John Tory instructs Muslims to cancel religious gatherings during Ramadan

John Tory instructs Muslims to cancel religious gatherings during Ramadan

On Friday Apr 10, 2020 Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed the Muslim community in an online speech that was broadcast after the sermon by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty of the Islamic Institute of Toronto.

Tory instructed the Muslim community to abstain from religious gatherings during the month of Ramadan (April 23 – May 23) because of the Corona virus pandemic (COVID-19). During Ramadan Muslims gather every evening for the iftar, breaking the fast meal, and later for the tarawih, the recitation of the Quran and night prayers in the mosques.

John Tory’s message to the Muslim community

Assalamu Alaikum [Peace be upon you] and good evening. I’m so glad that I’m able to join you at the Friday prayer service. You know it’s interesting at times like this when people can’t get together. Technology allows us to be together to celebrate Friday prayers and for me to join you and to extend all my best wishes to you and talk a little bit about what’s going on in our city at the moment. You know the virtual prayers allows us to stay connected and that’s very important at the time like this. Perhaps more important than ever because it gives us an opportunity to hardness of the technology but also to harness the power of faith. And the power of faith right now is important to keeping the city together to dealing with some of these stresses were facing in our lives. Whether it’s people like yourself personally or your friends or your relatives that are anxious about their health it’s understandable anxious about financial security and jobs which is also understandable. I think these are all things that as people are going through right now but what’s really important for all of us is to remember that we have to be there for each other. And we’ve got to support each other. And I know that that’s a great tradition of Islam. That you would be there to contribute to the community and to strengthen the community and to support each other. And that’s a lot of what goes on at the mosque the day after day especially on Fridays. So I hope that you will do that today. I also hope you will keep in mind what I would telling people is the single most important thing they can do which is to stay home. Please stay home right now. Because the scientist tell us convincingly based on science that the best way this virus can spread. And of course we don’t want that to happen. Is person-to-person contact through droplets that come from your mouth. And if you’re not away from home those droplets are not going to spread. That’s why I am emphatic saying to people please stay home. It’s why there have been various orders and guidelines given to stop people from coming to the mosque on Friday or any other day. Because it’s just not going to help us to fight this battle against the virus. I want you to know that we are trying to do what we can as a city to make sure people are left with a degree of support and comfort. We’ve got all kinds of services for our most vulnerable citizens to make sure that the elderly and the homeless are looked after. As you would expect. And by the way Muslim association of Canada the Muslim welfare centre other organizations that are known so well in our community are doing the same thing. But I also want you to know to the extent that you can volunteer to help others in the community. That’s going to be good. And we are doing some things to deferral of tax payments, utility payments so on and so forth. As well other public services to make sure that people are kept comfortable and supported. Of course Ramadan will soon be here and we hope that a lot of this will be behind us. But we should prepare ourselves, for the fact that one of the things that is most important in your calendar each year, and all the iftar dinners that it that it has been my privilege to attend, with you. It’s a time when you are getting together with family and friends. And with of course each other. And that we may have to make some alterations to that this year. As well and, will find a way, as we have found a way with Friday prayers, to make sure that people have that sense of togetherness and that they feel that power of faith. And they feel that power of observance on one of the most important dates if not the most important date on the calendar. And I hope with the help of technology we will still be able to find ways to celebrate and commemorate something that I know is very important to me as the mayor of Toronto and very important to you as residents of the city of Toronto. We are all in this together. We have overcome many things in the city over time even before I was born. And we will overcome this too we will do it together with your help. And I thank you very much for all the effort you’re undertaking to keep the city together to look after each other. And I look forward to seeing you just as soon as that is possible.

On April 10, 2020 John Tory instructed the Toronto Police Service to take more strict measures to enforce social distancing:

Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Services Mr. Carleton Grant, Executive Director Municipal Licensing and Standards

Gentlemen:

First of all may I thank you for your leadership which has helped us to have hundreds of police and bylaw enforcement officers at work this holiday weekend across the city helping us to educate and to enforce our physical distancing rules.

