Category Archives: Muslim community

TORONTO: Muslim candidates in municipal election report alleged racist attacks

Islamophobia: the ugly side of the municipal election?

Three people vying for positions in Monday’s municipal election have reported racist attacks this week

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Hateful messages were scrawled on some of Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar's campaign signs.

COURTESY MUNIRA ABUKAR

Hateful messages were scrawled on some of Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar’s campaign signs.

By:  News Reporter, Published on Fri Oct 24 2014

For three Muslim candidates, Toronto’s municipal election took a very nasty turn this week.

On Thursday night, a Purolator truck driver allegedly hurled garbage and shouted “terrorist” at a team of volunteers planting signs for Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar.

On Friday, a Purolator spokesperson issued a prepared statement that said the company is “deeply troubled about this report” and is “taking this matter seriously.” The spokesperson said Purolator President and CEO Patrick Nangle contacted Abukar on Friday morning “to apologize and express concern.”

This was not the first time Abukar has faced xenophobia on the campaign trail. Earlier this month, the Star reported that a campaign sign featuring Abukar wearing a hijab was defaced with the words “B—-” and “Go Back Home.”

“You can’t let a few election trolls ruin your city and ruin your home,” Abukar says. “There’s no room for hate of any kind in Canada”

TDSB Ward 10 trustee candidate Ausma Malik appears to be the target of an anonymous co-ordinated attack. In addition to being heckled at a candidates’ debate, her campaign office says that thousands of flyers were distributed throughout the ward this week which, among other things, accuse Malik of being a supporter of the Toronto 18 terrorist cell and a proponent of Sharia law. One flyer even has a photo of Malik superimposed over a yellow and green Hezbollah flag.

“The accusations are incredibly mean-spirited and they’re lies,” Malik says. “I’m doing this because I believe in public education, I believe in our community, and I believe that an inclusive, equitable and progressive public education system is possible — and especially in light of this, absolutely necessary.”

In Ward 18, council candidate Mohammad Uddin claims he has been the target of a steady stream of Islamophobic insults. On Thursday, he tweeted a photo of one of his campaign signs defaced with the words “F— Islam.” Uddin claims racist graffiti has been discovered outside his campaign office as recently as Friday, and earlier this month, he says his car windows were smashed and his campaign signs were stolen as the vehicle sat in his driveway.

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OTTAWA: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killer of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was not on RCMP watchlist

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau wasn’t on RCMP terror watchlist 

QMI AGENCY

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

OTTAWA - The man who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before being gunned down in Parliament’s Centre Block was not one of the 90 radicalized Canadians on an RCMP watchlist, Mounties revealed Thursday.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, “was an individual who may have had extremist beliefs.”

His e-mail was found on a hard drive belonging to someone who’s been arrested for terror-related activities.


 

Born in Montreal, he later lived in Calgary and Vancouver, then went to Ottawa on Oct. 2 to deal with an issue regarding his passport application, Paulson said. Police believe he was hoping to travel to Syria from Ottawa. Continue reading

MISSISSAUGA: Pakistani woman takes federal government to court over nikab ban

Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told

A ban on veils while taking the citizenship oath was driven by Kenney’s own ideology, say lawyers for Zunera Ishaq, who is challenging the policy in court.

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The federal government introduced a new policy to ban new citizens from wearing face-covering veil during the oath taking at citizenship ceremonies like this one in Toronto.

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Oct 17 2014

A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.

Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.

“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.

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It’s the first such challenge against the niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies; if successful, it could strike down the policy. Continue reading

CALGARY: Homicide victim identified as store owner Maqsood Ahmed

Update: Calgary homicide victim identified as store owner Maqsood Ahmed

Victim stabbed while carrying bag of money, not far from police headquarters

BY , CALGARY SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

Homicide detectives are investigating the stabbing death of a store owner near police headquarters in northeast Calgary Wednesday night.

About 9:45 p.m., emergency crews were called to the 4700 block of Westwinds Dr. N.E. for a report of an assault with a weapon.

The man, whom friends have identified as Maqsood Ahmed, owner of the Calgary Produce Market, was walking with another person when the attack happened, said Det. David Fakas with Calgary police.

Ahmed was carrying a bag of money, though the reason was not immediately known and would be part of the police investigation, said Fakas.

“The older man was stabbed,” Fakas said, adding the victim was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.

“He was talking and breathing at the scene … once he got to the hospital he succumbed to his injuries.”

RELATED: Ahmed a ‘hard’working, dedicated’ businessman, say friends

Two unknown male suspects fled in a dark vehicle, said Fakas.

It’s believed they may have taken the weapon with them as investigators were not able to locate it at the scene.

“Homicide (unit) is activated and engaged, they’ll be heading the investigation,” said Fakas.

