PETERBOROUGH — The federal government’s move to honour the late Pope John Paul II with a national day of recognition is sparking concern amongst various Canadian secular groups.
With the Senate’s stamp of approval next month, April 2 would become Pope John Paul II Day across the country, making the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church one of only four people whose names and lives are recognized on Canadian calendars.
Peterborough resident Veronica Abbass, a member of the Canadian Secular Alliance, says choosing a foreign religious figurehead for such an honour casts a dim light on the federal government and leaves well-deserving Canadians in the shadows.
Religion is a private matter, she adds.
Ms Abbass assumes many Canadians won’t pay too much attention to Bill C-266, which passed in the House of Commons with 217 votes in favour and 42 votes against it. Citizens won’t enjoy a day off or see an increase in their pay on April 2.
Still, she says it’s an insult to Canadians.
“It’s ridiculous,” she says. “Personally, I don’t care if we name a day after anyone. But if we’re going to do it, let’s recognize our own. There are so many people who’ve done wonderful things in this country.”
A petition by the Centre for Inquiry Canada, available on Change.org, had garnered 3,000 signatures as of Wednesday (July 24).
The petition argues designating a day to the Pope is inconsistent with the goals and values promoted by Canadian government.
“While John Paul II was a charismatic figure, his record as a leader of the Catholic Church is full of scandal and poor management,” the petition states. It adds the former pope vigorously supported the Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception, abortion and homosexuality, and he could have taken further action to safeguard children against sexual abuse.
Another petition, launched by Jason Kenney, MP for the Calgary Southeast riding, encourages residents to support the private members bill.
“Blessed Pope John Paul II was not only a religious figure, but also a profoundly important civic leader who built lasting relationships with other faith groups,” the message on his website reads.
Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro voted in favour of the bill and says the work of Pope John Paul II transcended far past his duty as a religious leader.
“I actually think he was a very rare person, not unlike other throughout history that stand out,” he says. “He was a tremendous humanitarian.”
The local MP isn’t suggesting his position as a religious figure be put aside, since the Roman Catholic Church is the largest faith group in Canada. Still he says it’s important to remember many citizens feel the Pope went above and beyond the call of duty, fighting for peace and becoming a vocal advocate for human rights.
“You’ve also got to remember virtually nothing in Canada is unanimous,” he says, adding Canadians have a government requiring a majority to make weighted decisions. “It’s OK to agree to disagree.”
Pope John Paul II, who led the Catholic Church for nearly three decades, will be made a saint during canonization ceremonies expected to be held in Rome this year.
The bill will go up for approval in the Senate this fall.
this is normal behavior for them
“Dr. Tariq Abdelraheem, founder and director of Dar al-Arqam Islamic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, calls upon the Egyptian people to endorse the jihad as a way to confront the military regime that ousted President Mohammad Morsi early this month (July 3, 2013).
In a video clip, uploaded on YouTube (July 5, 2013) and bearing the name “Message to the mujahideen of Egypt,” Dr. Tariq Abdelraheem says among other things the following (translated from Arabic):
“A-Sisi is an infidel, atheist, he pledges allegiance to [Pope] Tawadros [of Alexandria] the crusader, the infidels and the seculars and kills Muslims.”
“There is no loyalty [to Islam] in appointing a Christian or a Coptic and promoting him in position over a Muslim. No, it is an act of killing of Muslims, suppressing and displacing them and raising the word of the Cross. We should speak honestly. This position [overthrowing Morsi] is of the crusaders, as 90% of those who went out to the streets were crusaders, polytheists, the salves of the Cross.”
Authorities have identified a Canadian suspect in the deadly bus bombing in Bulgaria last year.
The attack killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian on a tourist bus July 18in Burgas, on the Black Sea coast.
Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 25, a Canadian, was named as a suspect Thursday. Australian Meliad Farah (alias Hussein Hussein), 32, is also wanted.
Authorities have said the men are of Lebanese origin, with links to the Islamist group Hezbollah.
A Bulgarian government press release said both men were seen between June 28 and July 18, 2012, in areas surrounding where the bombing occurred.
The men allegedly registered at hotels and rented cars using the fake identities of Brian Jeremiah Jameson, Jacque Felipe Martin and Ralph William Rico.
