Foster children who wind up in the care of families from different cultures may face “severely traumatizing” experiences, says Aaminah Ega

Culture clash: How the foster care system is failing Canada’s ethnic communities

Published on: July 3, 2015 | Last Updated: July 3, 2015 4:31 PM EDT

Mumtaz Akhtar has been a foster parent to eight Muslim children but says the screening procedure may be too intrusive for many prospective Muslim foster parents to accept. DARREN BROWN / OTTAWA CITIZEN

It’s been 28 years since Michael and Suzanne Paquette took in a First Nations foster child for the first time.

Since then, the couple — who call themselves “white Canadians” — have fostered more than 15 children from First Nations communities in Ontario. While the Paquettes’ foster children go on bike rides with Michael and read bedtime stories with Suzanne, the couple admits there is one thing they can never, fully share with the children in their home: the First Nations’ culture.

“There is definitely a loss there for a child that is not grounded in their own culture completely,” says Michael, who advocates on behalf of foster families as chairman of the League of Ontario Foster Families.

“You can expose them to all of the stuff that you get to and you can make sure they understand that this is their culture and you can teach them all those things, but … you can’t be that culture.”

Islamic paramilitary camps set up in the United States and Canada to train African American Muslims in guerilla warfare


Islamic paramilitary camps have been set up in the United States and Canada to train African American Muslims in guerilla warfare. After months of training on firing ranges and obstacle courses, the black Muslims are sent to Pakistan where they receive advanced training in explosives. Many never return.

Stories about these camps are not new. They have been reported by the main stream media, including Fox News.

The origin of these compounds for would-be jihadis dates back to 1979, when the Agency sent hundreds of radical Islamic clerics to the United States in an effort to recruit African American Muslims for the holy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

The Tablighi Missionaries

By and large, these missionaries hailed from Pakistan and belonged to Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim movement with 150 members in 213 countries.[1] Upholding a strict interpretation of Islamic law (shariah), the Tablighi were united in their resistance to Western culture; their insistence that Muslims should avoid contact with all those who do not share their beliefs; and their approval of jihad by sword (jihad bin saif).[2] Members of the movement gathered every year for three days in the small Pakistani town ofRaiwind.

In 1979, Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani, a Tablighi missionary from Lahore, Pakistan, arrived in Brooklynwhere he called upon members of Dar ul-Islam, a notoriously violent street gang, to take arms in the great jihad. Scores answered his call and were headed off to Pakistan with payments of thousands of dollars in cash and promises of seventy houris in seventh heaven, if they were killed in action.[3]

Welcome To Islamberg

By 1980, the Agency realized that considerable expense could be saved by setting up paramilitary camps under the supervision of Shiekh Gilani in a rural area of the country. An ideal location was located near Hancock New York at the base ofPointMountain, where the east and west branches of the Delaware River converge to form the headwaters that flow throughPennsylvania and New Jersey to theAtlantic Ocean. The rocky terrain was infested with rattlesnakes, and the woods were home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats. Islamberg, a seventy acre complex, came into existence.

Mentally ill 39-year-old Somali refugee Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan dies in custody

Jun 19, 2015

Refugee who died in immigration custody identified as Somali with mental health issues

 Hamilton Spectator

A man who died last week under mysterious circumstances while detained by Canadian immigration authorities has been identified as a mentally ill Somali refugee who had spent three years in prison with little prospect for release.

Canada Border Services Agency had refused to name 39-year-old Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan, but his family and immigration watchdog groups have publicly identified him.

Hassan, who was also a diabetic, died in the early hours of June 11 in hospital in Peterborough, Ont., where he had been taken under police escort for unspecified treatment.

The province’s special investigations unit, which has been probing the death because police were involved, said the man had become “agitated” and died after being restrained by police and medical personnel.

Some Muslim women unhappy they are required to show their faces during citizenship ceremonies

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Zunera Ishaq launched a legal challenge against Ottawa's niqab ban at citizenship oath-taking ceremonies. A new Conservative bill, introduced Friday, would require all applicants to show their faces while taking the oath.


Zunera Ishaq launched a legal challenge against Ottawa’s niqab ban at citizenship oath-taking ceremonies. A new Conservative bill, introduced Friday, would require all applicants to show their faces while taking the oath.

