Islam and the Canadian Experience
A selection of commentaries from the past 10 years
Dec 25 - A Christmas tradition since 2006
Dec 24 - A Merry Christmas from Sohrab
Sohrab called to wish me a Merry Christmas; not a Happy Holidays, but a Merry Christmas, because that is what it is all about. To refer to Christmas as simply a holiday, a day off work, diminishes the significance of the Day and should be as offensive to Christians as it would be offensive to Muslims to refer to the Hajj as a vacation.
I wished him a Merry Christmas in return, a greeting which he was more than happy to receive. It was Christmas Eve after all, and he was happy to be here.
He likes this time of year because there is no hanging or stoning, he sort of joked, as part of the festivities, as often happened, he said, at Islamic celebrations during the time of Khomeini.
He has been sober for a decade, and like many previous Christmas, he will spend it in the company of friends he made at Alcoholics Anonymous. He can't say enough good things about the organization. He still hopes to found a Muslim equivalent, but that seems less and less likely as the years pass.
Dec 17 - The Lie that is Multiculturalism
Merkel tells newcomers to "obey our values ... multiculturalism leads to parallel societies therefore remains a lie."
Reuters, Dec 15, 2015
Dec 8 - Canadian Jihadi Bride Factories
Canadian branch of Islamic school attended by California shooter says ‘absolutely’ no extremism here ...
On Monday evening CBC New reported that four young women who went to the Al Huda school near Toronto left to support ISIL in Syria, or tried to. Ottawa Citizen, Dec 8, 2015
Nov 25 - Homosexuals at Risk
To those complaining of the plan to allow single Syrian gay men to be admitted as refugees you are wrong. They are even more at risk than the people I mentioned in my email to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration (see November 24 entry, Women at Risk).
The Koran is a small book by holy book standards at about one tenth the words of the King James Bible. With so few words and a lot to say, Allah spends more than a fair share condemning those who commit what He calls "the foul act".
His pathological animosity towards same-sex sex is reflected in Sharia law. The more reason to give them shelter.
Nov 24 - Women at Risk
The government has just announced that Syrian refugees will be selected on the basis of vulnerability. I would like to think that my email and entreaties from others had something to do with the decision.
Nov 20 - When is killing a soul not like killing a soul?
Just like after 9/11, the revelation about Allah saying “whoever kills a soul is like killing all of mankind ...” is being repeated on Canadian newscasts to explain away the actions of the perpetrators of the Paris massacre as not being condoned by the Koran.
The quote is from Allah's recollection of the murder of Abel by Cain. Much is left out by those who would use it to distance themselves from the actions of their co-religionists. Another reason for an honest dialogue on the Koran
Nov 17 - Women, Veils and Oaths
Liberals drop legal bid to ban niqab at citizenship ceremonies ...
Ottawa Citizen, Nov 17
Behind a veil, a new citizen can avoid breaking her oath of allegiance to Allah and only Allah while pretending to swear allegiance to a mortal e.g. the Queen or a country with nobody being the wiser except Allah of course, who will forgive her deception as He will forgive anyone who lies in furtherance of Islam.
The woman who insisted on hiding her identity during the citizenship ceremony because of Faith and precipitated the now moot appeal to the Supreme Court was granted Canadian citizenship on her terms in October.
Women may have come a long way, but they are not there yet; and may never get there, for they are their own worse enemy.
Why women would campaign for greater public exposure for a religion which considers them the equal of dogs and asses and evil to boot by insisting on an inalienable right to wear the niqab, the hijab, the burqua … everywhere, is a mystery for many of us.
Nov 14 - Bad Timing
Trudeau says Canada ‘stands with France at this dark time’.
Globe and Mail, Nov. 14
In abandoning the war against Islamic State at this critical juncture, Canada is doing no such thing. No bombing the enemy of civilization; but it will train a few token foreigners to do the fighting and dying on our behalf, and that's about it.