A year after the attack, Bulgarian officials say Hezbollah was behind the bombing, a claim Hezbollah denies.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Thursday Hassan is a “non-resident dual national who lived here for several years when he was a child.”
A Missouri man is leveling allegations against an Ohio-based customer service company, claiming he’s dealing with persistent and explicit acts of racism in the workplace. And now, he’s coming forward with the photos to help his case.
DeAndre Martin, who works for Convergys in Arnold, Mo., told St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI that harassing images began appearing on July 11, when he allegedly received a crude drawing depicting a man hanging from a tree at his desk.
Then, on July 15, Martin clocked out and went to his car in the company parking lot, only to find the “n-word,” he said, and an image of a noose spray-painted on his car
“You see the N-word and then a big picture of a noose, and that’s a big deal to me,” Martin told the station. “The first time never should have happened, and the second time was over the top. It’s always like a shock and awe but then suddenly anger sets in.”
Martin said he brought the images to the attention of Convergys management. In a statement to KTVI, the company said it is taking the matter seriously, and that it is under investigation. According to the Convergys website, the company “values individual differences” and seeks to “[foster] mutual respect and communication” throughout its workforce.
Martin said that the harassment was particularly disappointing in light of “current world events,” possibly alluding to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. “What perfect timing,” Martin observed.
This isn’t the first time allegations of discrimination have been leveled at Convergys. In 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Convergys over religious discrimination, claiming that the company had violated federal law by refusing to hire a call center worker because his religion forbade him to work on Saturdays.
“Giving an employee an alternative schedule in such a large call center should not be impossible,” Barbara Seely, regional attorney for the EEOC St. Louis district office, said in a statement at the time. “Refusing to hire a person in this situation without even discussing a possible accommodation for his religion is unlawful discrimination.”
Money raised by an Islamic charity created to help Canada’s poor and needy instead went overseas, potentially into the hands of violent militants, a government audit has found.
The federal charity watchdog is now threatening to revoke the charity status of Mississauga’s ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Development Foundation.
A Canada Revenue Agency audit revealed the foundation shipped more than $280,000 to a Pakistan-based agency, cash the government fears went to supporting the Hizbul Mujahideen — a militant group that seeks the secession of Kashmir from India.
The foundation “facilitated the transfer of resources that may have been used to support the efforts of a political organization . . . and its armed wing,” the CRA said in a letter to the charity outlining its findings, obtained by the Star.
“Canada’s commitment to combating terrorism extends to preventing organizations with ties to terrorism from benefiting from the tax advantages of charitable registration,” the CRA letter said.
The charity’s acting president dismissed the suggestion that the money it gave to the Pakistan-based Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims may have landed in the wrong hands because of poor oversight.
“The money did not go to any groups who were freedom fighters,” G. Nabi Chaudhary said. “We made sure that all of the money the charity sent to those organizations was spent on the needy, to help the misplaced. We had people on the ground who were working with the relief organizations.”
But the charity failed to show auditors any documents proving it had control over how the money was spent, as the tax agency requires.
Contradicting Chaudhary’s assurance the money was carefully spent, the charity’s board members told auditors the funds were sent abroad with “no strings.”
In fact, the sole scrap of evidence the charity said it had on how its money was spent overseas — photographs appearing to show relief work being done on behalf of the ISNA Development Foundation — was “altered,” auditors said.
A forensic examination determined the pictures of men performing relief work with a banner depicting ISNA Development Foundation in the background had been doctored after they were taken, specifically around the banner.
The charity’s directors told auditors their knowledge of the relief work done in Kashmir is based solely on these photographs.
“Once the money left Canada, (the foundation) had no control over the money, how it was spent or what it was to be spent on,” board members said, according to the CRA.
The CRA’s audit probed the charity’s operations for a three-year period, from 2007 through 2009. Since then, the foundation has sent more than $80,000 to Pakistan….
WHTR tv station in Indiana, U.S.A program on ISNA a few years ago
In the war on terror, a prominent local Muslim organization is a strong voice advocating peace. The Islamic Society of North America calls itself a mainstream organization committed to fighting the distortion of their religion. But the Eyewitness News Investigators found ISNA also has connections to some groups and individuals that critics say are tied to terrorism. ISNA says its associations are all innocent and should not be misconstrued, but one expert in particular takes issue with that. Eyewitness News decided to take a look at the conflicting views on ISNA’s mission.
