BRINGING HARMONY TO ALL THE COMMUNITIES
Volume 11 Issue 294 Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 AH / October 7, 2011 - $1
Bi-Weekly & Bilingual
Al-Shabab blast kills scores in Mogadishu
New Surrey City Centre Library opens its doors: With A brand new and innovative design, the new Surrey City Centre Library welcomed thousands of visitors on its first day as a grand opening community celebration was held by the city. The building offers multiple services to the residents of Surrey and Lower Mainland. Details on Page 12. Photo by: M. N. Pirzada
B.C. Throne Speech pitches millions for special needs education Premier Christy Clark says she wants to move education in British Columbia out of the 1950s with promises of more money to help students with special needs and bold changes that could introduce year-round school years. The Liberal leader also promised on Monday a new statutory holiday in February 2013 and the possibility of televising trials of people charged in connection with the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver. Clark said she initially wanted to commence her Family Day holiday this coming February, but economic declines worldwide and concerns from the business community convinced her to delay it until 2013, just two months before the
Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out more attacks in Mogadishul following a truck bomb blast that killed scores of people in the Somali capital. The warning came after the armed anti-government group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s blast outside a government compound in Mogadishu, which killed at least 70 people and left many others wounded, in one of the country’s deadliest ever suicide attacks, officials and witnesses said. “Somalis, we warn you: keep away from government buildings and the bases of their soldiers, more serious blasts are coming,” the Reuters news agency quoted Ali Mohamud Rage, an al-Shabab spokesman, as saying. An al-Shabab official, speaking to the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, earlier said one of the group’s fighters had carried out the attack. “One of our mujahideen made the sacrifice to kill TFG [Transitional Federal Government] officials, the African Union troops and other informers who were in the compound,” said the al-Shabab official. The blast occurred when a truck blew up after coming to a halt at a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Ministry of Education, said Ali Hussein, a police officer in the Somali capital. After the thunderous blast,
May 2013 election date. “It is my hope by then the economy will have improved significantly,” said Clark following a throne speech starting the B.C. legislature’s fall session. “Remember, Saskatchewan has a family Day too, and Saskatchewan has more stats than we do, but Saskatchewan has the best performing economy in the country.” Opposition New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix called the throne speech disappointing. He said it does little to improve health care, forgets about the forest industry and offers nothing for disabled people on waiting lists needing help from the government.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
p a k i s t a n
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Pakistan rejects accusations
Pakistan, on Tuesday, rejected Afghan accusations that it had refused to cooperate in the investigation into the assassination of Kabul government peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani. “We completely reject, this is not true,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told AFP. “Pakistan stands by its commitment to help Afghanistan in investigating Mr. Rab-
bani’s killings,” she said.Earlier Afghanistan’s deputy head of National Directorate of Security intelligence agency Mohammad Yasin Zia said: “Today we received a message from the embassy of Pakistan saying that since this issue has arisen in media, we cannot cooperate and we apologise for that.” Janjua said she had talked to Pakistani ambassador Mohammad Sadiq in Kabul who also denied the allegations. “I myself spoke to our ambassador in Kabul who said ‘This is not correct. We have not said this’,” she added. She said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had himself offered cooperation in the investigation, when he visited Kabul to express his condolences over the assassination. Afghanistan, on Tuesday, accused Pakistan of refusing to cooperate with investigations into the killing of Kabul government peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani. “Today we received a message from the embassy of Pakistan saying that since this issue has arisen in media, we cannot cooperate and we apologise for that,” said Mohammad Yasin Zia, deputy head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency.
Military aid linked with ‘cooperation’, says US embassy The United States has linked the resumption of military aid to Pakistan with the latter’s ‘cooperation’ in the war on terror.A spokesman for the US Embassy, Mark Stroh, reported Dawn on Tuesday that military assistance to Pakistan had not been cut off, but suspended. He said the security assistance would be based on ‘cooperation’ between the two countries.The military assistance to Pakistan includes the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and the Pakistan Capacity Building Fund (PCBF). Mr Stroh said the US assistance for civilian side, including in energy and other sectors, would continue.Asked whether counter-terrorism efforts of Pakistan would not be affected with the suspension of the US assistance, the spokesman said: “We are working very hard to continue to work together.” Inter-Services Public Relations director-general Maj-Gen Athar Abbas also confirmed that the US had suspended military assistance to Pakistan, but had not conveyed it in black and white. He said the US had also suspended the $7 billion Kerry-Lugar package under which only $300 million had been released against a commitment of $1.5 billion per year for the fiveyear package.A joint working group on military and capacity building assistance was to meet on May 2 this year, but the meeting was called off because of US operation in Abbottabad the same day. Since May 2 the two sides have not met and the US military assistance has been suspended. The PCBF assistance was in shape of equipment, spares for helicopters, weapons and night vision goggles. The PCBF has three categories: 100 per cent funding for equipment by the
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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i n t e r n a t i o n a l
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Karzai seals strategic pact with India
Karzai seals strategic pact with India The political leaders of Afghanistan and India have forged closer ties between their nations by signing a “strategic partnership” following talks in New Delhi. The agreement, announced on Tuesday after Karzai’s meeting with Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, is the first such pact between Afghanistan and another country and aims to boost trade, security and cultural links between the countries. Karzai’s visit to New Delhi on Tuesday’s came against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president appointed by Karzai to lead negotiations with the Taliban. Karzai, speaking at a press conference with Singh, stressed again that “terrorism and radicalism” were being used “as an instrument of policy against our citizens.” It appeared to be a veiled reference to Pakistan. Singh said the deal created “an institutional framework for our future cooperation.” “It is a hugely symbolic visit for India because Karzai’s visit comes at a
time when relations with Pakistan, India’s arch-rival, are at an all-time low and Pakistan has consistently denied India a role in the post-conflict Afghanistan situation,” said Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri. “The Indians are grabbing onto this opportunity, possibly by getting a more meaningful role with this visit.” Moeed Pirzada, a Pakistani columnist and TV journalist, told Al Jazeera that Pakistan was not too concerned at the moment about Karzai’s visit to India. “There is a clear understanding in Islamabad that Karzai is on the spot and has to make adjustments because of recent developments,” he said. The assassination of Rabbani and accusations of close relations between Pakistani intelligence and the Talibanlinked Haqqani network had forced Karzai “to show a certain level of hostility towards Pakistan,” Pirzada added. With regards to details of security co-operation between Afghanistan and India, Pirzada said Pakistan was “waiting to see the fine print”. “If they are only concerning the police, they [the Pakistanis] are not really worried. They are not expecting Karzai to cross any red lines
that Pakistan is sensitive over.” In a primetime national address on Monday, Karzai accused Pakistan of “pursuing a doublegame”, saying Islamabad was not co-operating in the battle against armed groups to establish peace in Afghanistan. Karzai said he had always stood by friendly relations with Pakistan, hoping to face the challenge of cross-border extremism together, but that the neighbouring nation had failed him, continuing to use “terrorism as a means”. “The Islamic republic of Pakistan has not co-operated with us to bring peace and security to Afghanistan, which is unfortunate for us,” he said. Karzai acknowledged that his efforts for peace had failed as his overtures were met with more violence and targeted killings, most recently of his chief peace negotiator, Rabbani. “The killings show that our call for peace has not seen a positive response. One-sided desire for peace will not bring a resolution. Peace can only be achieved with those who believe in it.” “We have to fight decisively against those who do not believe in peace.” Karzai’s comments follow Pakistan’s criticism
by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, who accused Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency last month of playing a role in the recent attack on the US embassy in Kabul. The Haqqani network has denied links to the ISI and also involvement in last month’s assassination of Rabbani. Afghan officials have blamed the Taliban for the September 20 turban bombing, saying Rabbani’s killer was Pakistani and that the attack was plotted by the Afghan Taliban’s leadership body, the Quetta Shura, in Pakistan. Source: Al-Jazeera
Palestine state quest wins first victory in UNESCO vote Palestine has won a first diplomatic victory in its quest for statehood as UNESCO’s executive committee backed its bid to become a member, a move deemed “inexplicable” by the United States. Palestine’s Arab allies braved intense US and French diplomatic pressure to bring the motion before the committee’s member states, which passed it by 40 votes in favour to four against, with 14 abstentions. The Palestinian bid will now be submitted to the general assembly of the UN cultural body at the end of the month for final approval. The United States urged all delegates to vote “no” at the general assembly. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the UNESCO decision was “confusing” as the UN Security Council weighs a request from the Palestinians for full UN membership -- which the United States opposes. Speaking to reporters during a trip to the Dominican Republic she said: “I found quite confusing and somehow inexplicable that you would have organs of the United Nations making decisions about statehood or statehood status while the issue has been presented to the United Nations.” Clinton insisted that “the decision about status must be made in the United Nations and not in auxiliary groups.” The membership request, which Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 23, will likely be voted on in the coming weeks. The United States wields a veto on the Security Council, and has said it will veto any statehood bid before Palestine comes to an agreement with US ally Israel over their longstanding territorial standoff. But no power has a veto on the UNESCO committee, and Washington’s “no” vote in Paris was not enough to halt the motion. Palestinian leaders have
said they are under enormous diplomatic pressure to abandon their candidacy. Spain, however, said it would likely back the executive committee’s recommendation. “The government anticipates that it will vote in favour of this recommendation during the general assembly, if the vote takes place and no common European position has been reached,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Earlier in the day France, which abstained on the motion, said “it was not the time” for Palestine to pursue UNESCO backing, calling instead for a return to talks with Israel on a final peace settlement. France has proposed a compromise measure whereby Palestine would be granted the status of an “observer state” at UN headquarters in New York. Israeli on Wednesday lashed out at both the Palestinians and UNESCO for a move it said ran against the peace process. “The decision to grant the Palestinians membership of UNESCO will not advance their desire for an independent state whatsoever,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. UNESCO membership would not only be a diplomatic feather in Palestine’s cap -- it would allow it to apply to classify its monuments as World Heritage Sites at a time when the heritage of much of the region is under dispute. To nail down their first victory, the Palestinians will need the backing of two thirds of UNESCO’s 193 member states in a vote on October 25 in Paris. Until then, they retain their observer status. In Ramallah, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki had spoken before the vote of the “enormous and unreasonable” diplomatic pressure being brought to bear to persuade his government to withdraw the bid. Source: AFP
Thailand’s ‘worst’ ﬂoods leave 224 dead Thailand’s worst monsoon floods in decades have killed 224 people and affected three quarters of the country, including part of the ancient city of Ayutthaya, officials said Tuesday.
