University of Toronto Professor Clifford Orwin defends right of Muslim women to wear niqab while taking ceremony oath

Stephen Harper’s veiled attack on religious freedom

CLIFFORD ORWIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Last updated 

Clifford Orwin is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Stephen Harper is not just smart; he can be highly insightful. In 2011, for example, he established the Office of Religious Freedom in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He thus showed himself ahead of the curve on an issue whose importance has continued to grow. In that same year, unfortunately, his then minister of immigration, Jason Kenney, announced a domestic rule tending to religious suppression. Last week that ruling returned to haunt Mr. Harper.

Federal Court of Canada pro-niqab, Pakistani woman wins

  • Share on Facebook
  • Reddit this!
New citizens are sworn in at a ceremony at Old Fort York in June 2014. The Federal Court of Canada recently ruled it is “unlawful” for Ottawa to order new citizens to remove their face-covering veil when taking the oath of citizenship.
By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Feb 06 2015

The Federal Court of Canada has ruled it is “unlawful” for Ottawa to order new citizens to remove their face-covering veil when taking the oath of citizenship.

The federal government must immediately lift its existing ban allowing Toronto’s Zunera Ishaq to reschedule a new citizenship ceremony unless it appeals the ruling and receives the permission to suspend the order, the Federal Court said in a decision released Friday.

While it is not unusual to have government policies overturned in breach of Charter and constitutional rights, the court ruling is unusual because the decision was based on the finding that the ban mandated by the immigration minister violated the government’s own immigration laws.

“To the extent that the policy interferes with a citizenship judge’s duty to allow candidates for citizenship the greatest possible freedom in the religious solemnization or the solemn affirmation of the oath,” wrote Justice Keith M. Boswell, “it is unlawful.”

Ishaq was sponsored by her husband to Canada from Pakistan in 2008 and successfully passed the citizenship test in November 2013.

TORONTO: Vigil planned for victims of Thorncliffe Park honour killing

Vigil planned for victims of triple murder in Thorncliffe Park

Global News - Web Producer - James ArmstrongBy Web Producer  Global News
December 2, 2014 5:15 pm
Updated: December 2, 2014 8:44 pm

WATCH ABOVE: A vigil was held Tuesday to mourn the murder of a mother and two sons.

TORONTO – Residents of a Thorncliffe Park apartment building where three people were found dead over the weekend are planning a vigil for the victims Tuesday evening.

The vigil will be at 6 p.m. in front of 85 Thorncliffe Park Drive.

Police identified the three victims as a public health nurse Zahra Mohamoud Abdille, 43, and her two sons Faris Abdille, 13, and Zain Abdille, 8.

The three were found dead inside the apartment near Don Mills Road and Overlea Boulevard on Saturday.

Police are probing a possible connection between the murders and a body found on the Don Valley Parkway the same day.

_______________

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2014/12/20141203-162117.html

Triple-homicide victims family of man who died on DVP

  • 4:21 pm, December 3rd, 2014

TORONTO: Zahra Abdille and her two sons victims of apparent “honour” killing on Canadian soil

Slain nurse moved family to women’s shelter, says its boss

Zahra Abdille, found dead with her two sons on Saturday, had fled a violent relationship and stayed in a safe house with her two young children last year, according to the executive director of Dr. Roz’s Healing Place.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Reddit this!
Zahra Abdille, left, and her eldest son Faris.Zahra Abdille, left, and her eldest son Faris.
By:  Staff Reporter,  Staff Reporter, Published on Tue Dec 02 2014

A slain Toronto nurse fled a violent relationship to stay with her two young sons in a safe house while she tried to gain custody of her children last year, according to abused women’s centre Dr. Roz’s Healing Place.

On Saturday afternoon, Zahra Abdille, 43, and her sons, Faris, 13, and Zain, 8, were found dead in the same East York apartment they ran from last July, the centre’s executive director Roz Roach told the Star Tuesday.

Roach said the family stayed in the centre’s shelter for three weeks while Abdille battled for the custody of her children.

During her stay at the centre, the Toronto Public Health nurse went to court twice to fight for custody, but Abdille did not qualify for legal aid and could not afford a lawyer, Roach said.

When Abdille and her sons arrived at the centre on July 10, she told staff she was running away from a long-term violent relationship, Roach, who has a PhD in health and human sciences, said.

Abdille had escaped war-torn Somalia and arrived into Toronto in the late 1990s. She had no family in Canada, Roach said.

Roach says Abdille’s file Dr. Roz’s Healing Place states that she met her partner in 1997 and the couple married a year later in Toronto.

ONTARIO: University chaplains resign over changes to office and Muslim prayer space

University chaplains resign over changes to office and Muslim prayer space

POSTED BY  ON  IN  | 1,520 VIEWS | 13 RESPONSES
Print Print

Decision-making process called into question; University says student needs were their priority

Taylor Lasota // GAZETTE

This story was updated on Nov. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Western’s longest-serving chaplain, along with four of his colleagues, has resigned in protest over the recently announced move of the Chaplains’ Services offices and a dedicated Muslim prayer space in the University Community Centre.

Rev. Michael Bechard, Western’s Roman Catholic chaplain, submitted his resignation and those of Janet Loo, Annette Donovan Panchaud, Melissa Page Nichols and Maija Wilson from the UWO Chaplains’ Association, to University President Amit Chakma on Friday.

The University announced last week that the current Muslim prayer room in University College would be moved along with the Chaplains’ Services offices to one space in the basement of the UCC. In addition, the current multi-faith space in the UCC will no longer be used.

Bechard’s concerns are two-fold. He explained that the principle behind having a dedicated space exclusively for one faith group is contrary to how the UWO Chaplains’ Association advocates for faith space on campus. Additionally, he claimed that the decision-making process was flawed and only included certain groups.

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT: The 80 Muslims predict their number will quadruple in the next two decades

‘It’s gonna be nice. It’s gonna be beautiful. It’s gonna stand out in the city as a nice new building’

CBC News Posted: May 16, 2014 5:55 AM CT Last Updated: May 16, 2014 5:55 AM CT

A growing Muslim community in Iqaluit is getting help to build a mosque from the same foundation that helped establish mosques in Inuvik, N.W.T., and Thompson, Man.

It would be the first official Islamic place of worship in Nunavut.

“It’s gonna be nice. It’s gonna be beautiful. It’s gonna stand out in the city as a nice new building,” said Hussain Guisti of the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, a Manitoba-based Islamic charity.

mi-hussain-guisti-mosqueHussain Guisti of the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation says his group is working with the Islamic Society of Nunavut to construct a two-storey building to be used as a mosque. (CBC)

Guisti estimates there are currently 80 Muslims living in Iqaluit, and he expects that number to quadruple in the next two decades.

“There’s been a tremendous increase in the number of Muslims in the past 20-some years in Iqaluit, and we anticipate that number to continue to grow because Iqaluit is a booming, developing city,” he said.

“It’s attracting people from all nationalities for economic opportunities and job growth.”

Guisti says his group is working with the Islamic Society of Nunavut, founded in 2009, to construct a two-storey building.

Some of the materials are already in town and more will arrive on sealifts this summer.

They are looking at a site near the Road to Nowhere. The city says the group would have to apply to amend the zoning bylaw for the area.

The Islamic Society of Nunavut and the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation are still raising funds locally and in the south to help pay for the building and the associated costs.