This story was prepared by reporter Angie Moreschi, photographer/editor Bill Ditton and producer Gerry Lanosga.
will there be a Czech Defense League in the future?
An atheist association in the Czech Republic (OSACR) filed a legal complaint against the formal head of Czech Muslims – Muneeb Hassan Alrawi. The complaint centres on his potential illegal conduct in a sermon where he calls on Muslims to teach their children to hate “kufr” (usually translated as all things unacceptable and offensive to God and defined in Qur’an by acts of “unbelievers“, „disbelievers“, or „infidels”) and to beat them if they refuse to pray*. Such preaching is especially peculiar in a country which is often ranked as one of the least religious in the world and where Muslims represent a tiny fraction of the population.
Yes, it is not surprising from radical clerics, but Mr. Alrawi is chairman of the “Center of Muslim Communities” in the Czech Republic (UMO) making him formally the highest representative of Muslims in the country. Next year UMO plans to acquire a higher legal status that would allow them – among other advantages – to teach their version of Islam in schools, prisons etc.
Nevertheless, what makes this case perhaps unique is the response of the state attorney J. Petrásek. He stated in the newspaper Rovnost that the case is “interesting and unique, and if accepted it would probably be classified as a threat to the moral education of youth and Mr. Alrawi would be immediately prosecuted”. Furthermore Mr. Petrasek said that “to outlaw the entire Islamic association is bold, but not unrealistic” which sounds reasonable in light of Mr. Alrawi’s response that he had read a translated sermon and that the content of his teaching is an integral part of Islam.
Jan Werner on behalf of the atheist association said: “We regard it unacceptable that the state grants a registration to a group whose leaders regularly call to hate unbelievers”. “Our association cares about advancement of humanism, secular values, tolerance and understanding. However, we see a direct threat to these values in extremist organisations like UMO” added Werner.
“Your duty in this period is to teach him (a child between 7 and 10) to love Islam, and – that he could become a Muslim – teach him to express hate towards kufr. Teach him hate towards everything immoral and not good. Mainly, teach him to hate kufr, hence not-accepting Allah.”
“Teach your children salah (prayer) at age 7 and you can beat them when they are 10 if they don’t do so.”
contact for further inquiries: Slávek Černý, email@example.com, +420 608 612 423
A BOMB found behind a Sydney police station and linked to last year’s Muslim riots could have been deadly if it had detonated, police say.
Officers are following a number of “very strong leads” as they investigate online threats against police that refer to the explosive device.
Counter terrorism commander Peter Dean said the threats seemed to link the bomb to last year’s Islamic protests in Hyde Park.
“There’s a comment in the Facebook blogs and also in the email that talks about protests in Sydney so there is an assumption that there’s some link there,” he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
The hand-sized device was found in the rear car park of Campsie Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.
On July 6, 2013, CAIR-CAN issued a press release announcing that the organization will now be known as the National Council of Canadian Muslims (Conseil national des musulmans canadiens in French).
Removing all allusions to CAIR in its name helps the newly renamed Council cover its links with the Washington-based / Hamas-linked organization. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was founded in 1994 by three leaders of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a Hamas front in the United States at the time.
According to its charter (article 2), Hamas is the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza. In recent years (2008 – 2011 – 2012), its leaders have confirmed that the destruction of Israel is only a part of its program that aims at imposing Islam to the whole planet. In 2011, for example, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said on TV that Western civilization “will not be able to withstand the great and glorious Islam.”
IAP appears in an annex of a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood’s internal memorandum listing the organizations associated with the Brotherhood in the United States. It is #22 on the list.
This memorandum was seized by police and produced for evidentiary purposes in two Holy Land Foundation trials that took place in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008. These trials led to the convictions of all leaders accused of terrorism financing.
At point 4 of the memorandum, the goal pursued by IAP and the other organizations belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood network in North America is described in no uncertain terms:
The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions… It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.”
At point 20 of this declaration of war, Jamal Badawi, is identified as a Muslim Brotherhood leader in North America. Badawi has been on CAIR-CAN’s board of administrators at least since 2004. On May 28, 2013, he was still listed on the organization’s board. Badawi is based in Halifax. He is also on the board of many other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in Canada and in the United States.