14 hurt in rioting in Saudi Shiite-majority village: SPA Fourteen people, including 11 policemen, were hurt when riots erupted in a Shiite-majority village in eastern Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA said Tuesday, blaming the unrest on a “foreign country.” “A group of outlaws and rioters on motorbikes gathered” at a roundabout in the village of Al-Awamia in Al-Qatif province on Monday “carrying petrol bombs,” SPA said, citing the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s interior ministry. The group carried out acts causing “insecurity with incitement from a foreign country that aims to undermine the nation’s security and stability,” SPA quoted a ministry spokesman as saying. “Security forces managed to deal with those traitors at the spot and after they were dispersed, machinegun fire erupted from a nearby neighbourhood.” It said nine policemen were wounded in the gunfire and two hurt by petrol bombs. Three civilians were also wounded, it said. Saudi Arabia described the unrest as a “blatant interference in its sovereignty. Those must clearly state whether their loyalty is to God then to their country, or to this country and its (religious) authority,” it added, apparently referring to Shiite-ruled Iran. A Shiite Saudi activist contacted by AFP said that tension grew in the village on Monday after police arrested two men, both in their 70s, in a bid to force their wanted sons, accused of taking part in Shiite-led protests, to surrender. The health
of one of the two men, Hassan al-Zayed, deteriorated in detention and they were later freed, said the activist, who requested anonymity. A rights activist and writer, Hassan al-Manasef, who went to the police station to inquire about the two men was himself arrested, he added. A fourth man, Hussein Hathiya, was also arrested when he came to inquire about Manasef, said the same activist. Saudi police arrested between 20 and 30 Shiites, including two bloggers, for allegedly taking part in protests in oil-rich Eastern Province, activists and an internet websites said in April. The arrests were made in Al-Qatif and nearby areas which witnessed demonstrations urging the release of prisoners and voicing solidarity with Bahraini Shiites. The overwhelming majority of the estimated two million Saudi Shiites live in Eastern Province, which neighbours Bahrain where authorities, supported by Saudi-led Gulf troops, earlier this year crushed a Shiite-led protest. The crackdown on Bahrain’s Shiites, who make up most of the tiny kingdom’s population, soured relations between the Gulf states and Iran. Last month, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council accused Iran of issuing provocative statements about its members. But the country rejected its neighbours’ accusations, saying it always refrained from interfering in other countries’ affairs. Source: AFP
i n t e r n a t i o n a l
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
China warns of trade war if U.S. China and Russia veto UN resolution currency bill passes An angry China warned Washington on Tuesday that passage of a bill aimed at forcing Beijing to let its currency rise could lead to a trade war between the world’s top two economies. China’s central bank and the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs accused Washington of “politicizing” currency issues and putting the global economy at risk after U.S. senators voted on Monday to start a week of debate on the bill. The response suggested China sees a greater risk from the proposed bill than it has in the past when U.S. lawmakers attempted to put forward similar legislation to speed up the pace of appreciation in the yuan, or renminbi. Beijing made similar remarks last year after the House of Representatives passed a currency bill that later failed to make any further progress in Congress. Tuesday’s coordinated salvo and the central bank’s warning of a trade war and a slowdown in China’s exchange rate reforms indicated Beijing was taking the latest currency bill more seriously. “It is very rare for three different ministries of the country to refute something so quickly and strongly, showing how deeply the Chinese government is concerned about the yuan bill,” said Wang Zihong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank. “The strong responses made by the Chinese government may also suggest that the possibility would be quite high this time that the United States will pass the final bill in the end and that Beijing is worried about the possible nega-
tive impact on China’s exports resulting from the legislation,” he said. U.S. Senate vote opened a week of debate on the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, which would allow the U.S. government to slap countervailing duties on products from countries found to be subsidizing their exports by undervaluing their currencies. U.S. lawmakers, eying 2012 elections, said keeping China’s currency undervalued had cost American jobs and that a fairer exchange rate would help cut an annual trade gap Washington puts at more than $250-billion. “By using the excuse of a so-called ‘currency imbalance,’ this will escalate the exchange rate issue, adopting a protectionist measure that gravely violates WTO rules and seriously upsets Sino-U.S. trade and economic relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted on China’s official government website on Tuesday. “China expresses its adamant opposition to this.” Mr. Ma urged U.S. legislators to “proceed from the broader picture of Sino-U.S. trade and economic cooperation” and “forsake protectionism.” He repeated Beijing’s position that it will continue to gradually reform its currency policy, “strengthening the flexibility of the renminbi exchange rate.” China’s exchange rate has long been a bone of contention between Beijing and Washington. The yuan has appreciated some 30 per cent against the dollar since it was revalued in 2005, although critics say it is still valued too low and gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage. The emergence of China as the world’s fastest-growing major economy has led to often testy relations with the United States. The most recent tension was over U.S. plans for a $5.3-billion upgrade of the F-16 A/B fighter fleet of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a breakaway province. Source: Globe and Mail
NATO air raids to continue in Libya An angry China warned Washington on Tuesday that passage of a bill aimed at forcing Beijing to let its currency rise could lead to a trade war between the world’s top two economies. China’s central bank and the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs accused Washington of “politicizing” currency issues and putting the global economy at risk after U.S. senators voted on Monday to start a week of debate on the bill. The response suggested China sees a greater risk from the proposed bill than it has in the past when U.S. lawmakers attempted to put forward similar legislation to speed up the pace of appreciation in the yuan, or renminbi. Beijing made similar remarks last year after the House of Representatives passed a currency bill that later failed to make any further progress in Congress. Tuesday’s coordinated salvo and the central bank’s warning of a trade war and a slowdown in China’s exchange rate reforms indicated Beijing was taking the latest currency bill more seriously. “It is very rare for three different ministries of the country to refute something so quickly and strongly, showing how deeply the Chinese government is concerned about the yuan bill,” said Wang Zihong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank. “The strong responses made by the Chinese government may also suggest that the possibility would be quite high this time that the United States will pass the final bill in the end and that Beijing is worried about the possible negative impact on China’s exports resulting from the legislation,” he said. U.S. Senate vote opened a week of debate on the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, which would allow the U.S. government to slap countervailing duties on products from countries found to be subsidizing their exports by undervaluing their currencies. U.S. lawmakers, eying 2012 elections, said keeping China’s currency undervalued had cost American jobs and that a fairer exchange rate would help cut an annual trade gap Washington puts at more than $250-billion. “By using the excuse of a so-called ‘currency imbalance,’ this will escalate the exchange rate issue, adopting a protectionist measure that gravely violates WTO rules and seriously upsets Sino-U.S. trade and economic relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement
posted on China’s official government website on Tuesday. “China expresses its adamant opposition to this.” Mr. Ma urged U.S. legislators to “proceed from the broader picture of Sino-U.S. trade and economic cooperation” and “forsake protectionism.” He repeated Beijing’s position that it will continue to gradually reform its currency policy, “strengthening the flexibility of the renminbi exchange rate.” China’s exchange rate has long been a bone of contention between Beijing and Washington. The yuan has appreciated some 30 per cent against the dollar since it was revalued in 2005, although critics say it is still valued too low and gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage. The emergence of China as the world’s fastest-growing major economy has led to often testy relations with the United States. The most recent tension was over U.S. plans for a $5.3-billion upgrade of the F-16 A/B fighter fleet of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a breakaway province. Source: Globe and Mail
BC : Continued from pg 1 “They haven’t done what they needed to do,” Dix said of the Liberals. Clark said modernizing education represents one of the government’s major areas of focus as the Liberals develop family-friendly policies while seeking to expand economic markets in Asia. “We’re talking about trying to transform education and bring it into the 21st century,” she said. “One of the issues that people have pointed out with curriculum and the way our classrooms work is it’s based on kind of a 1950s model. We hear that from teachers a lot.” B.C. teachers are currently involved in slow-moving negotiations for a new contract that expired last June. The teachers have made class sizes and composition one of their major bargaining issues, citing a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that found teachers have a say in those issues. Education Minister George Abbott said the government is preparing to invest money on the class composition issue, but does not believe there’s enough evidence that suggests lower class sizes will improve education outcomes. “It is in the tens of millions,” said Abbott. “It will be growing over a three-year period as we undertake to understand better how we can manage the needs of special needs children in the classroom.” Teachers say they have seen more and more students with disabilities placed in classrooms over the years. Abbott said the government is committed to moving towards what
Russia and China have joined forces to veto a European-drafted UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria and hinting that it could face sanctions if it continues its crackdown on protesters. Tuesday’s resolution received nine votes in favor and four abstentions from Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa. Russia and China cast the only votes against the resolution, which was drafted by France with the co-operation of Britain, Germany and Portugal. Western nations have been pressing for the adoption of the resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown on anti-government protests. The resolution sought to impose “targeted measures” against the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for a crackdown that has killed 2,700 people, according to UN estimates. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council that Moscow’s veto reflected “a conflict of political approaches” between Russia and the European council members. Churkin said that Moscow was firmly opposed to the threat of sanctions against Damascus, adding that what he described as the confrontational approach of the European delegations was “against the peaceful settlement of the crisis.” He reiterated his concerns that passing the European resolution on Syria could have opened the door to a Libya-style military intervention in the Syrian authorities’ six-month crackdown on anti-government demonstrations there. Churkin added, however, that Moscow would prefer it if Syria was “quicker with implementing the promised changes.” He was referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s promised democratic reforms. Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong said that Beijing opposed the idea of “interference in (Syria’s) internal affairs.” The United States expressed “outrage” at the failure to pass the resolution and its ambassador walked out of the chamber in protest at a speech by Syria’s envoy. For months, Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa -- the “BRICS” countries -- have criticised the United States and European council members for allegedly allowing NATO to overstep its Security Council mandate to protect civilians in Libya. “The message in the veto by Russia and China is that they don’t want to encourage further polarisation in Syria. They believe there is room for dialogue and diplomacy,” said Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst. “Russia and China believe, Europe and the US misused and abused UN resolution 1973 concerning Libya. Both the countries are angry the way it was implemented in Libya and that’s certainly backfiring and overspilling in the case of Syria. “Europe spearheaded the resolution and the US backed it. It is supposed to have solicited others to act. It’s clear they have got their fingers burnt a number of times in the past and the buzzword in Washington is ‘leading from behind’.” Meanwhile, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least nine people were killed on Tuesday in Syria. Four died in clashes near the border with Turkey between troops and deserters unwilling to shoot at protesters and the others in central Homs province, the rights group said.