As you know, beyond the preferred option which is for people to stay home, physical distancing between people is the best way we will slow down the march of COVID-19 and thus save lives and get us back to our normal way of life as quickly as possible. That is the advice of all public health professionals including our Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa.

As you also know, despite very simple legal and health requirements, the most important of which is for people to remain two metres apart, there are still many people who are not doing what they must do to stay healthy themselves and to protect the health of others.

We have reports of everything from bonfires on the beach to hanging out in groups in parking lots to playing pickup sports in closed areas, all of which involve groups of people who don’t live with each other and thus could spread the virus.

While the vast majority of Toronto residents are keeping their distance and helping us fight COVID-19, your officers have given hundreds of informational talks, many warnings and some tickets to the worst offenders, which is the kind of enforcement we all wanted to see to the greatest possible extent.

It seems to me however, that when, after a week, we are still having informational chats with hundreds of people who don’t get it or won’t comply, the time has come for stricter enforcement and more tickets.

We are facing a deadly virus – tragically it has already claimed the lives of 77 Toronto residents – and we need people to realize as quickly as possible what they need to do to stay healthy.

As you both know, as an elected official I cannot direct law enforcement as to how they enforce the law, but I am by way of this letter offering my strong opinion and support as Mayor for stricter enforcement which would be in the interests of fairness to law abiding people and in the interests of protecting our city’s health and moving us faster to the day when life can return to normal.

I hope you will give this request every possible consideration as I believe it is entirely consistent with our collective efforts to save lives, protect health and the healthcare system and limit damage to our economy and our way of life.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Mayor John Tory

Scantily clad woman “wants attention and possibly much more” – Toronto Islamic booth

Scantily clad woman “wants attention and possibly much more” – Toronto Islamic booth

On October 28, 2019 I sent a media inquiry to the Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter asking for an explanation why Muslim Dawah (Islamic propagation) activists hand out Islamic literature that contains controversial content regarding women. A day later I left a courtesy message on Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter’s answering machine extending the deadline. At the time of publishing of this article I have not yet received a reply.

Media Inquiry to the Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter

Mohammed Obaidullah, Volunteer President, Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter

Owais Rafi, Vice President, Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter
info@collectfreequran.org

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Copies of the book “Islam Balancing Life And Beyond” by Suhail Kapoor are being handed out for years by activists of the Islamic booth at the corner of Yonge and Dundas (Dundas Square) in Toronto.

Quotes from the book, a project of Islamic Propagation Center in Mississauga, Ontario:

Page 53

Mixed gatherings offer opportunities where base desires are unleashed, and once allowed free reign, have the potential to even destroy families. Are the results of promiscuity not in front of us? The illegitimate and abandoned children, broken homes, adultery, abortions, divorces and sexual diseases and more. Relationship out of wedlock is known as ‘fornication’, punishable by Islamic Law in an Islamic state. It is in the larger interest of our society that Islamic high moral standards are advocated and enforced.”

Page 46

“…because of the apparent restriction on Muslim women to remain away from the public realm, many Westerners see the Muslim hijab as a symbol of female oppression. However, on the contrary as per those women, especially Westerners who embraced Islam, the hijab is instead a symbol of ‘liberation’. The Islamic tradition of hijab frees women from being perceived primarily as sexual objects.”

Page 48

“Human beings are conditioned by the society in which they live. Naturally when you see a woman scantily dressed and revealing her physical features, versus when you see a woman modestly dressed, covering her head, not revealing any of her physical features, impressions that will come to mind do not need mentioning. Needless to say, dress represents her modesty, and through it she commands the respect in the society. Whereas when a woman chooses to show her body in one form or another, the message is only one: she wants attention and possibly much more.”

Page 50

Islam puts an upper limit of four wives and gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them, which, if not impossible, is certainly extremely difficult. Knowing well of our shortcomings, Allah in His infinite wisdom says later in the same chapter: “You will not be able to do justice between your wives however much you wish (to do so).” (Qur’an 4:128-130) This verse serves as a deterrent of fear of Allah and as such, less than 2% men in the Muslim world exercise this option. Therefore polygamy is not a rule but an exception. Many people labour under the misconception that it is an open-ended verdict for a Muslim man to have more than one wife. This is absolutely not true.”

