canada.

As you are no doubt aware, Canada, as we know it today, was founded upon Judeo/Christian principles, with Psalm 72:8 of the Old Testament even being inscribed on our coat of arms: ‘A mari usque ad mare’ ‘from sea to sea’.

Canada is a highly diverse nation and secular within our public institutions for the most part, but to forget our founding principles is highly disrespectful not only to our founding fathers, but to the many millions within the Christian community in Canada.

We have also seen an inordinate number of attacks on the Christian community during Covid 19, with several churches being barricaded, doors locked, and pastors being fined and imprisoned.

Reference:

https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/trinity-bible-chapel-doors-now-locked-following-temporary-injunction-issued-by-judge-1.5409599

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/gracelife-church-shuttered-by-authorities-after-months-of-flouting-covid-19-rules

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/april/canadian-church-gracelife-alberta-closed-barricade-covid.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/tim-stephens-fairview-baptist-church-arrest-1.6029078

https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/photos-church-of-god-locked-out-by-judge-holds-large-outdoor-service

https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/charges-laid-after-police-officers-vehicle-surrounded-at-aylmer-church

In direct contrast, a vigil to honour victims of an attack in London, Ontario was held with no restrictions on June 8. Covid restrictions were lifted for this event, which thousands attended.

Reference:

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/a-province-left-in-mourning-premier-doug-ford-attends-vigil-for-muslim-family-struck-in-deadly-targeted-attack-1.5461216

As an organization, Fighting Hate in Canada is intent on defusing potentially combustible situations with practical and fair solutions to problems within our society. What we are seeing in Canada is a divisive reaction to a very concerning and tragic part of our history. Rather than building and unifying, we see division and hatred being stoked by our government, helped along by the media.

Acknowledging past mistakes is crucial, but it is also important to move forward. Creating an atmosphere of hate against an institution or individuals to compensate for past mistakes is counterintuitive and damaging. Yes, wrongdoing must be dealt with, but not by tearing down one to build up another.

We ask that you respond in a more appropriate manner to the recent church burnings and vandalism.

Fighting hate is imperative in all areas of Canadian life.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Letter Sent to NDP MPP

This letter was CCd to Ontario leader Andrea Horwath and Federal leader Jagmeet Singh.

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TEXT

Michael Mantha, NDP MPP (Algoma—Manitoulin)

Room 160
Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park

Toronto, ON

M7A 1A5

Dear Mr. Mantha,

We are writing in regard to an Instagram post dated July 1, 2021 in which you appeared with CD4HR manager Firas Al Najim.

Reference:

You may be unaware of all of Mr Al Najim’s protest activities.

We want to inform you that we sent a letter to Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey concerning Mr. Al Najim and his strong statements through the years against Israel, and more recently against the LGBTQ community.

Reference:

Letter Sent to Attorney General of Ontario

Fighting hate in all areas of Canadian life is imperative. Together, we can build a better Canada.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Letter Sent to Attorney General of Ontario

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Doug Downey

Ministry of the Attorney General
McMurtry-Scott Building
720 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2S9

Dear Sir,

We would like to bring to your attention an individual who is a regular on the protest circuit in Canada, and an organization that he co-manages.

While peaceful assembly is a constitutional right in Canada, there is a line that should not be crossed, and that line has been crossed by this individual in our estimation.

Our concern is with Firas Al Najim. Mr Al Najim, resident of Ontario (GTA) is co-manager of the Canadian Defenders For Human Rights (CD4HR). This is a pro Palestinian Canadian registered non-for-profit organization.

Mr Al Najim, as well as being strongly anti-Israel, is a supporter of the Iranian regime, a regime responsible for countless violations of human rights. This comes out in his speeches and social media posts. He is also anti LGBTQ, and this has been revealed through recent postings as well.

Reference:

https://twitter.com/Islamic_HR/status/1400691363151290370?s=20

Although many groups within Canada oppose the LGBTQ lifestyle because of religious conviction, and they do have that constitutional right, ‘cancelling’ them is not a democratic principle.

