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

University chaplains resign over changes to office and Muslim prayer space

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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. Continue reading

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.

OTTAWA: Luqmann Abdunnur arrested after publicly praising Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as a hero

2 mosques tipped police about man arrested in a violent takedown Saturday

By Evan Dyer, CBC News Posted: Oct 31, 2014 5:57 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 31, 2014 7:39 PM ET

The violent arrest in Ottawa of a man who was the target of a national security investigation came a day after he allegedly caused a furor in an Ottawa mosque by publicly praising Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as a hero, sources told CBC News.

Luqmann Abdunnur, 39, was arrested last Saturday after a traffic stop and charged with assaulting police, obstructing police, resisting arrest and driving with a suspended licence.

Abdunnur was “recently” put under surveillance by one of the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams, sources told CBC News.

A day earlier — and two days after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial — the imam at Assunnah Mosque in Ottawa used his Friday sermon to condemn the attack. Witnesses say Abdunnur, the son of American converts to Islam, heckled the imam, calling the gunman a “hero” and a “martyr.” Continue reading

MONTREAL: Naima Rharouity was strangled by her hijab, coroner finds

Naima Rharouity was strangled by scarf at Fabre Metro, coroner finds

STM, Montreal’s transit authority, could do better job at maintaining its escalators, says report

CBC News Posted: Oct 30, 2014 11:10 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014 1:42 PM ET

Naima Rharouity left behind her husband and two young children when she died on Jan. 30, 2014. Naima Rharouity left behind her husband and two young children when she died on Jan. 30, 2014. (CBC)

Naima Rharouity’s death last January at Montreal’s Fabre Metro station was caused by her scarf getting caught in the escalator, Quebec’s coroner has found.

In a report released Thursday, the coroner detailed the circumstances leading to Rharouity’s death and made a series of recommendations about improving safety in the Montreal Metro system.

According to the coroner’s report, Rharouity’s scarf, coat and hair got stuck in the escalator. The injuries she sustained when her hair got stuck in the escalator contributed to her death.

“The woman was strangled by her scarf and her scalp was lacerated by the teeth of the escalator before the machine stopped,” the report concluded. 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.

(…)

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

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

TORONTO: Stacy Joseph considers that nikab-wearing school bus driver poses safety risk

Is Canada moving in this direction?

Exclusive: Mother claims a niqab-wearing school bus driver poses a safety risk

 Tammie Sutherland and Toronto Staff

 Related Stories and Links

A Toronto mother claims a niqab-wearing school bus driver poses a safety risk because she’s not easily identifiable.

Stacy Joseph says she doesn’t think the niqab, a veil that some women in the Muslim community choose to wear to cover their faces, should be worn while driving her seven-year-old son or her four-year-old boy who has special needs.

“As a parent I’m concerned that I don’t know who is driving them,” Joseph told CityNews. “I know the other bus drivers, I know them by face, I know them by name so I can easily identify them.”

She says this is not about any particular person or religion, it’s about the safety of her children.

“It has nothing to do with religion or anything like that, it’s just a matter that her face is covered and if anybody’s face was covered I’d be concerned,” said Joseph.

Under the Ontario Human Rights code, bus drivers, like any other employee in the province, must be reasonably accommodated when it comes to their religious faith – and that includes allowing them to wear religious clothing.

While the niqab is sparking concern from Joseph, others in the community say, in their experience, it’s widely accepted.

Afia Baig has been wearing a niqab in Canada for the past 18 years and although she doesn’t know the bus driver personally, she says concerns of impersonation or identity issues can be quashed by just having regular conversations with the driver.

“I see where they’re coming from, but I think they have really nothing to fear about it,” said Baig. “I think its more the fear of what is behind, what the woman is going to be like, of who is going to be sitting behind the wheel, and when she gets to know her, I’m sure 100 per cent the fear will go away.”

