Here's to Canada.....Inshallah! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Here's to Canada.....Inshallah!

heh, heh.........

From hijabs to jihad:
Exploring Islam in Canada
By Katy Peplinskie
Producer: Shauna Rempel
A group of men take part in one of the five daily prayer sessions at an Ottawa mosque.
OTTAWA | Nov. 5, 2004 — The religious face of Canada is changing, and cities such as Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal are becoming hubs of Islamic culture.

University hallways are seas of vibrantly coloured hijabs and words like "halal" and "Imam" have become commonplace.

"Islam is flooding through Canada like a steady stream," says Peter Beyer, a religious studies professor at the University of Ottawa. In fact, the number of Canadians calling themselves Muslim more than doubled between 1991 and 2001, from 253,000 to about 580,000, Statistics Canada reports. The Canadian Islamic Congress pegs the current number at about 650,000.

Riad Saloojie, executive director of the Canadian branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, attributes the rise to Canada's hospitable nature.

"Anyone Muslim I know who moved back to a Muslim-majority country moved back to Canada soon after. There is more religious expression allowed here."

But Muslims still say they are extremely misunderstood in Canada. Myths about terrorism and anti-Semitism abound, and some say the recent inflammatory comments of religious leaders like Mohammed Elmasry and Sheik Younus Kathrada are causing a backlash.

'It’s very
the way people allow the voices
of a few Muslims speak for
all of us.'

"It's very upsetting the way people allow the voices of a few Muslims speak for all of us," says Dr. Gamal Solaiman, Imam of the Ottawa Mosque.

A diverse people

Canadian Muslims are as diverse as the patterns on their head scarves. They are a microcosm of the world community, originating from more than 85 nations and linguistic groups.

Inside Islam
A look at Ottawa's Muslim community.
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The Islamic world once had the Ottoman Caliph as its symbol of unified leadership. However, this title was abolished with the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, after the First World War ended the Ottoman Empire. Today, each Islamic country has a separate religious hierarchy and none is bound to acknowledge the leadership of any other.

"This is not a cohesive community we're dealing with," Saloojie says.

Still, he adds, finding a unifying voice is an important task.

"Muslims like Osama bin Laden certainly do not depict our true spirit as a living reality for Canadian Muslims and neither do Elmasry or Kathrada. We have to counteract the lies they've told."

Solaiman says such words as "jihad" are constantly misused in Canada.

"People seem to know the Qur’an encourages jihad, but no one knows what it really is," says Solaiman. "It means only to struggle against evil.

"In fact, the most important dimension of jihad is the internal struggle against your own self."

The fundamentals

Solaiman says the word "fundamentalism" is also misinterpreted by many Canadians. Many people associate it with extremism.

"Fundamentalist Muslims are merely those who adhere to the fundamental tenets of their faith," Solaiman says.

'Islam is the youngest of the
faiths in Canada.
So, what’s
normative is
not yet well known.'

The "fundamental" principles of Islam are the belief in one God and the Prophet Mohammed, prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, any Muslim who believes in these fundamentals is a fundamentalist.

"Fundamentalists are not terrorists," he adds.

But why is there so much confusion surrounding Islam in Canada?

"Because it’s still in its infancy," Saloojie says.

"When I came to Canada 16 years ago the Muslim presence was not visible," he says. "It was a novelty to see anyone of colour at all. Islam is the youngest of the monotheistic faiths in Canada. So, what’s normative is not yet well known."
Carleton University students Farwah Rubab, left, Hajer Al-Khalissi and Madiha Khan say they would like to dispel the myths about Muslims.
Students Farwah Rubab, left, Hajer Al-Khalissi and Madiha Khan say they want to dispel myths about Muslims.

Although Islam is becoming established in Canada, it's still a fairly new religion in most parts of the country. So, "misconception is just part of the package," Saloojie says.

Solaiman reasons that as Muslims become well integrated into Canadian society the problems they face will decrease.

Beyer agrees, adding that stereotypes only exist to help people understand the world they live in. "The only way to erase stereotypes is to contradict them in everyday life.

"This must become the job of every Muslim."

heh, heh........
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 03:53 PM
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Even Terrance and Phillip think your a cunt Punjabi.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 05:03 PM
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I'll listen to your diatribes when you give me good explanations for the bizarre treatment your religion affords your females and the intentions of shiria law versus our secular governments.

Charter member of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy and proud of it.

God Bless the America we're trying to create.
--Hillary Rodham Clinton
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