Torontonians of all faiths stand in solidarity amid recent rash of hate crimes against Muslims

News Dec 08, 2015 by Emanuela Campanella Beach Mirror

More than 200 people from different faiths gathered at a Toronto mosque Saturday, Dec. 5 to show their solidarity against anti-Muslim sentiments.

After the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people and left hundreds wounded, a few hate crimes occurred in Toronto and beyond.

On Nov. 16, two men physically attacked a woman wearing a hijab while hurling racial slurs when she was picking up her children from school in North York. And on Nov. 19, anti-Muslim graffiti with the message, “F*** Muslim girl”, was found on a GO Transit train at Sherbourne Station.

Outside of Toronto, on Nov. 14, a mosque was deliberately set on fire in Peterborough, Ont.

To respond to the increase in hate crimes, Toronto faith leaders and politicians came together to speak out against such acts and stand together with the Muslim community at the Islamic Info and Dawah Centre at Bloor and Dufferin. The event was hosted by Faith in the City, an anti-poverty organization aimed at strengthening community voices against intolerance in Toronto.

Men wearing kippahs and thwabs, religious garments, spoke with one another while women in hijabs spoke to women wearing crosses around their necks.

“There’s so much craziness and madness going on in the world around us,” said Ilyas Ally, a member of the mosque and an organizer of the event.

“We’re constantly going from one incident to the next and sometimes it’s beyond our borders, but then sometimes it has ripple effects right here in our city,” Ally said.

“And so with all of that negativity, it’s so nice that we have a positive event like this where all of us can come together and hopefully learn from each other and re-commit to working together for a better society.”

The leader of the mosque Imam Shabir Ally also spoke to the crowd, asking all Muslims to denounce the recent terror attacks around the world and make it loud and clear that the violence has nothing to do with Islam.

“They (terrorists) have misappropriated some of the teachings of the Qur’an. They have misconstrued this and are using it for their own political and other objectives,” he said.

“We think they are misguided and it is the responsibility of persons like myself who are studying the Qur’an and Islamic history to help those young men and women to see where they are misguided and bring them back to the right path,” he added.

With rabbis, pastors, imams and politicians speaking to the crowd, the message of the night was clear: everyone stands united against hate crimes.

“Any type of anti-Muslim sentiment, any type of hate crime, any type of discrimination is completely unacceptable. Not only in this community, but all communities right across Canada,” Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz said. “I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that Canadians are united in our shared values, in our commitment to freedom and to equality. And we know that our diversity and multiculturalism only enhances and enriches our country.”

A statement of unity, pledging the community will stand together to show its solidarity, was printed on a board. Community members were asked to sign both in print and online. All Toronto councillors pledged to sign as well.

“We have in such a small space, such a vibrant community with so many cultures, so many religions,” said Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao. “And as we make these statements in light of these horrible attacks that we had in our city and in our country, we have to make them loud and clear…. We are a better country because we are so diverse...”

To sign the pledge of unity, visit you.leadnow.ca/petitions/statement-of-unity

Torontonians of all faiths stand in solidarity amid recent rash of hate crimes against Muslims

People encouraged to sign Statement of Unity celebrating Canada’s diversity

News Dec 08, 2015 by Emanuela Campanella Beach Mirror

More than 200 people from different faiths gathered at a Toronto mosque Saturday, Dec. 5 to show their solidarity against anti-Muslim sentiments.

After the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people and left hundreds wounded, a few hate crimes occurred in Toronto and beyond.

On Nov. 16, two men physically attacked a woman wearing a hijab while hurling racial slurs when she was picking up her children from school in North York. And on Nov. 19, anti-Muslim graffiti with the message, “F*** Muslim girl”, was found on a GO Transit train at Sherbourne Station.

Outside of Toronto, on Nov. 14, a mosque was deliberately set on fire in Peterborough, Ont.

To respond to the increase in hate crimes, Toronto faith leaders and politicians came together to speak out against such acts and stand together with the Muslim community at the Islamic Info and Dawah Centre at Bloor and Dufferin. The event was hosted by Faith in the City, an anti-poverty organization aimed at strengthening community voices against intolerance in Toronto.

Men wearing kippahs and thwabs, religious garments, spoke with one another while women in hijabs spoke to women wearing crosses around their necks.

“There’s so much craziness and madness going on in the world around us,” said Ilyas Ally, a member of the mosque and an organizer of the event.

“We’re constantly going from one incident to the next and sometimes it’s beyond our borders, but then sometimes it has ripple effects right here in our city,” Ally said.