Nov 12 - Refugee Crisis
July 18 - Imam Certification
What Khaleel Mohammed has to say about the most widely disseminated Qur'an in most Islamic bookstores and Sunni mosques throughout the English-speaking world.
From the beginning, the Hilali and Muhsin Khan translation reads more like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian polemic than a rendition of the Islamic scripture…
Placing an embargo on Saudi-approved translations of the Koran which the Kingdom provides free of charge to mosques, madrassas and Western schools, colleges and universities may be easier and perhaps as effective at controlling the jihadist message than the certification of Imams.
July 7 - The Counterfeit Citizen
According to a poll conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research "Canadians continue to identify multiculturalism as one of the country’s most important symbols, and this view has strengthened since 2010."
July 4 - When Discretion is Called For!
No minaret, no dome. A closer look at the modern mosque [in the Greater Toronto]
Globe and Mail, July 3, 2015
Allah expects the unbelievers to be circumspect in expressing their beliefs if they are a minority in the Land of War. The discreet mosque may be a reflection of that caution.
4:101 And when you journey in the land, you are not at fault if you shorten the prayer for fear that the unbelievers will harm you. The unbelievers are your manifest enemy.
July 2 - Surprise! Surprise!
Saudi government funding private Islamic schools in Canada, (WikiLeaks) documents show
Globe and Mail, July 2, 2015
Would it surprise you to learn that Islamic studies programs at such prestigious universities as Harvard, the University of Edinburgh, Georgetown and Cambridge are funded by Saudis (Carleton University, Ottawa's second largest, has not revealed who is funding it's Centre for the Study of Islam)?
March 28 - The Niqab, the Politician and the Academic
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused Saturday of playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters with inflammatory comments about the face-covering veil worn by some Muslim women.
The accusation came from renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, who co-chaired Quebec’s 2007 commission on reasonable accommodation of cultural and religious minorities.
Globe and Mail, March 28
Charles Taylor and his equally illustrious colleague Gérard Bouchard have done more to facilitate the recruitment of jihadists, in the public school system no less (read Forcing the Secular to Promote its Nemesis in Canada), than a ban on the niqab ever could.
March 23 - Hell and Cold Winters
Hell took one long deep breath this winter.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said: “The Hellfire complained to its Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord, my different part eat each other up.’ So Allah allowed it to take two breaths – one in the winter and the other in the summer. This is [the cause] of the severe heat and bitter cold you experience.’”
If it lets it out gradually we should see a steady rise in temperatures. All bets are off if it holds much of it in, or exhales all this now superheated air all at once.
Hell, in both the Koran and the Hadiths, is a living breathing gargantuan monster which will be dragged to its appointed place on Judgement Day by seventy thousand angels pulling on "seventy thousand bridles."
March 21 - The Decision on Teaching Religion
A road to apartheid paved with the customary good intentions.
March 19 - A Pox On All Your Houses
Harper backs Netanyahu’s controversial Israel victory
Globe and Mail Mar. 18, 2015
Netanyahu is a Jew, Harper is a Christian and large parts of the Koran are very much an abbreviated amalgamation of the Old and New Testament with an Islamic slant. You would think that men of good will could find common ground.
March 12 - Trudeau and the Niqab; McGuinty and the Tribunals
Harper says majority of ‘moderate Muslims’ support view on niqab ban
Globe and March 11, 2015
In listening to Justin Trudeau advocating for the niqab I am reminded of the arguments made by the then Liberal Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, extolling the virtue of Sharia Tribunals for Ontario. Then, moderate Muslims saved us from ourselves, will they do so again, with the help of the Prime Minister.
March 5 - The right way to advocate for violence against women in Canada
Québec Premier Philippe Couillard on Wednesday asked a member of his party not to advertise on an Islamic community centre website which advocates violence against women.
Mr. Tanguay initially refused to remove the ad saying "the community centre did not commit any illegal acts."
He is correct ... continue
March 1 - What translation of the Koran are you reading?