it calls personalized education, which would give students and families better opportunities to let the education system meet the needs of students. He said personalized education in some cases could mean schools moving to year-round schedules as opposed to the traditional September to June school year with a two-month summer holiday. Clark also said she is urging the Crown to allow cameras in courtrooms where Stanley Cup riot cases are heard. She said British Columbians want to see justice in those cases, and the time may have come for more cameras in courtrooms. Lt.-Gov. Steven Point, who read the throne speech, said the Stanley Cup riot was a dark stain on the province that demonstrated a breakdown in civil order. “The government also respectfully asks and has asked Crown Counsel to advocate for television and radio access to the courts during proceedings for those charged in relation to the Stanley Cup riot,” he said. Television cameras and broadcast recorders are currently not permitted inside courtrooms during trials. Point said the government is looking for a new labour relations atmosphere in time for the many public sector contracts that expire in 2012. “The government will facilitate a process for collective agreement improvements by working with ministries and employer groups to find savings through cooperative gains,” he said. “The government will be asking public sector employers, unions and employees to join in this process.” Point said the government will introduce a renewed vision for the province’s environmental strategies, including considering how tax and energy policies contribute to a green economy. The Liberals also promised in the throne speech to bring retired judges back to work to reduce overcrowding in the courts. “Under the Provincial Court Act, retired judges will be reappointed on the recommendation of the Judicial Council of B.C. to provide surge capacity,” said Point. He said the government will also modernize the Freedom of Information Act, create an office for a municipal auditor general and introduce a new Family Law Act. Source: CTV News
e d i t o r i a l
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Canadian recovery from the last ‘recession’ remains highly vulnerable as it’s going to be overtaken by another dip in the global economy. Fingers are being pointed to the ailing Euro as the faltering economies of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal as well as the level of debt they carry. The contagious debt crisis in Europe can spread from country to country leaving no one immune from its terrible adverse effects upon the various peoples of the world directly or indirectly. Most worrisome is the market trading up and down on the ongoing turmoil linked to Greece’s debt along with the related/potential failure of the “entire Euro zone.” The IMF (International Monetary Fund) took notice of the deepening concern about the alarming turmoil and uncertainty within Europe and the USA. Furthermore, financial analysts do believe that Greece is now virtually certain to default on its debt late this year or early next year; may be followed by Spain and Italy too. Optimistically, Germany feels quite differently and claims, “Once a ‘financial lifeboat’ is prepared, then default by a single member of the Euro can’t be catastrophic.” In fact, a recession being part of economic cycle is a period of time when the economy contracts due to negative economic growth. It clearly means if the growth remains low, there is an increased spare capacity and increased unemployment. Lower output, lower investment, higher unemployment, increased PSNCR (the amount of money the government borrows to meet its expenditure) and inflationary pressure are seen as disturbing factors against the economic normalcy. Technically speaking, a falling economic growth for two consecu-
tive quarters indicates a period of economic recession. Currently, share prices are falling in Europe; Christine Lagarde Director IMF commented that the world was in “a very dangerous place.” The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, talked of concerns that ‘contagion’ would negatively affect emerging economies, as well as the economies of developing nations as the jitter in our own stock markets testifies. Nevertheless, the top base metal choice is copper, and China accounts for about 40 per cent of global demand for the metal. Yet, a recent drop of price of copper below $3per pound for the first time in 14 months, signals a loss of investor confidence that China’s appetite for commodities is strong enough to prevent another global recession. Clearly, there is a risk out there that China might be slowing more than we anticipate. On the other hand, even Canada’s economy is facing unnoticeable growth prospects through 2011 as a recessionary hangover continues abroad and headwinds emerge at home according to a new report from CIBC World Markets Inc. http://research.cibcwm. com/economic_public/download/fsep10. pdf At the moment, Canadian economy is also somewhat softening in many sectors. A pessimistic export picture is being blamed on the sluggish global recovery as well as the competitive challenges of a strong Canadian dollar. Nevertheless, Canadian currency is already on its downward trend against the green back. Since the U.S. economy is most likely to experience a major drag on growth, overseas economic growth looks too much lopsided with possible negative repercus-
L E T T E R S
Humble petition to all Islam on its own terms By: Aaron Zacharias pedestrians! This is the first time I have read your By: Mehboob Hajee Now that it is getting darker earlier, it is my humble petition to all pedestrians and cyclists: PLEASE BE VISIBLE by wearing or carrying anything white or reflective so that we can see you in the dark. This morning on my way to work, I spotted an elderly man on a moped with NO LIGHTS front or back, and it was dark due to the heavy rain. Imagine the possible consequences if someone spotted him too late, tried to brake hard and.well, you can imagine the rest. No mother wants to see her precious one injured or on their last breaths. Once again I plead PLEASE BE VISIBLE.
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paper. As a fourth generation Canadian and a Christian I am trying to broaden my cultural perspective. In my career in mental health rehab I also work with a multicultural population, some of whom are Muslims. The aforementioned article that appeared in your previous issue has prompted me to write you. First of all I am concerned that the author Hassen A. Laidi tried to compare contemporary western democracy with the democracy of ancient Athens in order to make the point that there is neither freedom or equality in western democracy. I find this analogy problematic. First of all in Canada there has never been slavery since long before Confederation. Since 1920 women have had the vote. While we do not have a perfect society and there are still huge gaps of income between rich and poor we have progressed considerably over the past century. Everybody in this country is equal before the law. We also have here a cultural diversity that is
sions on the Canadian economy of course. Other concerns are falling house prices and reduced use of credit that could lead Canadian consumers to cut spending growth. A cut in immigration quota and retiring baby boomers are simply adding to the scenario. As the key feature in determining the rate of economic growth remains the level of consumer and business confidence, therefore, with high confidence, rate hikes may not reduce demand. But, if the U.S. is hit by another recession, Canada would not be able to escape unhurt. Presently, Canada’s economy is on a much better footing than those of the U.S. and other countries, yet fear of recession is genuine under the terrible global turmoil. To safeguard Canadian economic wellness, the bank of Canada is expected to give new direction about interest rates hikes in the next spring. This action would be causing a pause slowing capital inflow. Resultantly, a huge trade deficit is likely to push the Canadian dollar into the neighbourhood of 92 cents U.S. over the next six months. A weaker labour market means that consumer demand should remain soft. The proposed austerity measures will also keep a lid on domestic demand, and renewed concerns over sovereign debt risks will weigh on business and financial market sentiment. Canadian imperial bank of commerce (CIBC) expects that the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will take time in raising interest rates. Moreover, higher rates still pose a longerterm threat for gold. Global recession is still looming and the international finance officials are struggling
Waan laysa lil insani illa ma’ sa’aa That man can have nothing but what he strives for.
O P I N I O N S
the envy of many countries in the world. While the rich, unfortunately still are more equal than others even the poor in our society have considerable leverage that would never have been heard of in the nineteenth century, and I am speaking as a low income Canadian. Also, unlike a lot of countries in the Middle East we have neither capital punishment nor torture. As for women needing to have the “freedom” to wear the veil in Canada, as far as I know, they can wear whatever they want here. We are not in France and personally I disapprove of the anti-niqab law in that country. Personally I am uncomfortable with women wearing veils but I respect it as their choice. I don’t approve of it but I tolerate and respect it because this is the Canadian way. I think the concern about women wearing veils is in the way it appears to cut the women who chose to wear the niqab off from society. It is very difficult to interact and communicate with someone who is covered in fabric from head to foot. If some women wish to interpret the Koran in such a way
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to reassure markets that Europe will not be tipped into a continent-wide meltdown by a Greek loan default. The “European indebted countries” still have a way to prepare a strong rescue package, but the short term health of Canadian economy can be in jeopardy again. Unfortunately, the previous failure to stave off European economic crises of 2008-09 hit the Canadian economy severely; therefore, Prime Minister Harper is seriously considering adapting policies accordingly to deal with double digit recession by putting deficit reduction plan on hold. Diplomatically, Canada backs promises by the IMF and the G20 Meeting in France to help out the European authorities to deal with the widening debt crisis on the continent. Canada’s majority government is in a “win-win situation” to provide the needed stability in difficult economic times. Similarly, the Bank of Canada is expected to keep interest rates stable, should the U.S. economy stumble. It’s more than encouraging that Canada’s economy started the third quarter on a high note, easing fears of another recession. Harper stresses need for belt tightening measures in Europe and the US to trim their heavy debt loads. According to some experts, a collective stimulus spending is an effective tool to re-generate the world economy. Historically speaking, time is what cures a recession, not bailouts.
as to endorse the veil it is their choice but it is going to hinder their ability to participate as equals in the public forum. The Canadian version of multiculturalism is somewhat different from that in Europe. It is based on the idea of compromise and sharing. It is not the intention of those who formulated and still promote our policies of multiculturalism that each ethnic group live in its own ghetto and go on with their lives and communities as though they never left Pakistan or El Salvador or wherever. The idea rather is that we all bring to the table what we have to offer from our cultural heritage. It also means compromise. We accommodate you but you also respect our hospitality and make every reasonable effort to adapt and integrate. Our society and the Canadian cultural identity is still evolving. Let’s all see what we can do to share in the process. For further: http://thesearepaintings.googlepages. com IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not publish anonymous letters or the letters of the people who do not disclose their identity to ‘The Miracle.’ A writer can use a pen name or request ‘The Miracle’ to withhold his / her identity. Please include your daytime telephone number for the conﬁrmation of your letter. We regret the inconvenience.
Editorial Board : Mr.Shums Jillani, Mr Aslam Hayat, Azhar Syed, Mr. Shams Siddiqui, M.A.L. Naumani, Mr Tariq Main Graphic Design: Design Teams Copyright ® 2001 Miracle Media Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Printed in Canada
Attention: The opinions expressed herein contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of ‘The Miracle’. These are offered as a means for ‘The Miracle’ to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of ‘Bringing Harmony To All The Communities.’
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Contents Editorial & Letters Int. News Local Articles Interview Faith Politics Lifestyle Health Sports Classified /Cont.