Page 51

The system of polygamy according to Islamic Law is a moral and human one. It is moral because it does not allow man to have intercourse with any woman he wishes, at any time he likes. He is not allowed to have intercourse with more than three women in addition to his (first) wife, and he cannot do that secretly, but must proceed with a contract and announce it, even if among a limited audience. To attain full legitimacy it must be registered with the law.”

QUESTIONS

Do activists with the Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter hand out for free at Dundas Square or elsewhere copies of the book “Islam Balancing Life And Beyond” by Suhail Kapoor?

The book states: “Relationship out of wedlock is known as ‘fornication’, punishable by Islamic Law in an Islamic state.” The Islamic Law prescribes a punishment of flogging for the unmarried and stoning to death to the married. Does the Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter agree with stoning fornicators to death in the Islamic State?

Does the Walk-In Islamic InfoCenter agree with the messages of the book regarding women including the statement “when a woman chooses to show her body in one form or another, the message is only one: she wants attention and possibly much more”?

Does the book “Islam Balancing Life And Beyond” by Suhail Kapoor reflect in whole or in part the true teachings of Islam as being taught by your Dawah organization?

I’ll appreciate a response by 4 pm October 28, 2019. If you require more time please let me know.

Sincerely,

Eric Stanley Brazau,

Investigative Journalist

EricBrazau.com

Why do Toronto Police tolerate disturbance by participants in unlawful assemblies?

Why do Toronto Police tolerate disturbance by participants in unlawful assemblies?

On Monday morning, October 7, 2019 the Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto, a major traffic artery, was blocked for several hours by protesters affiliated with Extinction Rebellion Toronto advocating a “Global Rebellion” to save the planet.

Extinction Rebellion Toronto states it is the “Toronto chapter of Extinction Rebellion which is focused on non-violent direct action and civil disobedience for action on the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.”

Extinction Rebellion Toronto presents its demands from the Canadian government: “Tell the Truth about our climate crisis; Make plans to bring us to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2025; Create an equitable People’s Assembly to oversee the transition to a low-emissions world.”

Extinction Rebellion Toronto has also political and social long-term goals “to spark and sustain a spirit of creative rebellion, which will enable much needed changes in our political, economic and social landscape.”

According to Extinction Rebellion Toronto, “We endeavour to mobilize and train organisers to skillfully open up space, so that communities can develop the tools they need to address our deeply rooted problems. We work to transform our society into one that is compassionate, inclusive, sustainable, equitable and connected.”

The official website reported about the activities during the protest and explained the goals of blocking the bridge for traffic and the immediate demands of the protesters:

  • Protesters: Toronto members of Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion Turtle Island, unidentified solidarity groups
  • Nature of the protest: Global Rebellion—a two-week campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience
  • Immediate demand: Action on the climate crisis
  • Protesters’ activities: Occupied the Prince Edward Viaduct at 8:05am. Rebels held the bridge for close to five hours.
  • Police response: The police attempted to clear the bridge at 11:45pm and ordered everyone to vacate the area. 18 members of Extinction Rebellion Toronto and Animal Rebellion Turtle Island refused to leave the bridge and were arrested and charged with Mischief/obstruct use of property not to exceed $5000. They were all released within 24 hours and are now safe at home.

Toronto Police officer told me at the scene: “It is a permitted protest with the City [of Toronto]… I have been told, what I understand is that they have called ahead and they have initiated a protest.”

Responding to my media inquiry on October 7, 2019, Hakeem Muhammad, a Senior Communications Coordinator for the City of Toronto wrote: “Thanks for reaching out. The City of Toronto did not issue a road closure permit for this protest. I would suggest you follow-up directly with the Toronto Police Service for further questions. Thank you, and let me know if you need anything else.”