Niqabs have sparked controversy in the past, with protests against a Quebec law that bans women wearing the veils from receiving or providing public service.

Religious rights and security rights also collided in 2010, with allegations Air Canada failed to visually verify the identity of women boarding a flight in Montreal.

(…)

ONTARIO: Woman allowed to drive while wearing nikab (2010)

Hat tip to A.D.

Youtube :posted by abuammararafat
Uploaded on 6 Apr 2010
A person is witnessed driving a Lincoln Navigator wearing an Islamic veil (Niqab). If this person were to commit a traffic violation, or worse, then how could they be positively identified later? For example, if a veiled driver were to run over a pedestrian, then flee, how could any witnesses positively identify that perpetrator, beyond any reasonable doubt?

People discussing the topic:
https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100126143350AAkeLkV

B.C.: Chinese parents disagree with Canadian teachers’ right to strike

Chuck Chiang: Many Asian families place blame for strike firmly with teachers
BY CHUCK CHIANG, VANCOUVER SUN COLUMNIST SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

September is the month during which several East Asian countries — especially Chinese-speaking nations — celebrate Teachers’ Day. For international students in B.C. from those regions, the irony is impossible to ignore.

Students traditionally present gifts to their elementary or high school teachers on the various Teachers’ Days (the first Friday of September for Singapore, Sept. 10 in China and Hong Kong, and Sept. 28 in Taiwan).

In China, the gift giving has grown so lavish (think tablet computers, cosmetics and luxury apparel) that Beijing has had to crack down on the practice in conjunction with the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping in 2012. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: Chinese buyers fuelling seismic spike in Vancouver’s luxury housing market, realtors say

A wealthy Chinese immigrant family inspect a villa in the high-class neighboorhood of West Vancouver. Realtors say Asian buyers accounted for roughly 90% of sales of properties costing $5 million and more. Getty Images

 

 

Foreign buyers are fuelling a seismic spike in Vancouver’s luxury housing market, realtors say

 | September 11, 2014 | Last Updated: Sep 11 12:56 PM ET
More from Reuters

VANCOUVER — Chinese investors’ global hunt for prime real estate is helping drive Vancouver home prices to record highs and the city, long among top destinations for wealthy mainland buyers, is feeling the bonanza’s unwelcome side-effects.

(…)

The latest wave of Chinese money, linked in part to Beijing’s anti-graft crackdown, is flowing into luxury hot spots. But it has also started driving up housing costs elsewhere in a city which already ranks as North America’s least affordable urban market.

Happiness is arriving in Vancouver

For decades Vancouver, along with Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore and more recently New York and London has been attracting Chinese and other Asian buyers.

(…)

“In the last year there’s been the corruption crackdown in China and a lot of people have seen their wealth evaporate over there because of that,” said Dan Scarrow, a vice president at MacDonald Realty.
“So they want to put it somewhere they perceive as safe and there’s nowhere safer than the west.”

My market, the luxury real estate market, is primarily Asian buyers — mostly from mainland China

Andy Yan of Bing Thom Architects found that values for detached homes in the $2-5 million range have risen by 49% since 2009, making it the fastest growing segment in Vancouver’s housing market. Home values in a handful of luxury enclaves in Vancouver’s west climbed more than 50% over  that period, driving city-wide values up more than 35%.

Realtors are saying that more than half of buyers in prime markets are mainland Chinese.

“My market, the luxury real estate market, is primarily Asian buyers — mostly from mainland China,” said realtor Malcolm Hasman, a partner at Angell Hasman and Associates. Hasman said Asian buyers accounted for roughly 90% of sales of properties costing $5 million and more.

The impact of the latest inflow of foreign cash is particularly acute for Vancouver, its market already tight because of limited building space and a decade-long nationwide property bull run fuelled by low borrowing costs.

Condo towers are now built without a fourth floor, as that number is unlucky in Asian cultures, and wok kitchens are standard in most new homes Continue reading

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