By:  Immigration Reporter, Published on Fri Jun 19 2015

Ottawa has introduced new legislation that requires all Canadian citizenship applicants to show their face while taking the oath of citizenship.

The Oath of Citizenship Act, which was introduced Friday, is designed to make sure candidates are seen and heard reciting the oath of citizenship during ceremonies. The act would require all applicants to swear or affirm the oath of citizenship publicly and openly and in a way that others can verify both “aloud and with face uncovered.”

The new act is in response to a recent Federal Court of Canada decision that ruled it is “unlawful” for Ottawa to order new citizens to remove their face-covering veil or niqab when taking the oath of citizenship.

“The Citizenship Oath is an integral part of Canada’s citizenship ceremony, and where new Canadians embrace our country’s values and traditions, including the equality of men and women,” says Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism.

“This bill will ensure all citizenship candidates show their face as they take the Oath. We believe most Canadians, including new Canadians, find it offensive that someone would cover their face at the very moment they want to join our Canadian family.”


The Federal Court decision centred on Mississauga resident Zunera Ishaq, who came to Canada from Pakistan in 2008 and successfully passed the citizenship test in 2013. She decided to put her citizenship ceremony on hold after learning she would need to unveil her niqab under a ban introduced in 2011. Her Charter challenge ensued.

TORONTO: Muslim cooks win against Le Papillon Park restaurant in discrimination case

Leslieville restaurant owners forced to pay up over human rights case



Le Papillon on the Park

Le Papillon on the Park restaurant on Eastern Ave. on May 22, 2015. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

The owners of Le Papillon Park restaurant are devastated by a human rights system they feel unfairly tarred them as bigots and ordered them to pay $100,000 in compensation to three Muslim workers who said they were ordered to eat pork and threatened with replacement by “white” staff.

Paul and Danielle Bigue went to the Divisional Court to request a judicial review of the December 2013 ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, arguing the hearing was unfair and biased against them.

“The allegations were false and we were treated unjustly by the HRTO,” contends the Bigues’ son Stephane. “Unfortunately, and to our surprise, there was no appeal process available. Our only recourse was to take this case to the Divisional Court not for retrial, but for review. In other words they had to figure out whether or not the HRTO had made a legal mistake in their decision.”

The court found no error.

“I am not satisfied that the tribunal’s decision and decision-making process were unfair,” Justice Douglas Gray wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel earlier this month. “The decision is reasonable and there are no grounds to set it aside.”

Immigrant voices: Somali-Canadian on race

Navigating our way through the maze of race in North America


Contributed to The Globe and Mail


Last updated 

Idil Issa is a writer based in Ottawa.

Growing up as a Somali Canadian in Winnipeg and Toronto, the concept of “black” was largely absent from my life. The first-generation Somalis around me rejected the concept entirely: “I’m not black,” they would say, “I’m Somali.” There was no subtext to this declaration – it was earnestly felt. They tended to think of themselves through the lens of culture and nationality, not race and skin colour.

But many people of my generation have had to navigate our way through the maze of race in North America. No one can escape the blunt scythe of the U.S. concept of race, both its privileges and its oppressions. These implications have been thrust back into the limelight this week, with the case of Rachel Dolezal of Spokane, Washington, who was born “white” but has strongly identified – some would say deceptively – as black.

Race, as we currently understand it, has a lot to do with the United States. The forced migration of African slaves from their homelands to the Americas over the course of centuries created a new world of “white” races and “black” races. It is in America that the “one-drop rule” – the notion that even a fraction of African ancestry made you “black” – could have had cultural and legal currency, or that something like the “paper-bag test” – the idea that African-Americans with skin lighter than a shopping bag could get away with being almost white – could have caught on.

It is this tradition of racial “passing” into which Ms. Dolezal has been thrust. The Internet’s outraged have seized on her reverse-passing, categorically declaring that black women could never escape the reality of their identity. This belies the historical record on passing: Americans with some African heritage, failing the one-drop rule, did pass as white, gaining the privileges that came with that label. The “mulatto” who passes until being found out seems like the only role black women could get in Hollywood in the 20th century. Philip Roth wrote a novel, The Human Stain, on the topic. Passing is simply in the water in the United States.

On one hand, Ms. Dolezal’s easy transgression of the colour line only serves to confirm that race is a fiction. How else could one concept, “black,” link the disparate peoples from Somalia and South Africa, the Congo and Libya, Canada and Europe?