Disturbance” in the Canadian Criminal Law

Causing disturbance, indecent exhibition, loitering, etc.

175. (1) Every one who

(a) not being in a dwelling-house, causes a disturbance in or near a public place,

(i) by fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, singing or using insulting or obscene language,

(ii) by being drunk, or

(iii) by impeding or molesting other persons,

(b) openly exposes or exhibits an indecent exhibition in a public place,

(c) loiters in a public place and in any way obstructs persons who are in that place, or

(d) disturbs the peace and quiet of the occupants of a dwelling-house by discharging firearms or by other disorderly conduct in a public place or who, not being an occupant of a dwelling-house comprised in a particular building or structure, disturbs the peace and quiet of the occupants of a dwelling-house comprised in the building or structure by discharging firearms or by other disorderly conduct in any part of a building or structure to which, at the time of such conduct, the occupants of two or more dwelling-houses comprised in the building or structure have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Unlawful Assembly” in the Canadian Criminal Law

Unlawful assembly
63. (1) An unlawful assembly is an assembly of three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, assemble in such a manner or so conduct themselves when they are assembled as to cause persons in the neighbourhood of the assembly to fear, on reasonable grounds, that they

(a) will disturb the peace tumultuously; or

(b) will by that assembly needlessly and without reasonable cause provoke other persons to disturb the peace tumultuously.

Lawful assembly becoming unlawful
(2) Persons who are lawfully assembled may become an unlawful assembly if they conduct themselves with a common purpose in a manner that would have made the assembly unlawful if they had assembled in that manner for that purpose.
Exception
(3) Persons are not unlawfully assembled by reason only that they are assembled to protect the dwelling-house of any one of them against persons who are threatening to break and enter it for the purpose of committing an indictable offence therein.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 64.
Riot
64. A riot is an unlawful assembly that has begun to disturb the peace tumultuously.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 65.
Punishment of rioter
65. Every one who takes part in a riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 66.
Punishment for unlawful assembly
66. Every one who is a member of an unlawful assembly is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 67.

Muslim prayer recited at Toronto City Hall’s plaza

Muslim prayer recited at Toronto City Hall’s plaza

The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) partners with the United Way Greater Toronto “to raise funding for anti-poverty initiatives to fight homelessness, social isolation, and hunger.”

On Friday September 20, 2019 both organizations held an “open community event” at Nathan Philips Square. The fundraising event included a Muslim Friday prayer at Toronto City Hall’s plaza. John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of immigration Daniel Zanotti, CEO and President of United Way of Greater Toronto, were in attendance.

The Muslim Friday prayer recited at Toronto City Hall’s plaza included the recitation of the first chapter of the Koran four times:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is for Allah, the Sustainer of every creation

The Most Merciful and the Ever Merciful

Master of the Day of Compensation

It is only You who we worship and only You Who we seek assistance from

Guide us to the straight path

The path of those you bestowed favours upon, not those who have incurred [Your] wrath and those who have deviated

According to senior Canadian imams and scholars, “those who have incurred [Your] wrath” are the Jews, and “those who have deviated” are the Christians and people who behave like them.

On May 7, 2019 Toronto John Tory hosted an Iftar dinner (breaking the fast of Ramadan) in the Council Chambers with the attendance of Wael Shehab, the Imam of Masjid Toronto mosque, and Hamid Slimi, the Imam and founder of Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

An Imam chanted the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer:

Allah is the Greatest. (Recited four times)

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. (Recited twice)

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. (Recited twice)

Come to Prayer. (Recited twice)

Come to success/salvation. (Recited twice)

Allah is the Greatest.(Recited twice)

There is none worthy of worship except Allah.

Toronto Police’s new policy on race-based data will not include perpetrators information

Toronto Police’s new policy on race-based data will not include perpetrators information

On September 19, 2019 the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) approved a race-based data collection in all stops, searches, interactions involving Use of Force, charges, apprehensions and arrests. The race-based data collection will not track race data on those who commit crimes. In collecting race-based data Toronto Police will use the following categories: Black, East/Southeast Asian, Indigenous, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and White.