On April 17, 2019, Mr. Al Najim posted on his Facebook page:

This organization [Salaam Canada, Canadian Muslim LGBTQ group] is condemned by god almighty and all conscience people as they are trying to bring deviance to gods clear refusal to such ways, the people of Lut were cursed and gods wrath came down on them all and they were destroyed by big rocks that rained down from the skies, deviance and violations Will be at loss! I have been getting a lot of complaints from People, we will file this in court and this is against religious and human rights codes ! Lgbt have their rights and freedoms in Canada but they should not connect it to religion as it’s clearly not supported or endorsed in the Torah, bible and Quran.

With the above quote, one is reminded of the treatment of homosexuals in Islamic states, including Iran, where they are publicly executed.

Connected to that post, he continues, but this time including the Jewish community, saying that Zionists endorse ‘dirty strategy’ concerning the LGBTQ:

Let’s clarify something: no 1 the Zionist illegitimate regime doesn’t endorse lgbt but because of its effect and popularity they are just using it as a tool to gain some credibility in front of the west and the honorable rabbi Weiss stated this at the annual Israel festival protest in Toronto. No2 the annual Israel festival was organized the same day as the annual pride march and many of the Zionist key leaders went there to avoid the lgbt march and this is a dirty trick. We are studying and dissecting the situation. No3 the Conservative party doesn’t endorse or support the lgbt but most Zionists will vote them in and we wonder why? Doug ford joined the 2019 pride walk and this was a surprise to all and he’s considered an outcast in the conservative club because of that move. You never hear the Zionists speaking out or condemning the conservatives for not supporting the lgbt. This is clearly a dirty strategy and it’s widely exposed and we will work to expose it even more and let the Canadian nation and world know!

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/firas-al-najim-says-zionists-endorse-dirty-strategy-on-lgbtq/

On June 23, 2021, during a demonstration, Mr. Al Nijam again connects Israel to the LGBTQ with a collective hatred:

The Zionists these days, a lot of them, are starting to support the LGBT movement. I saw some videos where some of them said that we [the Zionists] are using it [LGBTQ rights] as a tool, because it is becoming a powerful movement, so they are trying to hide behind it and trying to say that they support it, so they they get more supporters with the State of Israel.

On July 5, 2021, CD4HR posted on Twitter:

Cancel #PrideMonth & Start #Indigenousmonth. The #INDIGENOUS oppressed peoples deserve the recognition and respect. Raise the Native flag all over the colonized land. #CancelCanadaDay #everychildmatters #IndigenousLivesMatter

To our knowledge, CD4HR, lead by Mr. Al Najim, is the only organization to publicly call for the cancelation of Pride month

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/canadian-pro-palestine-group-cancel-pride-month-zionists-support-lgbt-movement/

Mr. Al Najim’s vitriol is well documented, you can access reports on his activities here:

https://canadadocs.org/?s=%22Firas+Al+Najim%22

Mr. Al Najim’s public condemnation of both Israel and the LGBTQ community could very well be considered hate speech. In our climate of monitoring hate speech, it is unacceptable that this is not addressed by authorities.

The failure to prosecute Mr. Al Najim is an invitation for escalation of hate against the Canadian LGBTQ community and the Canadian Jewish community. This failure could be construed as legitimate permission for others to follow his example.

We are asking that you investigate this carefully, and act accordingly. Fighting hate in all areas of Canadian life is imperative.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Letter Sent to President of University of Western Ontario

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Office of the President

Stevenson Hall, Suite 2107

London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B8

Dear  Professor Alan Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University,

We are writing with concern about a statement given by the Muslim Students’ Association at Western University. We believe that rather than creating unity and a safe environment for all students, this statement is divisive.

On June 5, 2021 the Muslim Students’ Association at Western University in London, ON issued a statement concerning the Palestine/Israel conflict.

The MSA is also demanding a statement from yourself, that you condemn the situation in Palestine. This demand, in essence, is calling for you to denounce the state of Israel. Although Israel has the legal and historical right to this land, that is not the point here. The point is the division being created by this organization.

Rather than creating understanding and peace, what is being created is an atmosphere of hostility and anger.

The Israel/Palestine conflict is not new, and there seems to be no clear solution at the moment. However, this should not carry over into a Western institution of learning by engaging university leadership.

