Palestinian gay man wants to remain in Canada

A Palestinian man who was born into a prominent family of Hamas-backers is trying to stop efforts to deport him from Canada to the West Bank, because he believes that as a gay man and a convert to Christianity, he would face certain death.

“Please help me, I don’t want to die,” wrote the man, who changed his name to John Calvin following his conversion.

 In a Sunday blog post in the Times of Israel, Calvin recounted the unlikely path to his conversion from Islam to Christianity and emphasized that if he revealed his birth name, one would know he is the scion of “one of the most pro-Hamas families in the West Bank” whose relatives have been convicted of terrorist attacks.

A petition on Change.org is asking the Canadian government to "allow John Calvin to stay." (Image source: Change.org)

A petition on Change.org is asking the Canadian government to “allow John Calvin to stay.” (Image source: Change.org)

“From as early as I can remember, I was taught that Islam was the one true faith, that violence was the only answer, and that the Jews were our enemies,” he wrote. “These were facts, as real and obvious as the fact that the sky is blue. These were ‘facts’ and deep down I wasn’t sure if I believed them.”

His journey to Christianity began in the most unexpected of places, when he was detained in an Israeli jail.

“My moment arrived in an Israeli jail, after I was arrested for illegally crossing the border, escaping from yet another argument with my family and the violence of my father. I was looking for answers to questions when and where I least expected them,” he wrote.

Comparing his experience to the conversion of Paul the Apostle on the road to Damascus, Calvin wrote, “It was in an Israeli jail where the doubts I had about everything I had ever been taught were finally silenced. Another man, a Palestinian man, hurt me in a way I could never have imagined, in a way that just isn’t talked about in our society.”

In previous interviews, Calvin said directly that he was raped by a Muslim inmate.

HALIFAX: First gay-friendly mosque ready to open its doors

Halifax’s first gay-friendly mosque opening this summer

Halifax Unity Mosque sharing space with Universal Unitarian Church

CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2014 3:51 PM AT Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 3:58 PM AT

Nova Scotia’s first gay-friendly mosque is set to open in the next few weeks.

The Halifax Unity Mosque is an expansion of the Toronto Unity Mosque, also called el-Tawhid Juma Circle.

The mosque is a “gender-equal, LGBTI/queer-affirming” place for Muslims to worship, according to its Facebook page.

‘Queer Muslims are having to reclaim space that they may have had in the past.’- Syed Adnan Hussein

Syed Adnan Hussein has been building support for the Halifax Unity Mosque for a while. He found a space this week and hopes to start worship by next month.  

Documentary on queer refugees fleeing to Canada screening for free on NFB website

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Award-winning doc on queer refugees fleeing to Canada screening for free on NFB website

December 7, 2012. 9:48 am • Section: Pop Tart

Award-winning doc on queer refugees fleeing to Canada screening for free on NFB website
Trudi, a lesbian from Jamaica who was “correctively” raped at gunpoint., is one of five refugees chronicled in Montreal filmmaker Paul Émile d’Entremont’s award-winning NFB documentary Last Chance. (All photos courtesy National Film Board of Canada)

Metro Vancouver: Marie Lapuz, formerly known as John Carlo Embo Lapuz, stabbed to death; Asian male suspect at large

 

This picture comes from January Marie Lapuz’s Facebook page. Lapuz was identified as the victim in a weekend stabbing that was New Westminster’s first homicide of 2012.
Photograph by: Facebook photo , THE RECORD

Victim in New Westminster homicide identified: “She was a bright light and shining star”
By Alfie Lau, The Record October 4, 2012 4:19 PM

This picture comes from January Marie Lapuz’s Facebook page. Lapuz was identified as the victim in a weekend stabbing that was New Westminster’s first homicide of 2012.
Photograph by: Facebook photo , THE RECORD

METRO VANCOUVER — The victim of a fatal stabbing last weekend in New Westminster was an active volunteer who is described as a “bright light and shining star.”

January Marie Lapuz volunteered as a social coordinator, fundraiser and performer with Sher Vancouver, a social and support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender South Asians.