TPSB stated:

We are very pleased that the Toronto Police Services Board (Board) approved a new Race-Based Data Collection, Analysis and Public Reporting Policy today. The Toronto Police Service is committed to the promotion of equity, fairness and non-discriminatory policing in Toronto.
In fact, we began working on our strategy to guide the organization in supporting the “Anti-Racism Act” over one year ago.
This work continues and we will be engaging the community, and our officers over the coming weeks with the objective of launching our new Race-Based Data Collection Strategy in January of 2020.
The purpose of the new policy, and our strategy, is to identify, to monitor, and to eliminate potential systemic racism.
Collecting the data will allow us to analyze, and report on it.
It will allow the Service to be informed, to recognize trends, and to develop training and procedures to best equip our officers to do their jobs safely. With that, it will support our Members in delivering intelligence-led, bias-free policing.
It will also eliminate speculation about our interactions with the community – and allow both the public and the Service to learn from our experiences.
And while we will meet all of the requirements of the Board’s new policy – including the collection and analysis of data, transparent reporting on findings, and the development of action plans – I’m pleased to advise that we will be going one step further.
When we implement the Strategy, we will be adding “Level 3 searches”, also known as strip searches, in order to address what we heard from the “Golden Rule Report” from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
Our Strategy will be led by our Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Unit which we have developed over the last year and have carefully staffed with considerable subject-matter-expertise.
With over 4,000 police agencies collecting race-based data worldwide, we will also learn from their Best Practices to inform the implementation of our own Strategy.
This is a pivotal point in the history of the Toronto Police Service.
Our work today to incorporate an anti-racism approach to our policies and procedures, will have far-reaching and progressive impacts for generations to come.
Our modernization plan, The Way Forward, calls for us to meet the needs of a complex city, embrace partnerships and be where the public needs us.
And, our core values direct us to do the right thing, and connect with compassion. I am confident our new Strategy will meet all of these principles.
We continue to develop as modern police service that is consistent, transparent, inclusive and community-focused.

The new policy was unveiled in a document “Race-Based Data Collection, Analysis And Public” issued by TPSB. Here are excerpts from the document:

Guiding Principles – The Toronto Police Services Board… is committed to ensuring that the Toronto Police Service provides policing services in a professional manner that… promotes trust and confidence by working to address community concerns with respect to policing with racialized individuals and in communities… the Board recognizes the importance of collecting, analyzing and publicly reporting on data related to the race of those who are receiving police services… it is vital to track and publicly report on race-based data that is collected in the context of the powers police exercise… it is the Board’s policy that race-based data will be collected by the Service in all stops, searches, interactions involving Use of Force, charges, apprehensions and arrests…

The purpose of this Policy is to: preserve the dignity of individuals and communities; enhance measures of accountability; advance the delivery of police services that are not discriminatory or contrary to law; and, identify disparities in service through the public reporting of the information collected under this Policy…

A race-based data collection, analysis and public reporting approach examines the effectiveness of police intervention with members of the community, and not crime rates of the communities with whom the police interact.

To monitor and ensure that the Chief of Police and Service provide police services in a manner that does not discriminate based on race, contrary to law, this Policy directs the Chief to design and implement a system to collect race-based data with respect to the delivery of police services, using a phased-in implementation approach…

It is the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that the Chief of Police will:

1. Establish a procedure(s) for the mandatory collection, analysis and public reporting of race-based data that considers models developed by other jurisdictions for the collection, analysis and reporting of race-based data…

4. In developing these procedure(s), use only the following race categories (which are the

categories listed in Ontario’s Anti-Racism Data Standards), as follows:

a. Black

b. East/Southeast Asian

c. Indigenous

d. Latino

e. Middle Eastern

f. South Asian

g. White

h. Another race category

i. Prefer not to answer (applicable only to self-identification data collection)…

Identifying information means any information that alone, or in combination with other information, can be used to identify an individual. It may include information about an individual’s race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status, economic circumstances, and education, medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history.