We ask that you address this with the MSA, and in doing so, defuse this situation, perhaps with workshops and other methods to engage both sides of this conflict.

Following are some of the phrases within the statement released by the MSA:

Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians and it is an Apartheid state.

University Student Council to remove all pro-Zionist narrative from campus

Pro-Zionist narratives contribute to a “poisoned environment”

We demand that Western University and the University Student Council take action.

Pro-Zionist narratives are harmful to Palestinian students as it fails to recognize the trauma they endured and is dismissive of the impact Zionism has had on their livesThe University Student Council needs to be taking more serious action towards pro-Zionist narrative as allowing any Western-affiliated organizations to support Zionism is an example of harassing and discriminatory behaviour towards Palestinian students.

Western’s Muslim Students’ Association unequivocally stands in solidarity with all the victims of mass genocide, incarceration, and eviction in Palestine. We condemn the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli government against Palestine, and we demand that Western University and the University Student Council take action.

They also demand:  A statement from Alan Shepard and the University Student Council condemning the eviction, genocide, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Some excerpts from the MSA constitution:

  1. The mission statement of the MSA is as follows:

To provide an Islamic environment conducive to creativity, leadership, excellence and professionalism in order to empower students to reach their potential: physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually.

  1. The general belief system under which the MSA runs as an organization is:
  2. There exists only one God: Allah, the most Gracious and Almighty, who is the true creator and sustainer of the universe, and that Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the last Prophet and Messenger of Allah to humanity.
  3. The salvation of all human problems is only possible through the total implementation of His guidance, which is found in the Holy Qur’an and the prophetic teachings and traditions.
  4. The life and teachings of his servant and messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the ideal example for all humanity. The Prophet’s companions are the best people after the messengers of Allah, and they are to be respected for conveying the message of Islam to us…

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/muslim-students-at-western-u-remove-all-pro-zionist-narrative-from-campus/?fbclid=IwAR09q6vFju-t0dkB96jeywjRb7EXlfJ0jtwZifc_CMyuMzAyLki5UVTYhl8

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Together, we can work to eradicate hate in our country.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Follow-up Regarding Letter Sent to Mayor of Montreal

On June 12, 2020, FHIC sent a letter to the Mayor of Montreal which you can read here.

We have been given a response by the Montreal Police department, assuring us that they have taken this matter seriously, and it is under investigation. Following is the letter we receiving with translation text.

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To whom it may concern:

This correspondence is a response to the request for an investigation into hate incidents, made to the town hall regarding events judged in this way, towards the Jewish community, during the pro-Palestine demonstration on May 29.

To this end, the Service de police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) certifies that investigations have been carried out on the criminal events linked to the demonstration on Saturday, May 29, 2021. The service police take very seriously all situations that could potentially develop into criminal events.

In addition, the SPVM reiterates that the Hate Crimes and Incidents Investigation Module (MICH) has the mandate to ensure that the various communities of the City of Montreal live in safety and peace of mind. Therefore, it is possible to lodge a complaint at a neighborhood police station of the SPVM, if you believe you have witnessed a hateful incident or if you are a victim or witness to a hate crime. The MICH’s specialist investigators will then be able to shed light on these events.

In conclusion, the SPVM would like to reiterate the importance of reporting to the police any event deemed to be hateful, whether it be a crime or an incident.

We ask you to accept, Ladies and Gentlemen, the expression of our best regards.

OUR REPLY

Inspector Marie-Claude Dandernault,

We appreciate your action on this matter. Collectively, we work towards eradicating hate in Canada.
Sincerely,
FHIC
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Letter Sent to President of Carleton University

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Dear Vice-Chancellor Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon,

 

On June 11, 2021, Carleton University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology hosted a Zoom Webinar entitled Palestine Today: “Settler colonialism, popular uprisings and bad journalism”. This event was sponsored/promoted by the organization Samidoun. According to it’s website, “Samidoun is an international network of organizers and activists working to build solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for freedom.”