In a 2004 text, Jamal Badawi wrote about the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949) that “he has epitomized twentieth century Islamic thought and ideology.” Al-Banna’s ideas are summarized in his 50-point manifesto. In it, al-Banna urged his supporters to abolish political parties and replace them by a single party system, he favoured the modification of laws so that they conform to sharia, he called for the multiplication of associations dedicated to promoting the spirit of jihad amongst the youth, etc.
In his essay On Jihad, al-Banna explained that “it’s an obligation for us (Muslims) to fight against them (the infidels) after inviting them (to join Islam), even if they do not fight against us”. (Five Tracts, Translated by Charles Wendell, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978, p. 147)
In another essay (To what Do We Invite Humanity?), Hassan al-Banna referred to Adolf Hitler as a role model for Muslims looking for “success and fortune”.
CAIR-CAN / NCCM leader Jamal Badawi is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi. Like the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi is inspired by Hitler’s deeds. In 2009, on Al-Jazeera, Qaradawi claimed that Hitler was sent by Allah to punish the Jews (video – MEMRI – GMBDR).
In 2002, while she was CAIR-CAN Chair, Sheema Khan introduced Qaradawi to her Globe and Mail readers as a “renowned Muslim scholar.”
Besides his endorsement of Hitler, CAIR-CAN’s mentor is also renowned for inciting Muslims immigrants to conquer the West and develop ghettos to this effect, for supporting suicide bombings, promoting the killing of Muslims who leave Islam (apostates), condoning female genital mutilations, etc.
In its 2009-2010 Annual Review (p. 4), CAIR-CAN rewrote history and claimed that “in 2000, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) was incorporated as fully autonomous and entirely separate organization from the Washington-based CAIR.”
On July 6, 2013, CAIR-CAN / NCCM provided answers to frequently asked questions with its press release announcing the name change. Again, it misrepresented its relationship with Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR by stating that “there was never any operating or funding relationship between CAIR.CAN and CAIR.”
In a 2003 trademark case, then-CAIR-CAN Chair Sheema Khan stated in an affidavit that CAIR “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities.
CAIR-CAN deceptive assertion concerning its origins and the absence of operating relationship with CAIR is contradicted by other CAIR-CAN documents archived on Point de Bascule.
December 16, 2003 – CAIR-CAN Chair Sheema Khan swore in an affidavit that Washington-based / Hamas-linked CAIR “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities.
August 14, 2007 – In a list of CAIR chapters, CAIR-CAN appears between CAIR-Ohio and CAIR-Central Pennsylvania.
Investigative Project, GMBDW, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes and others have extensively commented on numerous criminal cases involving Washington-based CAIR officers over the years. CAIR-CAN may have decided that changing its name would ease its task when it deals with Canadian government agencies, police organizations, etc.
In the July 6 press release however, Executive Director Ishaan Gardee stated that, in spite of the name change, “we remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on.” We took notice. Others should too.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is an avatar of hypocrisy in civil rights law. A descendant of slaves hailing from Pin Point, Georgia, his first language was Gullah.
Thomas blames affirmative action for devaluing his degree from Yale Law School. He recognizes publicly that he was in fact an affirmative action admission, but believes that to have been a bad thing and he is a reliable vote on the Supreme Court against affirmative action, on the ground that it discriminates against white people.
His legal career reflects a different kind of affirmative action, the elevation of a black conservative within a Republican Party out to demonstrate it is not racist in spite of opposing most of the legislative agenda endorsed by racial minorities.
Appointed to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas distinguished himself by failing to move any cases under the new Americans With Disabilities Act, apparently because he disagreed with it.
Famously attacked for sexual harassment by Anita Hill in his confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas has become a reliable vote against women claiming sex discrimination.
Former girlfriend Lillian McEwen gave a 2010 interview with ABC News that was known for belatedly supporting Anita Hill’s testimony about Thomas’ taste for pornography, but her assessment of his performance on the SCOTUS is more pertinent today: “Clarence is 90 percent of black people’s nightmare on the bench.”
Those of us who grew up wanting to be Thurgood Marshall are uniformly appalled that Thomas occupies the seat once held by Marshall, who has represented the NAACP in the fight against “separate but equal.”