Urdu 6,7 4, ,5 10,11,13-16 12 16, 26 8, 10 15, 16 25 28 -29-37
f a i t h
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
For the Love of the Gift
By: Yasmin Mogahed We all love gifts. We love the blessings that beautify our lives. We love our children, our spouses, our parents, our friends. We love our youth and we love our health. We love our homes, our cars, our money, our beauty. But what happens when a gift becomes more than just a gift? What happens when a want becomes a need, a favor becomes a dependency? What happens when a gift is no longer only that? What is a gift? A gift is something that did not come from us. A gift is given-and can be taken. We are not the original owners of a gift. A gift is also not necessary for our survival. It comes and goes. We want and love to receive gifts-but they are not necessary to our existence. We don’t depend on them. We don’t live to receive them and do not die if we don’t. They are not our air or our food. But we love them. Who does not love a gift? Who does not love to receive many gifts? And we ask Al Kareem (The Most Generous) to never deprive us of His gifts. Yet, a gift is still not where we place our dependencies, nor do we die without them. Remember that there are two places to hold something: in the hand or in the heart. Where do we hold a gift? A gift is not held in the heart. It is held in the hand. So when the gift is taken, the loss creates pain to the hand-but not to the heart. And anyone who has lived long enough in this life knows that the pain of the hand is not like the pain of the heart. The pain of the heart is to lose an object of attachment, addiction, dependency. That pain is like no other pain. It’s not normal pain. And that pain is how we will know we just lost an object of attachment-a gift that was held in the wrong place. The pain of the hand is also pain-but different. So different. The pain of the hand is to lose, but not something we are dependent upon. When a gift is taken out of the hand-or never given at all-we will feel the normal human pain of loss. We will grieve. We will cry. But the pain is only in the hand; our heart remains whole and beating. This is because the heart is only for God. And God alone. If we examine the things in our lives that cause us most pain, we can start to pinpoint which gifts have been stored in the wrong place. If not being able to get married, be with the person we want, have a child, find a job, look a certain way, get a degree, or reach a certain status has consumed us, we need to make a change. We need to shift where the gift is being stored; we need to move the gift out of our heart and back to our hand where it belongs. We can love these things. It’s human to love. And it’s human to want the gifts we love. But our problem begins when we put the gift in our heart, and God in our hand. Ironically, we believe that we can live without God-but if we were to lose a gift, we crumble and can’t go on. As a result, we can easily put God aside, but our heart cannot live without the gift. In fact, we can even put God aside for the sake of the gift. So it becomes easy for us to delay or miss a prayer, but just don’t deprive me of my work meeting, my movie, my outing, my shopping, my class, my party, my basketball game. It’s easy to take interest baring loans or sell alcohol, just don’t deprive me of my profit margin and prestigious career. Just don’t deprive me of my brand new car, and over-the-top home. It’s easy to have a haram relationship or date, but just don’t deprive me of the one I ‘love’. It’s easy to take off, or not wear hijab-just don’t deprive me of my beauty, my looks, my marriage proposals, my image in front of people. It’s easy to put aside
the modesty that God says is beautiful, the means. We will suffer the moment we but don’t deprive me of my skinny jeanstake our eyes off the End and get lost in the because society told me that’s beauty. means. This happens because the gift is in our In fact, the true purpose of the gift itself heart, while Allah is in our hand. And what is to bring us to God. Even the gift is a Narrated Abu Huraira: is in the hand can be put aside easily. What means. For example, does the Prophet not Allah’s Apostle said, is in the heart, we cannot live withoutsay that marriage is half of deen? Why? “There is a Sadaqa to be and would sacrifice anything to have. But If used correctly, few other parts of this given for every joint of the sooner or later we need to ask ourselves life can have such a comprehensive effect human body; and for every what it is that we really worship: The gift on the development of one’s character. day on which the sun rises or the Giver? The beauty or the Source and You can read about qualities like patience, there is a reward of a SadDefinition of Beauty? The provision or the gratitude, mercy, humility, generosity, selfaqa (i.e. charitable gift) for Provider? denial, and preferring another to yourself. the one who establishes jusThe creation or the Creator? But, you won’t develop those qualities until tice among people.” The tragedy of our choice is that we chain you are put in a situation in which they are our necks with attachments, and then ask tested. Sahih Bukhari - Volume 3, why we choke. We put aside our Real air, Gifts like marriage will be a means to bring Book 49, Number 870 and then wonder why we can’t breathe. We you closer to God-so long as they remain a give up our only food, and then complain means, not an End. God’s gifts will remain be something eternal, that never tires, and when we’re dying of starvation. After all, a means to Him, so long as they are held never breaks. It must, therefore, be somewe stick the knife in our chest and then cry in the hand, not the heart. Remember that thing that never leaves. Only one thing is because it hurts. So much. But what we whatever lives in the heart controls you. like that: The Creator. have done, we have done to ourselves. It becomes what you strive for and are ***** Allah says:“And whatever affliction befalls willing to sacrifice anything to have. And Source: Yasmin Mogahed Blog you, it is on account of what your hands to keep. It becomes what you depend on have wrought, and (yet) He pardons most at a fundamental level. It, therefore, must (of your faults).” (42:30) Yes. What we have done, we have done to ourselves. But look how the ayah ends: “He pardons most.” The word used here is “ya’foo’ from God’s attribute Al-A’foo. This denotes not just forgiving or pardoning, but completely erasing! So no matter how many times we stick that knife in our We undertake to do QURBANI 2011 in Barmer & Bhaap in own chest, God can heal us-as if the stab Rajasthan, and Mewat and Harpur Near Delhi. had never occurred! Al Jabbar (the One who mends) can mend it. If you seek Him. We have studied these areas where people do not eat Meat But how foolish is the one who exchanges unless we do Qurbani, Aqeeqa Or Sadaqah there. air for a necklace? He is the one who says, This Year a Beef or Bison will cost “Give me the necklace, and then you can take away my air after that. Suffocate me, but just make sure I’m wearing the necklace when I die.” And the irony of it all is that it is the necklace itself that suffocates Please Book early to save last minute rush us. It is our own objects of attachment-the things we love more than God- that kill us. Phone any of the Following Brothers Our problem began because we saw the To accept your Qurbani: gift as the air, instead of just that: a gift. So in our blindness, we became dependADAM BUKSH 604 596-7865, MAULVI GHULAM BAJI 604 593 8909 ent on the gift, and put aside the Real air. MUMTAZ ALI 604 590-4752, SIKANDER TAYOB 604 543-7860 As a result when the gift was taken back, DAUD BUKSH 604 590 6332, IRSHAD ALI BOBBY 604 594 7869 or never given at all, we thought we could SAIYAD IQBAL ALI 604 537 3943 not go on. But, this was a lie that we told ourselves, until we believed it. It isn’t true. There’s only one loss that we can’t recover RAJASTHAN WATER-WELL AND ORPHANAGE SOCIETY from. There’s only one reason we wouldn’t 7867 124 A STREET, SURREY BC V3W 8P1 be able to go on: If we lost God in our 604 596 7865 lives. The irony is that many of us have lost God in our lives and we think we’re still alive. Our false dependencies on His gifts have deceived us. So much. From October 7-21, 2011 (Dhul Qadah 9-23, 1432H) Only God is our survival. D.Qadah Oct Day Fajar Sunrise Zawa1 Dhuhr Isha Asr Maghrib Not His gifts. God is our 9 7 Fri 5:41 7:19 01:00 01:07 8:13 4:49 6:43 support and our only true necessity. Allah says: 10 8 Sat 5:42 7:21 01:00 01:07 4:47 8:11 6:41 “Is not God enough for 11 9 Sun 5:44 7:22 01:00 01:07 4:45 8:09 6:39 His Servant? But they 12 10 Mon 5:45 7:24 12:59 01:06 4:43 8:07 6:37 try to frighten thee with 13 11 Tue 5:47 7:25 12:59 01:06 8:05 4:41 6:35 other (gods) besides Him! for such as God leaves 14 12 Wed 5:48 7:27 12:59 01:06 4:40 8:03 6:33 to stray, there can be no 15 13 Thu 5:49 7:28 12:58 01:05 4:38 8:01 6:31 guide.” (39:36)
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We all have needs and we all have wants. But our true suffering begins when we turn our wants into needs, and our one true need (God) into a commodity we think we can do without. Our true suffering begins when we confuse the means and the End. God is the only End. Every other thing is
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Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
5:51 5:52 5:54 5:55 5:57 5:58 6:00 6:01
7:30 7:31 7:33 7:35 7:36 7:38 7:39 7:41
12:58 12:58 12:58 12:58 12:57 12:57 12:58 12:58
01:05 01:05 01:05 01:05 01:04 01:04 01:04 01:04
7:59 4:36 6:29 7:57 4:34 6:27 7:55 4:32 6:25 7:53 4:31 6:23 7:51 4:29 6:21 7:50 4:27 6:19 7:48 4:25 6:17 7:46 4:23 6:15 Source: Masjid Al Noor
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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p o l i t i c s
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
A Seminar on DiDomenico`s ‘Islam Through my Eyes’
By: Mohammad Akbar On September 26th, a seminar on Donna DiDomenico`s book, ‘Islam Through my Eyes’ was held in Kwantlen University & College in Surrey. The seminar was very well attended and featured a heated debate on the role of western media in tarnishing Islam’s image and painting a negative picture of Muslims all over the world. David Wiens, the Associate Dean School of Business in his opening remarks emphasized on the need for interfaith discussions and dialogue. He said that Multiculturalism should be promoted. We should not be shy of talking about our religion or listening about other religions. Donna DiDomenico then presented her work. She showed slideshow of her taken pictures and shared stories of Muslims living in various parts of the world. She talked about people who converted to Islam after 9/11 attacks. She said that she found Muslim families and communities very normal, peaceful, loving, and caring human being. She found that Muslims are very different than what is said and shown on the western media about them. First Speaker Dr. Zareen presented facts and figures showing that the reality is very different from what is said and shown on western media. Only handful of (so-called) Muslims (less than 5%) are involved in the terrorist attacks all over the world according to the FBI reports, research carried out by European Union, and University of North Carolina, USA. She also emphasized on the need to engage in a dialogue with other communities, find common grounds so that all the communities can live in peace and harmony. She said that the message of our Prophet and Imam Ali is to use knowledge, logic and reasoning, not anger and violence in dealing with others. Sister Zanaib Dhanani presented her story of how she converted to Islam. She explained why others should also convert to
this beautiful religion. She also explained the reasons why many who are convinced that Islam is the best religion still do not embrace Islam. She said you have to overcome the habit and follow the logic. She emphasized that Jesus is not the son of the God. He is the prophet and a human being. There is only one God and Mohammad (PBUH) is the last messenger of God. She said that sometimes you have to go to war to win peace and that’s what Prophet did. She got the maximum applauds from the audience. Mufti Aasim Rashid gave an excellent presentation on how to counter this attitude of the western media and their interest. He said that Donna (the author) or other non-Muslims will not do the job for us. We (Muslims) have to stand up and fight our own war. The best way would be to become stronger Muslims, have faith in our religion and reach out to other communities and explain to them what Islam is all about. We have to overshadow the very few who are earning a bad name for Islam by way of terrorism. We have to show the true picture of Islam, this is real Jihad. After the heated Q & A session the event ended with a note of thank from US Consulate General of Vancouver representative Mr. Charles Smith. Miracle Note: The speaker is young photographer, Donna DiDomenico. Donna DiDomenico’s book, Islam Through My Eyes, takes a humanistic approach to global Islam. DiDomenico travelled the world to photograph Muslims outside the Middle East. She immersed herself in their communities, first identifying how Islam spread to each country, and analyzing how Islam took root. From these experiences, DiDomenico documented contemporary Islam through photography. Her award winning book examines the lives of Muslims around the world and attempts to break through stereotypes surrounding the fastest growing religion in the world.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Adrian Dix Visited Pakistani Community in Al-Madina Restaurant
On September 24, a meeting was organized by Mr. Ijaz Chatha with NDP leader Adrian Dix at Al-Madina Restaurant in Surrey.. It was a very successful visit of Adrian Dix to the Pakistani Community after he became the leader of his party. He was welcomed by a large number of community members along with Local NDP MLAs and MPs. Mr. Chatha introduced the community members with great pride by saying that “Pakistanis are peace loving, caring and well educated people and are active participants in every field of the Canadian progressive society”. MLA Harry Bains briefly introduced his party leader and spoke about the greatness about the party. Adrian Dix gave a great speech in response to the issues that are most critical to British Columbians and how the Liberal government has failed
to deliver, such as health, education, and creation of job etc. There was a great exchange of wonderful questions and answers. Community members came up with very thoughtful question of which some answers were given by the Member Parliament Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu. Mr.Chatha also brought to the attention of the MP’s the recent inconsiderate remarks which were made by honorable Stephen Harper about Islamism; to which MP Jinny Sims provided assurance that action has already been taken by her and will continue. Raj Hundal said “The Pakistani community must be applauded for their continuing efforts and hard work in contributing to Canadian society and this meeting provided a positive and healthy forum to discuss some very important topics and issues,”
This meeting concluded with a plaque which was presented to Mr. Adrian Dix in recognition of his public services friendship and understanding of immigrant communities.