“We’re in the process of checking CCTV footage in the area.”

It was too early to say whether the incident was targeted or random, he said.

jenna.mcmurray@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SunJMac

HALIFAX: Shia-Muslim family claims will be persecuted if deported to Iran

Halifax family could be deported to country they’ve never visited

Federal Court of Canada hears unusual refugee case

By Richard Cuthbertson, CBC News Posted: Sep 10, 2014 5:28 PM AT Last Updated: Sep 10, 2014 5:28 PM AT

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-family-could-be-deported-to-country-they-ve-never-visited-1.2762152

A family living in Halifax is fighting to stay in Canada as refugees. They say they fear they will be deported to Iran, a country they’ve never visited. (CBC)

A family living in Halifax is facing deportation after their refugee claim was rejected earlier this year — but in an unusual twist, they could be sent to a country they’ve never even visited.

Abbas Gholami, his wife Fatemeh Naserian Mochadam, and their five children arrived in Canada a couple of years ago. All family members were born and lived in Kuwait. However, due to family ties they are citizens of Iran.

They say they left Kuwait after years of threatening phone calls from two of Mochadam’s cousins, according to documents filed in the Federal Court of Canada. Mochadam is of Arab descent and says her 1995 marriage to her husband, who is Persian, was viewed as shameful by some relatives who threatened to kill them.

But in February, an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada tribunal rejected the family’s refugee claim. The Gholamis now face removal from Canada — not to Kuwait, but to Iran, where none of them have lived or visited.

The family is fighting the tribunal’s decision. At a Federal Court hearing in Halifax on Wednesday, the Gholamis’ lawyer argued the family could face persecution if they are sent to Iran.

Scott McGirr says the family identifies as Arab and can’t even speak Farsi, the language of Iran. Arabs, he argues, are discriminated against in Iran.

“Arabs in Iran run a very real risk of persecution,” McGirr told the court.

A federal government lawyer acknowledged this is a “bit of an unusual case,” but argued Wednesday the court should uphold the tribunal’s finding that the Gholamis aren’t refugees.

Government lawyer Patricia MacPhee questioned the veracity of claims by the Gholamis that they faced years of harassment from Mochadam’s cousins. She says the tribunal did not believe the threatening phone calls would have lasted nearly two decades.

She notes that while the family may consider itself Arab, they are also Shia Muslims, the dominant religion in Iran. There is no evidence, MacPhee says, the family would face persecution.

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OTTAWA: Gloucester-Southgate candidate Meladul Haq Ahmadzai wants to implement Islamic rules at city hall

Candidates have some wacky notions 

ron-corbettBY , OTTAWA SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

If Mike Maguire can sit down yet — after the thorough spanking he received this week over his transit plan — I want him to know the worst is probably behind him.

And for what it’s worth, when Election Day comes around, I don’t think his transit plan will be seen as the worst idea of the campaign.

(…)

Why just this week a candidate in Gloucester-Southgate sent out a press release saying he would adopt sharia law at city hall if he were elected.

Meladul Haq Ahmadzai says sharia law would “restore transparency and accountability at city hall.”

Not a lot of reporters attended his sharia law press conference, nor has Ahmadzai been interviewed all that often, despite his press releases always ending with the cheerful reminder that “the media is welcome to ask questions.” Continue reading

HALIFAX: Immigration consultant Ziad El Shurafa fined $75k for helping clients lie on their Canadian immigration applications

STEVE BRUCE COURT REPORTER
Published September 11, 2014 – 6:49pm
Last Updated September 11, 2014 – 6:49pm

A Halifax immigration consultant who helped clients lie on their Canadian immigration applications has been handed a conditional sentence of two years less a day and fined $75,000.

Ziad El Shurafa, 41, of Bedford pleaded guilty in April to five charges of counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

He was sentenced Thursday in Halifax provincial court.

Judge Michael Sherar said immigration consultants are trusted and regulated to guide people from other countries through Canada’s “daunting” immigration process.

“(An immigration consultant) has a privileged role to play in maintaining the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and the administration of justice,” Sherar said. “They must uphold the rule of law and act at all times honestly and in good faith toward immigration officials, without intent to deceive or undermine the integrity of the system, or assist others to do so.

“And that’s what we have here today.”

Sherar said the courts must deter people like El Shurafa “from trying to deceive the system, trying to circumvent the system, trying to get (their clients) ahead of others.”

“They have to know that if they get caught, they will be punished,” he said. “The way not to get caught is to not commit the crime.”

The judge placed El Shurafa on house arrest for the first year of his conditional sentence. That will be followed by one year with an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

El Shurafa is still allowed to work while he’s serving the conditional sentence and can travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for business purposes as long as he gets the court’s permission first. Continue reading

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