Indians, of course, are all about “separate but equal,” in a sense. Our relationship to the mainstream civil rights movement is complicated. Not hostile, but complicated.
Indians claim the same rights as African-Americans when we choose to live in the dominant culture, and the hard-won laws to which Clarence Thomas is so hostile function to guarantee us those rights. Indeed, if Ward Churchill or Elizabeth Warren suffers discrimination because somebody thinks (incorrectly) they are Indian, they have legal remedies.
But Indians have a more complicated claim as indigenous peoples who, unlike African-Americans, have not been physically torn away from their tribal roots. Some Indian fighters would remove this complication by tearing us away from out tribal roots, but they have not yet prevailed.
Justice Thomas has a track record in mainstream civil rights cases of using the Fourteenth Amendment to secure the right of white people to not be disadvantaged by the terrible disability of whiteness.
In Rice v. Cayetano, Thomas read the Fifteenth Amendment to guarantee the right of white people to vote for the trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, but on White Power Day in the SCOTUS, June 25, 2013, Thomas wrote separately on the Voting Rights Act to complain that the SCOTUS should have struck down Section Five of the VRA when they struck down Section Four. In the other case on White Power Day, Thomas turned his attention to American Indians.
Thomas also wrote separately in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, wherein the SCOTUS held that an unmarried Indian father of a child born to a non-Indian could be stripped of any rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act unless he paid money to the mother. Since most children covered by ICWA are born to unmarried parents where one is non-Indian, this is a big deal, but the bigger deal is that the decision strips tribal rights along with the rights of individual Indian fathers with no serious attention to what it has wrought.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, suggested that any other reading of ICWA would “raise equal protection concerns” by threatening the rights of white people. Justice Thomas wrote separately to make sure Indians got the point.
It is no surprise at all that Thomas would strike down any law that appears to create an advantage for Indians as Indians. In the White Power worldview, rights represent a zero sum game. To confer rights on one class of people is to take them away from everyone not in that class. Therefore, there can be no legislation to remedy harms that fall disproportionately on non-whites. The harms must stand because the remedies would allegedly disadvantage white people.
Thomas says in his concurring opinion that Indians should be grateful ICWA was only neutered. Had there been no rational reading that would merely neuter it, then it would have to be killed in the interests of equality. This is old news. Thomas has always been an equal protection for white people Indian fighter.
The news flash in the ICWA case is that Thomas believes the Indian Commerce Clause does not, repeat NOT, confer plenary power on Congress to control all facets of life on Indian land!
Every Indian and Indian-sympathetic legal scholar has always considered the “plenary power” doctrine to be fraudulent nonsense, and now we have a voice on the SCOTUS that agrees with us!
This, in Thomasland, is another reason to strike down ICWA entirely. The federal government is one of enumerated powers and there is no enumerated power over tribal family law, or any family law unless that law is meant to discriminate against homosexuals, like the Defense of Marriage Act, which Thomas voted to uphold in the absence of any enumerated power.
Before Indians break out the popcorn and root beer to celebrate the end of “plenary power,” it would be good to survey the geography of Thomasland.
I think it is safe to say that in Thomasland, federalism means the relationship between the federal government and the states. Therefore, if the feds lack plenary power over Indian families, that power is in the states. “The tribes,” Thomas has written in another case, “are not part of this constitutional order, and their sovereignty is not guaranteed by it.
Indian legal scholars attack the plenary power doctrine to suggest that Indian nations have more robust sovereignty than states if, some but not all of us admit, less sovereignty than the federal government.
In the matter of treaty abrogation, we would look to international law, not Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock.
We would hold that states have no authority to stack a severance tax on minerals on top of a tribal tax, contrary to Cotton Petroleum v. New Mexico.
Justice Thomas, given the authority, would not even recognize tribal courts as “separate sovereigns” for the purpose of criminal double jeopardy law.
The good news is that Thomas is willing to revisit the foundations of federal Indian control law and to admit that body of law is incoherent.
The bad news is that he would make it coherent by dividing all powers currently residing in tribal governments between the federal government and the states.
This is what Thomasland, White Power in the SCOTUS, would mean for American Indians.
Steve Russell, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a Texas trial court judge by assignment and associate professor emeritus of criminal justice at Indiana University-Bloomington. He lives in Georgetown, Texas.