Surrey Civic Coalition Completes Slate for City Election On Sep 25, The Surrey Civic Coalition elected the remainder of its slate of city council and school trustee candidates at a nominating meeting. Elected to represent SCC on the council ticket were Steve Wood, Kuldip Ardawa, and Doug Elford. The SCC constitution requires candidates received a majority of the delegates to the nomination so the council elections took three ballots with Wood winning on the first, Ardawa on the second and Elford on the third. Those three join previously nominated candidates Rina Gill, Stephanie Ryan, Gary Robinson, and Grant Rice as well as incumbent Coun. Bob Bose. Sukhy Dhillon and Ram Sidhu were acclaimed as school trustee candidates and join incumbent Ijaz Chatha, and previously nominated candidates Laurence Greeff, Charlene Dobie and Moh Chilali. SCC did not nominate a mayoralty candidate. Gord Savard, SCC president, said,”We intend to run a very competitive team that will challenge Mayor Watts to make good on her commitments. Likewise, we will work with her on projects that benefit everyone in Surrey. SCC will be running on the issue of accountability. We do not believe that the current council or the Board of Education have, in any way, ever held the Mayor
accountable.” Kuldip Ardawa is president of the Surrey-Fraser Heights Rotary Club and serves on Surrey’s Social Planning Committee. She has worked as a constituency assistant for both BC Liberal and BCNDP MLAs. Suhky Dhillon is a teacher in the Delta School District and runs a small business. She was president of Educators Against Racism and works with other social justice groups, both locally and internationally. Doug Elford is an environmental protection officer for the City of Vancouver. He is very active in the sports community, serving on the city’s Outdoor Sports Advisory Committee and the board of Baseball BC. Elford ran for Surrey council as an independent in 1999. Ram Sidhu is a program manager with South Fraser Women’s Services. She is the mother of two young children and worked extensively with the Save Our Daughters Coalition. Steve Wood served two terms as a city councillor in Campbell River in the 1990s. He has a long history in service and contract work for trade unions and has been active in the local sports community. For further information: Dwaine Martin: 778-707-0723
JASBIR SANDHU, MP FOR SURREY-NORTH GREETS DRUG AWARENESS FOUNDATION CALGARY’S WALKERS
NDP asks conservatives why it wants to ban hate speech laws MP Jinny Sims OTTAWA – During Question Period, the NDP’s Consular Affairs critic, Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta), asked the government why Conservative MP Brian Storseth introduced a Private Member’s Bill to repeal hate speech provisions in the Human Rights Act. “Once again, this government just can’t get its story straight. Last week the Justice Minister pretended to know nothing about a Conservative bill repealing hate speech previsions in the Human Rights Act. But on Friday the Conservative member for Westlock-St. Paul introduced just such a bill. Mr. Speaker, either this government is opposed to laws banning hate speech, or the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus. Which is it?” asked Sims. The response from the government was simply that its members can introduce Private
Member’s Bills at their own discretion. Sims pressed the government a second time: “While families struggle and Canada slides back into recession, this government is becoming distracted by fringe members of its caucus. First it was abortion, now hate speech. Mr. Speaker, what other out-of-touch issues does this government have up its sleeve? Why is this government pushing divisive and extreme Private Members bills? Is it that the Prime Minister can’t control the extremist members of his caucus, or is it that he’s encouraging them?”
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Dynamic and Unique Surrey City Centre Library Officially Opens
On Sep 24, Thousands of people took part in the grand opening community celebration for the new Surrey City Centre Library. “The new City Centre Library is not only a stunning and innovative building, but its services will benefit the people of Surrey for years to come,” said Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government is pleased to support projects such as this one through the Economic Action Plan – projects that not only stimulate the economy, but contribute to the well-being of communities across the country.” “Literacy is one of the most important factors in determining a person’s success in life, and libraries play an important role nurturing this skill,” said Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon. “The new City Centre Library provides a beautiful gathering place for Surrey residents to learn and develop an appreciation for books.” “Our new library has already become a wonderful community gathering spot and is attracting visitors from all across the region, creating a new cultural and social hub in the city,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “It is architecturally stunning and provides an iconic landmark for City Centre. I believe that innovative and unique architecture has the ability to shape a city’s identity and create the heart and soul of a community.” The governments of Canada and British Columbia each committed
$10 million to the $36 million project under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The City of Surrey provided the remaining funds through the Build Surrey Program, the most comprehensive construction program in Surrey’s history. The 77,000 square foot facility was designed by local architect Bing Thom and boasts a number of green features, including a green roof, and will aim for LEED Silver certification. The facility is equipped with the latest in technology, including over 80 public computers and access to wireless service. It also features a large children’s library, teen lounge, coffee shop, group study areas, and classroom space for Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies Department. The Build Surrey Program contains $2.8 billion in construction, including $800 million in new community projects and $2 billion worth of facilities being built in partnership with other levels of government. These projects will act as a catalyst to stimulate further private sector investment and job creation, and will enhance the quality of life for residents. Other projects in City Centre include the new City Hall and community plaza, Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, seniors centre, covered youth park, performing arts centre, as well as walking trails and beautification initiatives. In conjunction with the major new residential, commercial and academic developments underway, these investments will prepare the city for growth, provide the community with world-class facilities and
help redefine Surrey. In addition, the City is moving forward with stage two of its City Centre plan by developing a comprehensive strategy for community building that is designed to create a vibrant downtown core that is attractive, safe and unique. “We want people to feel connected to downtown and we want to implement a vision that meets their needs and desires. In order to bring the community into the planning process, the City has been engaging residents, employees and youth in the area to gather feedback on what they like about downtown, what is missing and how it can be improved,” said Watts. She adds the information collected will help identify the policy, programming, and beautification programs that are necessary for City Centre. As part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is providing funding to approximately 4,100 infrastructure projects across the country. Since March 2009, the federal government has committed over $505 million to more than 440 projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund across British Columbia. Since October 2008, over $5.6 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 36,000 jobs over the life of the projects Source: www.surrey.ca/city
Somali : Continued from pg 1 blackened corpses were sprawled on the debris-strewn street amid burning vehicles and uniformed soldiers dragged the wounded from the scene. Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said the attack had killed more than 70 people and left 150 injured. “I am extremely shocked and saddened by this cruel and inhumane act of violence against the most vulnerable in our society,” Ahmed said in a statement. Mohamed Sheikh Nor, a Somali journalist, told Al Jazeera that several and efficient immigration system that benefits ministers were coming out of the buildapplicants, immigrants and Canadians alike.” ing at the time of the blast. “It was the worst attack I have ever witnessed,” he Drawing over 100,000 visitors a month, the said. Ali Abdullahi, a nurse at Medina Come to Canada tool presents users with hospital, said medics were treating a series of questions and, based on their people with horrific wounds, including answers, matches them with the federal imamputated limbs, burns, and patients migration option that best suits their specific who had been blinded by the blast. circumstances. It then leads them to a page “It is the most awful tragedy I have that breaks down the application steps and ever seen,” he said. “Dozens are being provides instructions and forms. brought here minute by minute. Most Based on comments from users, over 90% of the wounded people are unconscious have found Come to Canada to be user and others have their faces blackened friendly and almost the same number say by smoke and heat.” African Union they would recommend the tool to someone they and government troops deployed know. “It was simple and to the point,” wrote one heavily to the area and cordoned it user. off. The explosion is thought to have “It’s good, it’s fast and very helpful, especially gone off as students were queueing for for those who really want to evaluate their status scholarships offered by Turkey, which before making any decisions,” noted another. recently stepped up its involvement To use the Come to Canada Wizard, go to www. in Somalia and pledged to re-open cic.gc.ca/cometocanada. an embassy in Mogadishu. Suldan
Come to Canada Wizard a continued success
The Come to Canada Wizard, which helps people determine if they are eligible to come to Canada, has recorded over 200,000 visits since being launched this summer. “By helping potential immigrants and visitors to understand the immigration process, this tool is reducing their dependence on immigration consultants,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “It demonstrates how CIC is creating a responsive
Sarah, the communications director for the Somali president, told Al Jazeera that the majority of the victims had been students. “To do a cowardly act like that does not mean you are a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “It just means you can commit a mass murder using a suicide bomber. This is not the sign of strength, but rather a cowardly act.” He said the explosion happened outside a checkpoint at the complex of ministries, of which the Ministry of Education is a part. “The security services are working around the clock, and are working within their capabilities, and as such have foiled a number of attempts over the past month [of other attacks],” Sarah said. The attack was condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “It is incomprehensible that innocents are being senselessly targeted,” Ban was quoted as saying by spokesman Martin Nesirky. “The secretary-general is appalled by the vicious suicide bomb attack targeting government offices and ministries in Mogadishu today.” Tuesday’s attack is the deadliest carried out by al-Shabab since multiple bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala killed at least 76 people in July 2010. Source: Al-Jazeera
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
A Muslim Gives Thanks
By Hesham A. Hassaballa Thanksgiving is an American cultural tradition that is wholly consistent with Islamic principles. Typically, American Muslims (including my family) get together with their families and have dinner together on Thanksgiving, usually because everyone has a day off on Thanksgiving, and so it is convenient and natural for families to come together. In the past, I never gave the concept of Thanksgiving much thought, but that is changing now. Even though the story of Thanksgiving has a Christian backdrop, few things are more Islamic than thanking God for His blessings. It is God alone who created me and gave me life, breath, and sustenance. He nurtures me and comes to my aid when I ask (or don’t ask) Him. Simply saying, “Thanks, Lord” and continuing to sin against him is to show the utmost ingratitude. And so, since He has given me so much, we Muslims ask: isn’t it only fair that my will be trumped by His? This is the best way to show my thanks to God, on Thanksgiving and beyond. For instance, the stock market has taken quite a beating in recent months. Many Americans
have had their nest eggs wiped out. If I had money in the stock market (which I don’t, fortunately or unfortunately), it would be tempting to funnel all the money into bonds or other interest-bearing investments. Yet as a Muslim, I show my gratitude for God’s blessings differently. Islam prohibits me from earning money from usury, and thus, bonds, bank certificates of deposit, or even simple money market accounts are out of the question. Either I tough out the storm in the markets, or I pull out altogether. Islam embraces the idea of the need for occasional entertainment; it is essential to help us relax and rejuvenate. That entertainment, however, must occur with some limitations. Alcohol and gambling, for instance, must not be in any Islamic entertainment program. Thus, I will not be hitting the slot machines any time soon. I graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and if you did not drink, there was basically nothing to do on a Friday or Saturday evening. I remember quite a few lonely Saturday nights where all my drinking friends (including some Muslims) would be out at parties, and my non-drinking friends were unavailable. I would sit in my dorm
