Toronto imam Hamid Slimi calls for Ottawa to stop linking Islam and terrorism

End to the war of words: Toronto imam calls for Ottawa to stop linking Islam and terrorism

 | February 21, 2015 4:25 PM ET
Dr. Hamid Slimi, centre, chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies, called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror at a conference last week in Toronto.

DR. HAMID SLIMI Dr. Hamid Slimi, centre, chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies, called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror at a conference last week in Toronto.

At a conference to combat radicalization held last week in Toronto, a prominent local imam called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror.

“Lead by example, change the rhetoric, and stop saying these words. They hurt,” said Dr. Hamid Slimi, former chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams and current chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies.

The plea, met with overwhelming applause, referred specifically to remarks made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper weeks before that characterized mosques as potential spaces of radicalization.

Several days later, U.S. President Barack Obama, whose government has refused to use words such as “Islamic” or “jihad” to characterize violent extremism, found himself under fire for taking the opposite side of the semantic battle.

“What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?” former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani reportedly said, after the president defended his government’s position this week at a White House summit on combating extremism.

“We are not at war with Islam,” Mr. Obama said. “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program application period extended

Canada immigration: Good news for investors

Application window for Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Programme has been extended till April this year.

By Majorie van Leijen
Published 

Canada has extended the period in which it accepts applications for the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Programme, the new programme for investors interested in migrating to Canada.

Instead of closing for applications on February 11, 2015, Canada has announced to extend the application period until April 15, 2015, giving investors more time to prepare and submit their complete files.

The IIVC programme is geared towards wealthy investors who wish to settle down in the Northern American country. The programme replaced the Federal Immigrant Investment Programme (FIIP) and the Entrepreneur Programme, both of which had been closed for applications for a long time due to an increasing backlog.

Thousands expected to receive permanent resident visas following nomination by a province

 Thousands expected to receive permanent resident visas following nomination by a province

Since the launch of the Express Entry immigration selection system earlier this year, the role played by Canadian provinces within Canadian immigration policy has changed significantly. The most significant adjustment has been with respect to how a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are now aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

The provinces of Nova ScotiaBritish ColumbiaSaskatchewanPrince Edward Island, and Manitoba have already unveiled their respective Express Entry categories, and proactive candidates for Canadian immigration are taking advantage of the opportunities presented by these PNPs.

Background

In Canada, the federal government and the provinces and territories share jurisdiction over the selection of immigrants. Geographically and politically, Canada is divided into 10 provinces and three territories. Apart from the territory of Nunavut and the province of Quebec, which has its own unique immigration system outlined below, all other provinces and territories have immigration programs that allow them to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province. The federal government then attends to health and security matters before issuing the permanent resident visa.

Provincial and territorial governments have been using these programs to welcome new permanent residents to Canada. Each PNP is tailored to the specific needs of the provinces and territories, which aim to select new immigrants who will be able to settle into life and work in the region and effectively contribute to the community, both socially and economically.

TORONTO: Constables Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero charged with sexual assault

Three Toronto officers face sex-assault charges in incident involving colleague

ANN HUI

The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

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Toronto police Constables Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero were suspended earlier this month, after a female parking enforcement employee with the Toronto Police Services submitted a sexual assault complaint against the officers. After an investigation, the three were arrested and charged with sexual assault and gang sexual assault Thursday morning.

The three officers appeared at a north Toronto courthouse Thursday, and were all released on $15,000 bail.

The charges follow a Jan. 17 incident involving a female parking enforcement employee with the Toronto Police Services. According to the TPS, all three officers, who range in experience from four to six years with the force, were off-duty at the time of the incident.

The accused remain suspended with pay, Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said. Ontario’s Police Services Act requires that all police officers who are criminally charged be suspended with pay until the those charges have been dealt with in the courts.

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.

University of Windsor Professor David M. Tanovich: “White, male lawyers should say ‘no’ to judicial appointments”

White, male lawyers should say ‘no’ to judicial appointments

DAVID TANOVICH

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Last updated 

David M. Tanovich is a law professor at the Faculty of Law, , where he teaches in the areas of criminal law and legal ethics.

The latest round of federal judicial appointments in Ontario has further entrenched inequality in our courts and has led me to think about the following provocative question: Should white male lawyers have an ethical duty to say no the next time the federal justice minister comes calling, in order to force systemic change? In my view, the answer is yes.

It is not an understatement to say that we are in the midst of a crisis of representativeness in our federal judiciary.

Iranian-trained Montreal imam’s passport revoked

Montreal imam has passport revoked; was once named as ‘subject of interest’ in probe

 | February 11, 2015 | Last Updated: Feb 11 8:21 AM ET
More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP

Federal officials have revoked the passport of an Iranian-trained Montreal imam once described by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team as a “subject of interest in an ongoing investigation.”

Ali Sbeiti, who was born in Iraq but has been a Canadian citizen since 1991, was notified in a Nov. 19 letter that his passport had been “invalidated” and that Passport Canada was reviewing his “eligibility for passport services.”

The four-page letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada advised Mr. Sbeiti he could no longer use his passport and that he had to return it immediately. While it cited federal regulations, the letter did not explain why the action was taken.

But internal government documents show that the Mounties have expressed interest in Mr. Sbeiti since 2009. He was also flagged by the Passport Canada security bureau after he altered his passport by trying to remove a sticker from one of the pages in 2007.

Montreal Muslim school windows targeted, case treated as possible hate crime

Vandal attack on Montreal Muslim school has some on edge

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Vandalism at a Muslim high school in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is raising fears of anti-Muslim violence.

Staff discovered shattered windows in two classrooms when they arrived at about 7:30 Monday morning at the single-storey building on Cavendish Blvd., principal Fouzi Belaiboud said.

The damage was most likely caused by a pellet gun, Belaiboud said.

Constable Éric Labad, a Montreal police spokesperson, said investigators have no suspects in the case, which is being treated as a possible hate crime.

Ouahiba Douida, a mother at the school, said she demanded the school step up security after her children came home Monday with a letter informing parents of the attack. The letter also offered professional counselling for children traumatized by the event.

“It really scared me,” she said.

Douida said that local Muslims have been feeling increasingly targeted lately and she fears for her children’s safety. She said she was even considering switching them to a public school.

Over the weekend vandals targeted Ecoles Mulsulmanes de Montréal high school, a Montreal muslim school.

Over the weekend vandals targeted Ecoles Mulsulmanes de Montréal high school, a Montreal muslim school.Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette

Two windows in two different classrooms were each punctured by what looked like two bullet holes, said a Secondary 5 student whose class was moved to a different room because of the broken windows. Labad said investigators were trying to confirm what weapon was used, probably a pellet or BB gun.

The vandalism underscores rising local social tensions in the wake of intense media coverage of international terrorist acts, including the Jan. 7 massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical publication.

Over the weekend, the Collège de Rosemont, a public CEGEP, announced it was evicting an Arabic-language school to which it had been renting space after discovering links on the El Forkane school’s website to Web addresses promoting radical Islamic ideology. The school, which offered weekend classes for children, removed the links from its website and denied that it was promoting extremist ideas.

And last week, the Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve borough blocked a controversial imam from opening a community centre in the city’s east end, claiming his purpose was to radicalize youth. On Facebook, imam Hamza Chaoui denied the charge and accused Mayor Denis Coderre and borough mayor Réal Ménard of smearing his reputation.