“And so with all of that negativity, it’s so nice that we have a positive event like this where all of us can come together and hopefully learn from each other and re-commit to working together for a better society.”

The leader of the mosque Imam Shabir Ally also spoke to the crowd, asking all Muslims to denounce the recent terror attacks around the world and make it loud and clear that the violence has nothing to do with Islam.

“They (terrorists) have misappropriated some of the teachings of the Qur’an. They have misconstrued this and are using it for their own political and other objectives,” he said.

“We think they are misguided and it is the responsibility of persons like myself who are studying the Qur’an and Islamic history to help those young men and women to see where they are misguided and bring them back to the right path,” he added.

With rabbis, pastors, imams and politicians speaking to the crowd, the message of the night was clear: everyone stands united against hate crimes.

“Any type of anti-Muslim sentiment, any type of hate crime, any type of discrimination is completely unacceptable. Not only in this community, but all communities right across Canada,” Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz said. “I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that Canadians are united in our shared values, in our commitment to freedom and to equality. And we know that our diversity and multiculturalism only enhances and enriches our country.”

A statement of unity, pledging the community will stand together to show its solidarity, was printed on a board. Community members were asked to sign both in print and online. All Toronto councillors pledged to sign as well.

“We have in such a small space, such a vibrant community with so many cultures, so many religions,” said Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao. “And as we make these statements in light of these horrible attacks that we had in our city and in our country, we have to make them loud and clear…. We are a better country because we are so diverse...”

To sign the pledge of unity, visit you.leadnow.ca/petitions/statement-of-unity

Torontonians of all faiths stand in solidarity amid recent rash of hate crimes against Muslims

People encouraged to sign Statement of Unity celebrating Canada’s diversity

News Dec 08, 2015 by Emanuela Campanella Beach Mirror

More than 200 people from different faiths gathered at a Toronto mosque Saturday, Dec. 5 to show their solidarity against anti-Muslim sentiments.

After the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people and left hundreds wounded, a few hate crimes occurred in Toronto and beyond.

On Nov. 16, two men physically attacked a woman wearing a hijab while hurling racial slurs when she was picking up her children from school in North York. And on Nov. 19, anti-Muslim graffiti with the message, “F*** Muslim girl”, was found on a GO Transit train at Sherbourne Station.

Outside of Toronto, on Nov. 14, a mosque was deliberately set on fire in Peterborough, Ont.

To respond to the increase in hate crimes, Toronto faith leaders and politicians came together to speak out against such acts and stand together with the Muslim community at the Islamic Info and Dawah Centre at Bloor and Dufferin. The event was hosted by Faith in the City, an anti-poverty organization aimed at strengthening community voices against intolerance in Toronto.

Men wearing kippahs and thwabs, religious garments, spoke with one another while women in hijabs spoke to women wearing crosses around their necks.

“There’s so much craziness and madness going on in the world around us,” said Ilyas Ally, a member of the mosque and an organizer of the event.

“We’re constantly going from one incident to the next and sometimes it’s beyond our borders, but then sometimes it has ripple effects right here in our city,” Ally said.

“And so with all of that negativity, it’s so nice that we have a positive event like this where all of us can come together and hopefully learn from each other and re-commit to working together for a better society.”

The leader of the mosque Imam Shabir Ally also spoke to the crowd, asking all Muslims to denounce the recent terror attacks around the world and make it loud and clear that the violence has nothing to do with Islam.

“They (terrorists) have misappropriated some of the teachings of the Qur’an. They have misconstrued this and are using it for their own political and other objectives,” he said.

“We think they are misguided and it is the responsibility of persons like myself who are studying the Qur’an and Islamic history to help those young men and women to see where they are misguided and bring them back to the right path,” he added.

With rabbis, pastors, imams and politicians speaking to the crowd, the message of the night was clear: everyone stands united against hate crimes.

“Any type of anti-Muslim sentiment, any type of hate crime, any type of discrimination is completely unacceptable. Not only in this community, but all communities right across Canada,” Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz said. “I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that Canadians are united in our shared values, in our commitment to freedom and to equality. And we know that our diversity and multiculturalism only enhances and enriches our country.”

A statement of unity, pledging the community will stand together to show its solidarity, was printed on a board. Community members were asked to sign both in print and online. All Toronto councillors pledged to sign as well.

“We have in such a small space, such a vibrant community with so many cultures, so many religions,” said Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao. “And as we make these statements in light of these horrible attacks that we had in our city and in our country, we have to make them loud and clear…. We are a better country because we are so diverse...”

To sign the pledge of unity, visit you.leadnow.ca/petitions/statement-of-unity