By: Gulshan Aalani The beautiful Creation of Heavens and Earth, most loved beautiful scenery of Mountains, some icy, some representing the delivery and receiving of the Holy Revelations by the Messengers, underneath flowing Rivers and Sea contains sweet, bitter and salty life saver water with barriers dividing 2 (Q. 25:53), Trees with different shapes, shades and design, beautiful Birds and animals we love, variant colorful flowers spreading the pure fragrance similar to the fragrance of Jannah/Paradise, and colorful Fruits and vegetation full of nourishment, protein and Vitamins for excellent health, the heart and mind soothing Moon and diamond like twinkling Stars, the Zodiacal Orbital movements-Signs (coincides with Tawaf/going round the Kaba 7 times anticlockwise), setting of the Sun and the Moon giving Light, the celestial bodies swim along each in its rounded course (21:33), flowing Clouds in the Blue Sky, from which the Snow and Rain pours down in huge quantity sufficient for the livelihood for mankind, animals, feeding earth and Farms etc. Perplexing, is that every single humanbeing loves the above Heavenly Creation but does not appreciate the Creator. It is more like a Child unappreciative of the Mother who gave birth to him/her, who also depends on the ‘Creator’ of this Universe, the Throne Holder, Providing so much to keep us healthy, happy and content. Yet HE is ignored by the deluded mankind who loves the counterfeit products of human gods replacing the true GOD with the artificial fake gods who can provide none of the above and yet they are loved, and obeyed more than the true Creator. Consequently, instead of saying: “Glory to GOD”, we hear glory to human gods. If only we know the concept of legal/Halal and illegal/Haraam we would get the ‘Right’ answer and true guidance. Is the counterfeit product legal or illegal? Is the artificial Sugar same as the pure Sugar? Quran: 23: 18- “And WE send down water from the sky according to due measure, and WE cause it to soak in the soil, and we certainly are able to drain it off with ease”. 19- With it WE grow for you Gardens of date-palms and vines: in them have ye abundant fruits and of them ye eat and have enjoyment”. 20- “Also a tree springing out of Mount Sinai which produces oil and relish for those who use it for food”. 23: 21- and in cattle too ye have an instruc-
tive example from within their bodies WE produce Milk for you to drink; there are in them besides numerous other benefits for you, and of their meat ye eat”. 35: 27- “Seest thou not that GOD sends down rain from the Sky? With it WE then bring out produce of various colors and in the mountains are tracts white and red, of various shades of color and black intense in hue”. 36: 33-“A Sign for them is the earth that is dead: WE do give it life, and produce grain there from, of which ye do eat”. 34- And WE produce therein Orchards with date-Palms and vines, and WE cause springs to gush forth therein”. 35: “That they may enjoy the fruits of this artistry: it was not their hands that made this: will they not then give thanks? 36: “Glory to GOD, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own humankind and other things of which they have no knowledge”. 36: 83-“So glory to HIM in whose hands is the dominion of all things: and to HIM will ye be all brought back. 27: 64- “…who originates Creation then repeats it, and who gives you sustenance from Heaven and earth? Can there be another god besides Creator-GOD?” 29: 17:- “…The things that ye worship besides GOD (Creator) have no power to provide you sustenance, then seek ye sustenance from GOD, serve HIM and be grateful to HIM to HIM will be your return”. 25: 3-“Yet have they taken, besides HIM, gods that can create nothing but are themselves created: that have no control of hurt or good to themselves; nor can they control death nor life nor resurrection”. 16: 4- “HE has created man from a sperm drop, and behold this same man becomes an open disputer”. 51: 56-“I have only created Jinns and men that they may serve ME”. 57: “No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed ME: 58: “For GOD is HE who gives sustenance, Lord of Power, steadfast for ever. 7: 27- “O ye children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends to those without faith”. In conclusion let us think of and thank the Creator-GOD when we eat delicious fruits, sweet Strawberries, Grapes and Melons.
Loving the Creation
room, sad and alone, watching the evening news, then “Saturday Night Live,” then “Showtime at the Apollo.” It was tough, but going out and drinking with my friends never was an option for me. Better to be lonely on a Saturday night than be ungrateful to God and sin against Him. I have had many discussions with people about Islam’s (and Judaism’s) prohibition against eating pork. Many have told me that the rationale for prohibiting pork was that, when the Hebrew Bible and the Qur’an were written, sufficient methods to sanitize meat did not exist, and it was likely people got sick after eating the flesh of swine. Now, however, eating pork is safe and there is no problem, despite what the religions say. I beg to differ. Islam (and Judaism) explicitly prohibits eating pork, and so I bypass the bacon and pass on the pepperoni. During medical school, I attended meetings after class where pizza was served. To my chagrin, the meeting organizers would order only ONE vegetable pizza, and EVERYONE, being calorie conscious, would eat from the
vegetable pizza, leaving me pathetic scraps. This has happened to me time and again, but I would never consider having even one slice of pizza with pork on it. Taking the pepperoni off the slice does not count, either, because of the grease left on the slice. I do not mind, however. God said, “No,” and I said, “Yes, sir.” In the Qur’an, one comes across this statement: “How can you reject faith (or be ungrateful) seeing that you were dead and [God] gave you life; then He will cause you to die and again bring you to life; and again to Him you will return” (2:28). God has shown His undying love for me by giving me so much in life. It is time for me to show my love for and gratitude to Him by being a willing, submitting servant. Simply saying “Thanks” to God, although important, is not enough for me. Saying you love someone is nice; but showing you love someone through your actions is much more powerful.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Prayers at schools: “This isn’t about religion, it’s about community,” parents say Scott Stockdale Some 200 people with opposing views of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) policy to allow students at Valley Park Middle School (VPMS) to pray at the school on Fridays - the Muslim holy day - faced off against each other, surrounded by police officers, at the TDSB’s office on Yonge Street recently. In what could be characterized as a war of words – with no hint of physical violence– students, parents and student representatives expressed their appreciation to the TDSB, while across the sidewalk to the front entrance to the TDSB office, vocal critics of the decision – led by representatives of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), and supported by the Canadian Hindu Advocacy and the Christian Heritage Group, expressed their opposition to allowing Muslim prayers at VPMS. Chris Andrewsen, a University of Toronto student - who has converted to Islam - was acting as a spokesperson in favour of the TDSB decision. He said this issue is about creating a safe learning environment where students can get the most out of school. “It’s a good idea for anyone to express themselves religiously and culturally. Students should feel comfortable about who they are.” He noted that there are safety issues involved because by being allowed 30 minutes off on Fridays to pray at school, it avoids students having to leave the school, go to a mosque to pray, and return to school. Moreover, Mr. Andrewsen said Fisherville Middle School has Jewish prayers in the cafeteria and there have been no complaints about this practice in the three years it’s been going on. Meanwhile, Ali Baig, a parent of one of the students at VPMS, said he and other parents just came to thank the TDSB for what
they’re doing. “The effort is about mutual respect and understanding each others needs. It’s very important that children can express freely what they believe; and this isn’t about religion, it’s about community. Different ethnic cultures all want to coexist and understand and work with each other.” On the other side of the sidewalk leading to the entrance to the TDSB headquarters, some of those opposing the TDSB decision carried placards denouncing “gender apartheid,” while others read “Don’t use the TDSB to promote Sharia Law” and others demanded a public inquiry into the TDSB. One burly fellow with a bull horn shouted invectives such as “hatred and bigotry is being taught in the mosques” and “gender apartheid,” with references to Allah and suicide bombers interspersed in his speech. When asked, he said he was with the Jewish Defence League and referred me to a couple of their spokespeople, one of whom was Meir Weinstein, head of the JDL Canada. Remembering me from a different event about a year ago, he said he didn’t want to speak to The Canadian Charger. Another JDL spokesperson, who refused to identify himself, said there was nothing more to say. However, JDL member Val Grunberg shed some light on the organization’s position on this issue. “Our institutions are slowly being taken over by Islam, pretending to be a religion. It’s an ideology whose purpose is to promote itself. The movement wants Sharia Law and when they get it you and I will be third and fourth class citizens. Today it is in the schools. Tomorrow it will be somewhere else.” Samira Kanji, president of the Noor Cultural Centre, said she was taken aback by the racist and brutish messages of those opposed to
the TDSB decision. “They don’t seem to realize that they’re expressing the same qualities of intolerance and disrespect that they accuse Muslims of. They were sent a fact sheet in advance pointing out that schools hold Jewish prayers, yet they chose to ignore this and complain about religious practice on a secular space. It’s very clear that they’re motivated by racism against Muslims.” All too familiar with opponents who quote the Koran to support their opposition to Islam – and there were a number present that day – Ms. Kanji said they’re taking quotes out of context. “They should be aware of the fact that all ancient religious texts, including theirs (Jewish, Christian, Hindu) have passages which need contextualisation and interpretation by reference to the conditions and societal norms of the first communities,” she said, “These
are fearmongers. The bogey of a sharia takeover is just that. All private religious law arrangements will always be subject to the ultimate authority of the sovereign state (Canadian) law, and there can be no greater threat of a sharia takeover than there can be of takeover by any other faith group employing religious arbitration in family law (for voluntary access).” When I attempted to get further comments from those in favour of the TDSB decision, a policeman told me I couldn’t proceed beyond the public sidewalk. He said they were just trying to keep out all troublemakers, and I said: “So you’ve decided that I’m one of them.” He said no, I could proceed further to do interviews, but his colleague told me to get back on the public sidewalk because the area I was on was private property. Ironically, the police were offering no impediments as I mingled with the group opposed to the decision, on the other side of the sidewalk to the entrance to the TDSB headquarters. (Source: Canadian Charger)
October is Islamic History Month Islamic History Month Canada is an educational and cultural project originated, developed and sponsored by the Canadian Islamic Congress. The objective of IHMC is to motivate and inspire Canadian Muslims to annually share their history, heritage and culture with fellow Canadians during one month, to be called the Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC). This goal is to be achieved through community and public events such as; exhibitions, lectures, celebrity tours, book fairs, and other complementary activities. This will be a month in which Canadian Muslims celebrate and share our diverse civilization, including our contributions to the arts, sciences, medicine, architecture, humanities, music, spirituality, and every area of human knowledge. It will become a permanent part of Canada’s multicultural calendar with similar events across the country and will build bridges of understanding and appreciation between Muslims and all other Canadians. Moreover, IHMC will enhance Canada’s ties, both economically and culturally, with other Muslim countries. The IHMC Advisory Board includes senators, public figures, academics, inter-faith activists and Muslim community leaders. In Masjid As-Salam, Burnaby, the BC event of IHMC will be held. Please see details below.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Limit cellphone calls, Health Canada
Parents should encourage kids under 18 to limit the time they spend talking on cellphones, Health Canada said Tuesday in new advice on mobile phone usage. The guidance is a nuanced change from previous advice, which suggested that people could limit their use of cellphones if they were concerned about an unproven suggestion the devices increase one’s risk of developing brain cancer. “Really it’s more proactive in encouraging cellphone users to find ways to limit their exposure, and ... to empower parents to make healthy choices to reduce their children’s exposure,” explained James McNamee, division chief for health effects and assessments in Health Canada’s bureau of consumer and clinical radiation protection. The new advice, a response to a World Health Organization report issued in May, reminds people they can reduce their exposure to radiofrequency energy by limiting the length of their cellphone calls and substituting text messages or chats on hands-free devices in the place of phone-to-ear cellphone calls. Radiofrequency energy is the type of radiation emitted by cellphones. It’s also given off by AM-FM radios and TV broadcast signals. Canadians own and use an estimated 24 million cellphones. Worldwide it is estimated that five billion people owned cellphones in 2010. There have long been questions as to whether the devices increase a user’s risk of developing brain cancer. Despite the fact that dozens of studies have looked at the question, there is no clear answer. But a statement issued in late May by the International Agency for Research on Cancer — the cancer arm of the WHO —classified cellphones as a category 2B risk, meaning
the agency acknowledged mobile phones are possibly carcinogenic to people. McNamee sat on the panel that took the decision. Health Canada says more research needed Health Canada says the data suggesting the link is far from conclusive and more research is needed. But in light of the shift, the department decided it should tweak its advice on cellphone use, especially as it relates to kids. “We want to make people aware that there is some uncertainty in the science, particularly for children. Because there have been no long-term studies, or very, very few longterm studies with children,” McNamee said. “They are often more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults. They’re not little people, in essence. Their brains are still developing, their immune systems are still developing. So you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child, per se.” Little change from status quo, industry says Still, the department isn’t advocating set limits or changing the safety regulations for cellphones. In fact, an industry spokesperson interpreted the statement as little change from the status quo. “It would be a slight shift in messaging, I suppose, but I believe that the updated information from Health Canada is simply a reminder to Canadians about the state of science on this topic, and any steps that individuals, and their children, can take,” Marc Choma, director of communications for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, said by email. “I think Health Canada is reiterating that, to date, the science has not shown a link between cellphone use and health concerns, but that more research is recommended. The industry has always supported any calls for continued research that is deemed necessary by the international scientific community.”