Six of the four Montréal area students suspected of having joined Islamic State in February studied at the same college. This reminded me of an unanswered letter.
Feb 27 - The Big Lie in the Canadian Charter of Rights
Quebec judge who demanded hijab removal needs a Charter lesson
David Butt, The Globe and Mail, Feb 27
Feb 26 - Teaching Your Children Well, Wynne and Fort McMurray’s New Mosque
Wynne suggests Tory MPP homophobic after sex-ed comments.
Globe and Mail, Feb 25
The fact is McNaughton may have a point. From my year in an urban gay-straight commune, the gay men and woman I lived with tended to be more honest, not to say crude, about sex in all its forms. The question is, how much honesty should children be exposed to, and who should do the exposing and when?
Having said that, I still believe that McGuinty's long delayed sex education program should be implemented, if only to counter an even more precocious and biased sex education aimed at children.
Ontario is setting an example which other provinces may be well advised to follow and improve on by making a prejudice-free early sex education where no one is condemned for their sexual preferences part of the core curriculum of private religious schools.
Fort McMurray’s Muslim community plans an ambitious, multicultural mosque … It’s a $50-million, 10-acre complex – a brand new home for Fort McMurray’s Muslim community, breaking ground this spring ...
Globe and Mail Feb 21, 2104
You have to wonder why women in the flattering cover propaganda photograph in the Globe and Mail would be entranced by the idea that they will be segregated and that their little girls will be taught that they are inferior to little boys and to accept this diminished status because God and His Messenger said so.
Feb 19 - Prediction About An Impending Conflict
A fierce debate has been reignited in Quebec over religious accommodation after three mayors blocked Muslim speakers and projects, and opposition lawmakers cranked up pressure on the province’s Liberal government to protect traditional values.
Globe and Mail Feb 19
Jan 28 - Opening Tat Old Can of Worms is Sometimes Necessary
What’s the link between an Islamist terrorist and a daycare worker who wears the hijab? Any sensible person would find the question utterly silly, but not Quebec’s radical secularists – and they’re at it again.
Quebec reopens its identity can of worms Lysiane Gagnon, Globe and Mail, Jan 28
Allah expects the believers to promote His religion at every opportunity. A child’s natural curiosity is a god-send for a teacher or a day-care worker who submits to His Will to begin the recruitment process, whether that is her intent or not, by simply answering questions about her religious attire.
It's about not flaunting your religion in front of a captive, receptive audience, not about denying people of any faith or no faith the right to look after children or to teach to them a secular curriculum. It's about Teaching Your Children Well.
Jan 17 - A Conversion Bonanza
Whenever a terrorist act is committed in Allah's name, here and abroad, mosques in Canada (the same phenomenon has been noticed in Britain) often experience a conversion bonanza ... continue
Jan 13 - Charlie Hebdo
Jan 12 - Is the CBC Part of the Problem to be Solved?
Sohrab was disappointed in the CBC for again pandering to a hard-core conservative minority, as they did in the series Little Mosque on the Prairie, by refusing to display the cartoons linked to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo.
To quote a spokesperson for the public broadcaster, their reluctance to do the right thing was "out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers."
What about the sensibilities of the rest of us, and what Sohrab believes is a majority of Canadian Muslims who, like him, do not endorse censorship, even out of fear of offending a threatening minority who, because of their uncompromising religious convictions, are easily offended.
Maybe the Conservatives are right; it's time to do away with an organisation that has not only outgrown its usefulness, but is now part of the problem to be solved.
Dec 25 - A Delicious Harmony
Every year we look forward to the annual Christmas get-together hosted in rotation by one of the eleven families on our street for now more than twenty years. This year was particularly special since members from all eleven families managed to make it.
Again this year, our small community of atheists (that would be me, sort of), Christians, Muslims, Jews and a friend of Confucius celebrated together in delicious harmony (everyone brought a dish or two for neighbours and friends to enjoy).
Have yourself a Merry Christmas.