Please see reference:

https://samidoun.net/about-samidoun/

The speakers for this event were as follows: Nahla Abdo (Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University), Moe Alqasem (Palestinian Youth Movement, CUPE 1281 President), Chandni Desai (Assistant Professor, Critical Studies of Equity and Solidarity, University of Toronto), and Charlotte Kates (International Coordinator of Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network).

We would like to draw your attention to the speaker Moe Alqasem, a pro Palestine activist in the Toronto area.  In the past several years, Mr Alqasem has been involved in various protests in and around Toronto.

Mohamed Alqasem (aka Moe Alqasem) is a Biomedical science student at York University in Toronto, and an activist from Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA York), a member of the YUdivest coalition and a community organizer in the Palestinian and Arab community. He is also a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Association of Progressive Palestinian Canadians, and OPIRG YorkU.

The reason for our correspondence is to point out his strong anti-Israel anti-Canada stance and his call for violence.

In 2019, Mr Alqasem referred to Zionists as dogs and garbage in a tweet.

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/mohamed-alqasem-f-israel-supporters-of-zionism-o-dogs-o-garbage/

In May of 2018, Mr Alqasem participated in the  Nakba Day in Toronto chairing and leading chants en route that included: “Viva viva Intifada, Free Free Palestine”; “The Palestinians have the right to resist by any means necessary”.

The organizers handed out a flyer titled “Chants/slogans for May 18 Demo” that included also the following chants: “Resistance is justified when people are occupied!, Long live the Intifada (x2) Intifada, intifada! (x2), From Toronto to Gaza, Globalise the Intifada!”

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/lina-assi-viva-intifada-the-palestinians-have-the-right-to-resist-by-any-means-necessary/

In October and November of 2018, Mr Alqasem put out a series of tweets reflecting his strong hatred of Canada, Israel and the IDF.

“I would rather DIE than raise the Canadian flag right next to the Palestinian flag. Burgeoise/Elite Arabs really have some weird sense of nationalism towards this settler state.”

“Palestine, my love

If the heavens were applied to the earth, I would not repent of loving your land

I will sacrifice (redeem) my soul and my blood [for Palestine]”

 “First of all, you would have to actually put a bullet right through my Palestinian skull before you even TRY to bring an Israeli soldier to my campus…”

On May 22, 2021 gave a speech and led chants at the “Ongoing Nakba, Ongoing Resistance – Toronto March!” organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement. The chants included the following:

Viva, Viva Palestina

Viva, Viva Intifada

We’ll sacrifice our soul and blood for Palestine

Reference:

https://canadadocs.org/moe-alqasem-led-toronto-protest-in-chanting-viva-viva-intifada/?fbclid=IwAR0AtSbDkP4TdMmZbgqPJWFfan_ZrQ3qhc7guv3EmxW6rmSXdtPOeIpiJw0

With the recent crackdown by our current government on hate speech, the information on Mr Alqasem is something that needs to be looked at.  

A speaker who advocates violence and bloodshed in a very public forum is a concern, particularly as he is bringing this conflict into Canada, and we are asking that further events and their featured speakers would undergo greater scrutiny.

Promoting hate, even inadvertently, is a dangerous thing in our very combustible world. We trust you will keep this in mind for future events.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Mohamed-Moe-Alqasem-Toronto-May-22-2021

Letter Sent to Mayor of Brantford, Ontario

This letter was very similar to the letter sent to Mayor Charlie Clark of Saskatoon, regarding issues surrounding Pride festival.

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Dear Mayor Davis and City Council of Brantford,

It has come to our attention the act of vandalism of the LGBTQ crosswalk in Brantford on June 17. This is discouraging when you are trying to build unity in your city.

Several days ago, we also wrote to Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark about the same issue. We are seeing marginalization of not only the LGBTQ community, but also those who disagree with this lifestyle. This cannot be discounted.

Vandalism, destruction, threats, or violence is never an acceptable recourse and must be addressed, but the following should also be addressed.

We write you what we wrote to mayor Charlie Clark.

There is much anger against everyone by everyone in our world today. In the case of the Pride event, our municipal, provincial, and federal leaders must keep in mind that there is a diverse mixture of citizenry in Canada.

These include people that, for religious or ethical reasons, do not agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle.