Health Canada did not appear to want to hit the message too hard. McNamee objected to the suggestion the department was “urging” parents to restrict cellphone use by their kids. The tone the department is trying to set is more accurately reflected by the word “encouraging,” he suggested. “It’s not urging. Cellphones can certainly be
beneficial for parents and for children. And they’re a convenience.” “Not much has changed,” McNamee added. “The advice to Canadians is largely the same. The science hasn’t really changed. Health Canada’s just being a little more proactive on this, in a nutshell.” Source: Canadian Press
Miracle Media Group Presents
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Booking by email on First come first serve basis till November 10. Program will InshaAllah begin with Welcoming of Hajjaj e Karam of 1432 H (2011). Dates for Preliminary selection rounds and further details will be announced in the next edition. The main purpose of this religious program is to promote interest in memorization of Holy Quran and role of Huffaz Karam in our community.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Pakistani Cricketers of BC present...
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Pakistani Canadian Women’s Society is pleased to present...
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Unveiling the Truth: The Hijab and Muslim Women in Canada
By: Rubab Abid (Toronto) Specially written for the Miracle The hijab has been a continually controversial and emotionally-charged topic throughout history. Within both the Muslim world as well as many Western countries, the on-going conversation surrounding the hijab and other Islamic headscarves has brought about intensely polarizing sentiments from both sides of the aisle. On the one hand, many Muslims around the world feel that the hijab is a religious and social mechanism through which Muslim women can assert their modesty, privacy, and morality. On the other hand, numerous Western politicians, commentators, and feminist organizations view the hijab as an archaic and oppressive religious symbol which unfairly subjugates and marginalizes the rights of Muslim women. Within this whirlwind of social, political, and religious debate, the opinions and perspectives of young Muslim women are often left unheard. More specifically, young Muslim women who are born and raised in Canada find themselves placed in a very unique and interesting context with respect to the issue of the hijab. On the one hand, Muslim-Canadian women have been raised within a distinctly Western perspective and have been brought up in the influence of its social, cultural, and political practices. They have grown up surrounded by the power of the Western media, movies, music, television, and magazines, all of which project a distinctly sexualized image of female gender roles. On the other hand,
many second-generation Muslims living in Canada also feel a deep and profound sense of connection, value, and respect for their cultural and religious roots. Young Muslim-Canadian women often uphold culturally-specific traditions and religious practices such as refraining from dating, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and wearing modest clothing such as the hijab alongside their distinctly Western upbringing. As one can imagine, the task of balancing and harmonizing these two seemingly different worlds can be very a difficult process for many young Muslim Canadians. One of the most critical challenges facing Muslim women living in Canada centers on the hijab. Despite the assertions of certain critics, the decision to wear or not wear the hijab is a very complex and multi-faceted issue. It does not simply boil down to a purely religious duty on the one hand, or the fundamentalist Islamic oppression of women on the other. It is a decision which entails a wide range of social, political, economical, emotional, and psychological factors. There are a wide range of reasons why many young Muslim-Canadian women choose to wear the hijab. Undoubtedly, there are countless Muslim women who wear the hijab solely as a religious act of duty and modesty and view the hijab as a symbol of their adherence to Islamic beliefs. However in a post-9/11 world, the effect and meaning of the hijab has become more and more politically charged. With Western countries such as France and Germany and even the province of Quebec placing institutionalized bans on
the hijab in public places, many young Muslim women have been forced to re-interpret the meaning and significance of the hijab throughout their lives in the West. Many young Muslim women have come to utilize the hijab as a reactionary symbol of social and political protest against the intolerance and prejudice of anti-Islamic critics. These women utilize the hijab as a political tool through which they emphasize and promote their Muslim identity. For young Muslim women, the hijab becomes a badge of pride and condemnation against Western countries and their foreign policies. On the other hand, many young Muslim women in Canada choose to wear the hijab as a direct response to Western ideals of overt female sexuality and the West’s overwhelming emphasis on external beauty. Many Muslim women feel that the hijab grants them a sense of protection and emancipation from conforming to Western ideals of femininity. In this sense, the hijab is utilized as a tool which grants young Muslims a sense of liberation and freedom. In both cases, Muslim women are shown to be actively and consciously deciding for themselves the method and manner in which they wear the hijab. Conversely, there are also a wide and multi-faceted range of reasons why some Muslim-Canadian women chose to not wear the hijab. It is a sad fact that many Muslims are unfairly discriminated against in Western society as a result of their religious beliefs. Whether in the workplace, schools, universities, or public places, many Muslim-Canadian women
Where Are You? By: Shabnam Khan - Family Counsellor An important key to letting go of the past and reaching your full potential, is by putting yourself in an environment where the seed of your dreams can grow. We know of people who are extremely talented. They have incredible potential. But they still insist on hanging around the wrong people. If you are close friends with people who are negative, undisciplined and no great dreams, they will rub off on you very easily. Moreover the environment in which you place yourself will prevent you from rising any higher. You cannot hang out with negative people and except to live a positive life. If all your friend are depressed and defeated and have given up their dreams, make some changes. Let’s be honest. You’re probably not going to pull them up, though you may have made numerous attempts. More likely, if
you continue to spend too much time in their presence, they will pull you down. Certainly, you love your friends; you can even pray for them and try to encourage them to make positive changes in their lives. Sometimes the best thing you can do is break away from negative people and put yourself on a healthy, positive and fun-filled environment. This is extremely critical, because it doesn’t matter how great the potential in the seed, if you don’t put it in good soil, it will not grow. It may be painful, but the best thing you can do is get away from somebody who is a constant drag on your spirit. Don’t allow somebody to treat you that way. You are extremely valuable after all you are the creation of Almighty God. There is something as “the gift of good-bye.” That means when somebody who is pulling you down chooses to leave. You may not realize it but that person just did you a great favor. Don’t look back, instead keep looking forward. Get ready for new explorations and opportunities in your life. Have a positive atti-tude!!
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complain that they are often treated with hostility, fear, anger, and even violence as a result of their hijab. In many instances, Muslim women are overlooked for potential job opportunities or become the victims of bullying or social isolation. As a result, many young Muslim women feel that in order to avoid such bigotry and inequality, removing their headscarf is the most practical and effective choice for them. Other Muslim women simply choose not to wear the hijab because they feel that covering their hair does not signify the level of their religious beliefs and view the hijab as more of a cultural interpretation rather than a religious requirement. It is important to note that young CanadianMuslim women, like all women, are not singular monolithic beings. They are diverse, complex, and multi-faceted individuals with wide-ranging thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Correspondingly, the various reasons behind why certain Muslim-Canadian women choose to wear or not wear the hijab are similarly complex and diverse. Why and how a woman comes to this decision is a personal judgment which only the woman herself can and should make. Hence, it is important for both Western society and the Muslim community itself to respect this choice and the reasoning and motivations behind such a critical decision.
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Student Grants, Bursaries and Scholarships What Are Grants, Bursaries and Scholarships?
Grants, bursaries and scholarships are wonderful resources to help you finance your post-secondary education because they provide money that does not need to be paid back. Grants, bursaries and scholarships can be provided by governments, schools or private organizations. Scholarships are usually awarded based on merit rather than financial need. To find out what scholarships are available to you, visit www.studentawards.com/canlearn. Grants and bursaries are awarded based on: • Financial need; • Academic achievement; • Athletic skill or; • Special abilities that may also be considered. The following are some of the grants and bursaries available to Canadian students: • Canada Student Grants • Provincial and Territorial Grants and Bursaries • Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) • Funding for studying abroad If you are a graduate student, you can also check out the Canada Graduate Scholarship Program ¬¬- Master’s Scholarship, which provides funding to students who are pursuing full-time studies at the master’s level in the social sciences and humanities field. Canada Student Grants These grants help students and families manage the cost of post-secondary education are provided through a single program. Grants do not need to be paid back. Canada Student
Grants are predictable, easy to apply for, and are provided to students at the beginning and in the middle of the school year. The Canada Student Grants are available to students from most provinces and territories except the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Quebec which operate their own student financial assistance programs. When you apply for a Canada Student Loan, your eligibility for most Canada Student Grants will automatically be assessed. You may be eligible to receive more than one grant simultaneously. The following Canada Student Grants are available: • Grant for Students from Low-Income Families • Grant for Students from Middle-Income Families • Grant for Students with Dependants • Grant for Part-Time Studies • Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants • Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities • Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities
Provincial and territorial grants and bursaries To learn about grant and bursary programs offered in your province or territory of permanent residence, or to complete an application for full-time or part-time student loan funding, visit www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/.