Nov 14 - Polygamy + Polyandry = Polyamory
The Harper Government has tables a bill, The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act which re-enforces, among other things, Canadian laws against polygamous marriages.
The government has been warned in a briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press, that the proposed measures against polygamy could draw international ire:
This new admissibility provision related to polygamy, even with the availability of tools to mitigate impact, will certainly create bilateral irritants since polygamy is recognized under civil law in 50 countries (e.g. United Arab Emirates) and under customary law in 12 countries (e.g. South Africa).
Oct 30 - Rogue Rats
A week after the murder of Cpl Nathan Cirillo a third columnist for Canada's self-styled national newspaper, Lysiane Gagnon, flattered the likes of Bibeau and Rouleau by referring to them as lone wolves.
The FBI Director, in a 60 Minutes interview suggested "lone rats" as a more accurate description of one the biggest threat we face. I agree.
Oct 26 - Bibeau, the Mosque and the Koran
Burnaby mosque in spotlight after Ottawa attack ...
Aasim Rashid, spokesman for religious affairs for the B.C. Muslim Association, said Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau ... had some objections to the frequent visits by non-Muslims,”
Globe and Mail, October 24, 2014
Bibeau obviously knew his Koran:
9:18 Only he who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, performs the prayers, gives the alms and fears no one but Allah, shall visit Allah’s Mosques. Those shall be reckoned among the rightly guided.
A pressing question for the RCMP has to be which mosque radicalized Rouleau and Bibeau – in the case of Bibeau, Vancouver area mosques may have had an influence – and for the country, what to do about the proliferation of mosques if a correlation can be established between their presence and converts prone to violence.
Sept 10 - Canadian Humour at its Absolute Worse
Little Mosque on the Prairie and 9/11
May 27 - 4th Annual Parliamentary Forum on Religious Freedom
Evangelical Christians – Prime Minister Harper is an Evangelical – because of a perceived secular bias of the Supreme Court have chosen to align themselves with believers whose scriptures considers them perverts for claiming God has a son.
Three of the four speakers at the 4th Annual Parliamentary Forum on Religious Freedom supported a fourth, in a show of solidarity of religions, of one of the more objectionable practices of Christianity's nemesis.
To appreciate what Natasha Bakht, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa would like to see more of in Canada, have a glance at The Tent Wearers of Afghanistan.
April 1 - Fred Litwin, Islam and PPP
I had a few words the other day with the man who brought Geert Wilders to Ottawa.
Fred Litwin, when we first met, and after glancing at a few pages, expressed the opinion that Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice was not categorical enough.
The founder of the Free Thinking Film Society has since undergone a conversion of sorts, perhaps not a bad one, and now, it would seem, my comprehensive guide to the Koran is too categorical.
At the risk of putting words in his mouth, he said that "moderate" devout Muslims were re-interpreting the Koran, and left to their own devices will stem the Islamists tide.
I find it difficult to believe that the concise, clear instructions contained in the Koran, even with the best intentions, can be given a different meaning.
Nonetheless, if such a reinterpretation is underway, it becomes even more pressing for non-Muslims to acquaint themselves, not only with Allah's decrees, but also the many controversial sayings of His Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, to avoid misunderstandings and a one-way conversation on matters that affect us all?
Jan 7 - Electronic Eavesdropping
CSE 'incidentally' spies on Canadians
Ottawa Citizen, January 7, 2014
With what appears to be an inexorable unrelenting rise in home grown terrorists does Canada's Communication Security Establishment have any choice?
June 4 - If only ...
A terror suspect charged in an alleged plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train is having difficulty finding a lawyer who will try convincing a court to judge him against the Qur'an. Ottawa Citizen, June 4
Even if aspiring terrorist Chiheb Esseghaier finds a lawyer who will offer a Koranic defence of his plot to slaughter unwary travellers, it is unlikely a secular Court will seriously consider his justification for wanting to commit mass murder; and that is unfortunate. The insight gained into how the Koran inspires acts of unspeakable cruelty and bloodshed might be worth the likelihood of an acquittal.