Their reasons may not be discounted, and perhaps they are feeling marginalized for their beliefs.

The Muslim, Christian and Orthodox Jewish communities are examples of groups that are not in agreement with the lifestyle, and it must be acknowledged that Canada has many citizens within these groups.

Wael Shehab, as head Imam of Toronto Masjid, was quoted as saying “Same-sex marriage, on the other hand, imposes serious dangers to the family institution, lacks social support, endangers the real lovely family life, and breaks the social order of the human community.”

Dr. Charles McVety, chairman of Canada Christian College and a well-known Evangelical in Toronto, Ontario is known for his stance on marriage between a man and a woman.

Mrs. Bronya Shaffer, a noted lecturer on Jewish women’s issues has stated: “We know that among other sexual behaviours, Torah law expressly forbids the specific act of male homosexuality.”

Again, these views are not necessarily wrong, they are religious convictions. Unless hate speech and violence becomes an issue within these communities, these people deserve to have their convictions and opinions respected.

The city might be well advised to assign certain time slots for Pride events in the public square, and after the completion of the event, repaint the crosswalks the standard white and remove other items that may have been put up during this event, as these are public spaces and are used by all members of the public. This is respecting everyone.

This could go a long way in alleviating feelings of marginalization on both sides. All human beings should be treated with dignity.

Our aim is to defuse hate, while reconciling the truly diverse citizenry of Canadian society.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

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Letter Sent to NDP MPP

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MPP Terrance Kernaghan, NDP London North Centre

Unit 105
400 York St.

London,

ON

N6B 3N2

Dear Mr Kernaghan,

Thank you for remembering and honouring the victims of the horrific attack on June 6 in London.  Attacks on innocent civilians are devastating and London, and indeed the world, is devastated. We noted that last evening you attended an event to commemorate this tragedy.

In the London Free Press article, you are quoted as saying “[I] attended the rally to support a future where women can wear hijabs without fear.” This is true, but it must also be acknowledged that there are women who live in fear for not wearing or for removing the hijab. It is quite remarkable that in many Islamic states, women are fighting to be free of the hijab.

Looking at the event Friday evening, we see the religious symbol of the hijab is honoured in remembrance of the Afzaal family. Women who are under pressure to wear hijab or who are refusing to wear hijab could very well be feeling marginalized and forgotten by this.

London is home to many immigrants who left their homeland because of oppressive governments. Iran has been extremely oppressive in its crackdown on women who do not wear hijab. Within the past decade, women in Iran have been bravely removing their hijab, even under risk of imprisonment and fines. Many activists have been incarcerated or killed for their stand against this oppression. In 2003, a Canadian Iranian dissident set herself ablaze in front of the French embassy in London, UK in protest against this regime.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/not-going-to-give-up-anti-hijab-protest-gains-momentum-in-iran-despite-arrests-1.3793363

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canadian-sets-herself-ablaze-in-london-1.399209

Yasmine Mohammed, an ex-Muslim Canadian activist, and strong proponent of women’s rights has spoken out strongly against the forced wearing of the hijab, noting that women in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Muslim majority nations are burning their niqabs and hijabs in protest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasmine_Mohammed

Muslim activist, speaker and author Raheel Raza also spoke about the danger of making the hijab a defining issue: “The danger lies in making hijab the defining issue for all Muslim women. To do so is to deny the diversity of Muslim women, and drown out the voices and identities of those who choose not to wear the hijab…..”

A young Canadian girl by the name of Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her family for refusing to wear the hijab.

Aqsa Parvez’s father, brother plead guilty in death

While mourning the loss of this family is important, it is also important to keep in mind those who have suffered and are suffering at the hands of oppression, which includes the forced wearing of the hijab.

Fighting hate in all areas of Canadian life is so important. Canadian women should feel comfortable either wearing or not wearing the hijab. All Canadian citizens deserve to be heard and treated with dignity.

Sincerely,

Fighting Hate In Canada

Reference:

https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/london-hijabs-for-harmony-rally-draws-about-500-people?fbclid=IwAR30w6fY_l-T7KNi2rbuhW7SxQBJmziL-st5YpgP8QLK1-Lc5kBfUr00xys

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