Apprenticeship Grants Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant available to registered apprentices once they have successfully completed their first or second year/level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades. In BC, the following trades are recognized as Red Seal trades: Agricultural Equipment Technician Appliance Service Technician Automotive Painter Automotive Service Technician Baker Boilermaker Bricklayer Cabinetmaker Carpenter Concrete Finisher Construction Electrician Cook Electric Motor System Technician Floorcovering Installer Glazier Hairstylist Heavy Duty Equipment Technician Industrial Electrician Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Instrumentation and Control Technician Insulator (Heat and Frost) Ironworker (Generalist) Ironworker (Reinforcing) Ironworker (Structural / Ornamental) Landscape Horticulturist Lather (Interior Systems Mechanic) Machinist Metal Fabricator (Fitter) Mobile Crane Operator Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint) Motorcycle Mechanic Oil Heat System Technician Painter and Decorator Partsperson Plumber Powerline Technician Recreation Vehicle Service Technician Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Rig Technician Roofer Sheet Metal Worker Sprinkler System Installer Steamfitter / Pipefitter Tilesetter Tool and Die Maker Trans-
port Trailer Technician Truck and Transport Mechanic Welder
Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a $2,000 taxable cash grant designed to encourage apprentices registered in a designated Red Seal trade to complete their apprenticeship program and receive their certification. The completion grant will be offered to apprentices who complete their training, become certified journeypersons in a designated Red Seal trade and who obtain either the Red Seal endorsement or a provincial or territorial Certificate of Qualification. Funding for studying abroad One resource available to Canadian students interested in studying abroad is the Government of Canada’s International Academic Mobility (IAM) Initiative. The IAM supports academic projects that help students from Canadian colleges and universities take advantage of learning opportunities abroad. You may also be eligible for scholarships, grants and bursaries for students who are studying abroad. To find out what’s available and learn how to apply, check the websites for following programs: • Government of Canada International Scholarships Program • Canadian Bureau for International Education • Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Zarah Khan named top scholar in Toronto Catholic Schools Zarah Khan, from St. Joseph’s College School, earned an average of 98.33% and was named the top scholar in all Catholic schools in the municipality of Toronto. She will be studying Life Sciences at the University of Toronto and received the $ 5000 U of T National Scholar Award. She hopes to study medicine (neurosurgery or cardiology). She belonged to the school’s Library Club, tutored her peers in Advanced Placement Physics, Chemistry and Advanced Functions. Zarah is volunteering at a health care center and preparing herself for university life. She arrived in Toronto from India just a year and a half ago, from Pune and was able to top the Board. Zarah thanks her dad, teachers, peers, elder brother for all their love and support and especially her mom who instilled the love for education and excellence in her. And if you think, she was bullied into excellence, like so many so-called educationists here would like to believe of all those who do well, Zarah says, it was far from the truth. “I always tried to be a perfectionist. But I also took time to enjoy myself whether it be to watch TV or spent time with the family or go for outings. My parents always told me that whatever projects came my way I should work hard and give my best shot.” When asked to compare the standards of schools here and there, as she joined in the middle of High School, Zarah admitted: ”It was easier coping here because in India the basic concepts are very well rooted in a child right from an early age. Whereas here they start from grade 11.They use calculators whereas in India our mathematical skills are developed because we use our brains. “In the beginning they were a bit skeptical about me, maybe because I wore a scarf but very soon when they came to know me as a person, everybody in the school right from teachers to office staff and my peers, gave
me more love and support than I had ever expected.” Zarah Khan is a good example of what almost everything that the local education experts say about children (they want them to do the least to avoid ‘damage’) have nothing to do with reality. “My dad is a physics professor and my mom has a masters degree in finance and English literature as well. So I had an exposure to diverse fields. I never went for tuition classes because my parents were my tutors. They taught me that if you are focused then 90% of your study is done in the classroom itself. My mom told me that 80% of a child’s brain develops at the age of 8 and the 20% later. Parents generally think that the child is too small to grasp big things but our mother would just impart us with everything she knew irrespective of what we grasped or not, in a playful way without us knowing and hence we learnt everything at an early age. She is an all rounder so she made us an all rounder as well. For example, when she took us on a stroll in the evening, she would develop our imaginative and communication skills by asking “What do you see around you?”, “How would you describe the ambience?” and then she would correct us.” The stereotype of ‘oriental’ parents pressuring their children (often promoted by the lazy among the West) is not at play here. “My parents are very much against pressuring children. They believe that every child has his own potential and that parents should accordingly guide the child in that direction and not what they have dreamt for him. They should give the child total freedom to choose his career. They also think that parents should be involved with their children right from the beginning in every respect. They also think that pressuring the child is the very beginning of his downfall.” Zarah enjoys reading detective novels, dancing, swimming, roller skating, cycling and badminton and “I must watch at least one sitcom each week!” These days when religion is being discussed extensively in schools Zarah, a practising Muslim, says she faced no pressure due to her religion. “In my school (St. Josephs College School) they never promoted Christianity,
instead the teachers asked me to give lectures on Islam in 4 Religion classes of grade 11. They have a course called ‘World Religions’ wherein all religions are taught in that class.
Also there was mass but I was never forced to attend them. Once I just went to see what they do during the mass. Was being Inquisitive!” Adapted from: Weekly Voice
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Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
Televised trials called for in Stanley Cup riot cases Overruling objections from its criminaljustice branch, the B.C. government is ordering Crown prosecutors to push for television and radio broadcasts of any trial related to the Stanley Cup riots. The chief judge of British Columbia’s provincial court has declined to render his own verdict on that move, saying he will leave it to his judges to decide how to handle that unprecedented order. On Tuesday, Attorney-General Shirley Bond confirmed she received protests from the criminaljustice branch but will go ahead with her order for televised trials. In response, Thomas Crabtree, chief judge of the provincial courts, said his judges will rule on whether to allow cameras in the courtroom. “The question of whether or not proceedings should be televised or broadcast is a matter within the discretion of the presiding
judge hearing the application made by a party to the proceedings, after hearing from all interested parties, and considering the circumstances of the case,” Judge Crabtree said in a statement. The court’s written policy is for judges to allow such access as long as it is in the public interest and passes a threshold of concerns that include not affecting fair-trial rights, causing discomfort to witnesses, deterring witnesses or causing expense to the courts. However, it has been extremely rare for B.C. courts to allow such broadcast access. Most media requests are denied. No charges have been laid so far as a result of the June 15 riot following the Boston Bruins’s defeat of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, but Vancouver police say they are close to doing so. Initial appearances and proceedings will likely occur in the
provincial courts. “Certainly the criminal justice branch has made their view known but in fact we will be directing the criminal justice branch to move forward, for the prosecutor who takes those cases forward to make application for the use of cameras in courtrooms,” Ms. Bond told reporters at the legislature. Ms. Bond, who is also the solicitor general, rejected suggestions that televising the proceedings might lead to “public shaming” of the accused. “There is a public interest in ensuring this is a transparent, open process,” she said. Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for the criminal justice branch, said they would comply with Ms. Bond’s order. Accredited journalists in British Columbia have long been allowed to bring audio-recording devices into courtrooms to record material for reference in their reporting, but not for any form of
broadcast. The B.C. government’s interest has been focused on riot trials, but a veteran media lawyer said the unexpected outcome of this situation could be to make a convincing case for ongoing access to other trials. Premier Christy Clark said Tuesday she understood not all lawyers agree with this directive, first disclosed in this week’s throne speech, but that the public will support it. In Question Period, NDP justice critic Leonard Krog decried the launch of so-called “Riot TV” and urged the province to provide proper resources to the courts instead. Mr. Krog later told reporters Ms. Bond is “dangerously close” to political interference with her riot directives. Source: Globe and Mail
NBA lockout talks break off with openers in jeopardy Negotiations broke off between NBA players and club owners on Tuesday with all 114 pre-season games wiped out, no new talks planned and the threat of regularseason games to be lost on Monday. Bargaining committees met for more than four hours in a failed last-ditch bid to solve a shutdown over financial issues that has lasted for 96 days, since owners locked out players after a prior deal ended July 1. “By Monday we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “We were not able to make the progress we would have liked to make.” NBA owners had previously called off pre-season training camps and wiped out 43 pre-season games through October 15. With Tuesday bringing two more lost weeks of exhibitions, Stern estimated the NBA has already lost $200 million. Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA players association, said talks might not resume for a month or two. If true, it would likely mean no NBA games until next year at the earliest, he said. What will be gone by Monday, if Stern makes good on his threat and talks do not make a surprise resumption, are the first two weeks of the NBA season, the first games lost to a financial dispute since the 1998-99 NBA season. Scheduled opening night games include Oklahoma City at the Lakers, Houston at Utah and Chicago at reigning NBA champion Dallas. “Today was not the day for us to get this done,” NBA players union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers
said. Stern said talks collapsed after players showed no interest in a possible 50-50 split of basketball-related revenues. Players had received 57 percent of such income in the previous contract. Owners wanted a hard salary cap rather than the current exemption-filled system and a greater share of revenues from what last season was a $3.8 billion business. They claim losses of $300 million last season, saying only eight of 30 teams made a profit. Stern said owners backed off a firm salary cap but players have seen such moves as only finding a different way of imposing salary limitations. Players said they offered to trim their share of basketball-related NBA income from 57 percent in the prior contract to 53 percent, which they said would amount to more than $1 billion over six years in the pockets of owners. But team owners were wanting 47 percent of such funds and when the players nixed any talk of a 50-50 split -- something the ownership negotiators had not even sold all of their club owners upon -- it set the stage for talks to end. Stern said he offered the players an opt-out clause after seven years of a proposed 10-year deal. With little hope of making up lost games after the scheduled end of the six-month season in April, only days remain before the NBA shortens a season due to financial issues for only the second time in history. NBA teams each played only 50 games in a truncated 1998-1999 campaign after more than two months were lost to bickering over money. Source: AFP
They’re Back! The NHL season kicked-off Thursday as the Canucks will once again look to capture the first championship in franchise history.
Deaf Muslim Trekker Preparing for Mount Everest An intrepid trekker from Stourbridge, United Kingdom, is preparing for Mount Everest. Ishtiaq Hussain, aged 37, has signed up for a trek to Base Camp on the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in aid of Penny Appeal’s Rebuilding Pakistan Appeal, which aims to rebuild the village of Kamar Mashani in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Countless villages in the region were swept away by the devastating floods that followed the heavy monsoon rains in July 2010, and which killed at least 1,700 people and displaced over six million others. Ishtiaq is profoundly deaf and a teacher of British Sign Language, who lives in the Lye area of Stourbridge. He commented: “I visited Pakistan in April, where family and deaf friends told me about the devastation brought by the floods. My heart sank knowing that families have lost lives, homes and livestock, and whole villages have been wiped out. It’s impossible for me come back home and carry on as normal. I have a good family life and a stable home which I am so grateful for. So I felt I needed to do something.” “I am looking forward to reaching Base Camp, which is a hard and risky challenge and to knowing that I have achieved my goal and raised as
much money as I can to make the rebuilding project happen. That will be a very proud moment for me.” At 5,360 metres, the Everest South Base Camp in Nepal offers a serious challenge for even experienced walkers, but the breathtaking panoramic views that take in eight of the world’s highest mountains will make the trek a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Adeem Younis, Chairman of UK-based Penny Appeal, said: “The Everest Base Camp trek is all about remembering the plight of the forgotten victims of the Pakistan floods. We’re aiming to raise over £40,000 - enough money to build a small village of two-bedroom houses, as well as to construct wells and distribute much-needed aid packages.” The charity trek takes place from 2nd to 18th December 2011 and Ishtiaq has set himself a fundraising target of £3,500. Donations are welcomed and can be made at www.justgiving.com/IshtiaqHussain0. “It’s a challenge that will leave the group with a lifetime of memories,” said Adeem Younis, “and everyone who takes part in the trek will be making a very real difference to the lives of disadvantaged people in Pakistan.”
Issue 294 - Dhul Qadah 9, 1432 / October 7, 2011
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