March 2 - Groupthink
Mar 1- Another Reminder to Teach Your Children Well
Top court wont hear Toronto 18 appeal
The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the cases of three members of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist group who wanted to appeal their sentences.
Canadian Press, March 1, 2013
Of the three young people who wanted to appeal their sentences, two were teenagers when they were arrested for plotting a bombing and terrorism campaign which included kidnapping and beheading the Prime Minister.
The plan, prosecutors said: "was to explode three truck bombs in front of Toronto police and intelligence headquarters and Parliament Hill, then take politicians hostage and behead them one by one. The group of 18 had acquired 3 tons of what it thought was explosive material when police moved in, authorities say."
Five of the 18 would-be mass-murderers were minors when arrested and their identity is legally protected under Canadian law.
January 2 - A Prophet for Our Times?
Apologist and author of Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Times, Karen Armstrong, preceded Justin Trudeau on the podium at the pre-Christmas Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference in Toronto. In 2009 the former nun visited Ottawa to promote A Prophet for Our Times.
A Crusade for Compassion is how the Ottawa Citizen described her tour. An Unlikely Crusader for Compassion is about that visit and the misleading media promotion.
December 14 - Khawaja's Appeal Dismissed
On December 14, 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal by Mohammad Momin Khawaja that he was not a terrorist but a soldier and should have been sentenced accordingly.
The Supreme Court should have granted his appeal. Read Enemy Combatants for an explanation.
October 5 - Was it something I said?
Government cuts non-Christian prison chaplains
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has mandated that the federal prison system’s 71 full-time chaplains, who are overwhelmingly Christian, will provide religious services to all inmates.
Globe and Mail, Oct 5, 2012
May 11 - Why Indeed!
Why is National Arts Centre hosting Dutch MP accused of being anti-Islam?
Globe and Mail May 10, 2011
The Dutch alleged rabble-rouser who should not have been allowed to speak at the National Art Centre in Ottawa, according to Gloria Galloway reporting for Canada's self-proclaimed national newspaper, is Geert Wilders.
One reason advanced by the CBC why some people believe Wilders, then head of the Netherlands' third-biggest political party should not have been allowed to speak to Canadians in such a venue, or anywhere in Canada for that matter, is that "he has written books and made films arguing that Islam justifies violence and oppression against non-Muslims, women, gays and other groups"; films such as Fitna.
Dec 16 - Who’s to blame?
Asylum seekers perish as boat sinks off Australia
Associated Press, Dec 15, 2010
July 21 - Remembering Cpl. Kristal Giesebrecht
Oct 14 - Apples and Oranges
In 2005, it was thought that a mobilized citizenry for equality before the law, and one law for all, had defeated a government attempt to legalize Islamic Tribunals within the province of Ontario. The celebration may have been premature.
On October 13, 2010 the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Courts within the province of Ontario could not compel Muslim females, except under unspecified extraordinary circumstances, to remove face coverings when testifying if males are present (and that includes the judge, court staff, lawyers for both the defense and the prosecution, and male jurors).
Justice David H. Doherty in his support of the decision and that of his two equally illustrious colleagues argues, on record, that allowing women to wear a niqab when testifying in open court is no different than allowing boys in baggy pants to testify.
Unless the baggy pants the Honourable David Doherty is familiar with cover the face then he is completely out to lunch with his apples and oranges comparison.
Oct 20 - Filming Misconceptions
October 12 - A Prophet for Our Times???
A crusade for compassionis is how The Ottawa Citizen, described Karen Armstrong's visit to Ottawa to promote her book Muhammad - A Prophet for Our Times (HarperCollins, 2006) not forgetting to mention that the former nun is quite famous in some “Muslim-dominant countries (sic).”
Anyone who has read Ms. Armstrong’s panegyric to the founder of Islam, understands why she is famous in some “Muslim-dominant countries (sic).”
It is evident that the former Roman Catholic nun has found a new hero.
In Islam – A Short History (Random House, 2002), she justifies Islam’s wars of expansion as defensive wars in spite of the Prophet’s ultimatum to the rulers of the kingdoms bordering the Arab peninsula to convert or else.
In the same book, she writes that the Prophet was justified in ordering the beheading of the seven hundred men and boys of the Qurayzah Jewish tribe of Medina and the selling of the men’s wives and daughters into slavery during the war between Pagan Mecca and Muslim Medina because he did not trust the Jews to remain neutral. Conveniently forgetting to mention that he ordered this cold-blooded murder after the Meccans had lifted the siege of Medina and returned to Mecca never to threatened Medina again.
Karen Armstrong’s undue deference towards Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and her one-sided accusation that "This [the West] is not a compassionate society” makes her an unlikely and biased crusader for compassion.
November 29 - Swiss Ban Minarets
In a vote [by referendum] that displayed a widespread anxiety about Islam … the Swiss on Sunday overwhelmingly imposed a national ban on the construction of minarets, the prayer towers of mosques...
New York Times, November 29, 2009
The minaret in The Fractured Nation Interviews
Aug 18 - Teaching the Koran in a Church
St. Paul's United Church in Perth is in an uproar after its two ministers were let go, including one who held seminars on Islam with her Muslim husband.
Ottawa, Citizen, August 15, 2009.
No self-respecting imam would preach Christianity to Muslims and the same must be said of a Christian minister teaching Islam to Christians. A Christian minister facilitating the teaching of the Koran to a Christian Congregation is particularly inappropriate.
While the Koran does borrow extensively from the Old Testament it is, in large part, a wholesale repudiation of the New Testament, the most noteworthy being its unremitting denunciation of Jesus as being the Son of God.
June 15 - Panderers
May 25 - Canadian University Publishers
February 21 - Dogmatic Distress Syndrome
The Transport Committee's decision to allow quotes from God to be displayed on Ottawa city buses but not rebuttals from ordinary citizens questioning the divine origins of the quotations may just be Ottawa City Council's way of sparing ratepayers dogmatic distress.
In the post-breakup Canada of The Fractured Nation Interviews, Dogmatic Distress Syndrome or DDS is a recognized psychological affliction which, if left untreated, can have unfortunate and long-lasting consequences.
A Bad Case of Dogmatic Distress, a timely snippet of dialogue from Remembering Uzzah the sequel to The Interviews (remember, this is a work in progress).
May 23 - Nonsense
Out with the crucifix. In with the hijab. That is what you get when you mix Cartesian logic (Bouchard) and common sense (Taylor): nonsense.
Jeff Heinrich, of The Montreal Gazette commenting on the Bouchard-Taylor commission report on the accommodation of immigrants.
March 17 - Language and Racism
Language, much more than the colour of an other's skin, in my opinion, provokes apparent racist sentiments in normally sensible people.
People tend to identify with people that best exemplify their values whatever the colour of his or her skin. In fact, in the mind’s eye, there is only one race; skin colour being just another distinguishing feature of a member of the human race.
What we often characterize as racism may actually be a form of paranoia, sometimes justified, that has nothing to do with race but is the expression of a visceral fear of those who want to express sentiments, even noble sentiments, in a language that is alien.
Dec 13 -Another Victim of Unthinking Tolerance
On Monday 16 year-old Aqsa Parvez became another victim of Canada’s unthinking tolerance of religious oppression of women. She was strangled to death by her father for refusing to wear a headscarf.
Tarek Fatah of the Muslim Canadian Congress blames religious leaders and their feminists accomplice who see the hijab as empowering women.
I put the blame straight at the feet of people who have made young Muslim girls feel that they are sinners if they don't cover their heads," he said. "How many more Muslim girls have to die before the liberal intelligentsia wakes up and the feminists wake up and say the hijab is a symbol of oppression?
Globe and Mail, December 12, 2007
Oct 25 - The Rock is in, the Cross it out!