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Author: iqradotca

Project Ramadan helps Muslims in need

(August 26, 2009) – Toronto’s Muslims are being asked to help local families in need during Ramadan by sponsoring ‘Iftaar Baskets’ through the Project Ramadan initiative. Project Ramadan is being organized by the MPR Community Group in conjunction with the Muslim Welfare Centre. “These baskets are equipped with a month’s worth of ingredients that will help one family of 4 to 5 people create its own Iftaar (a meal with which the family can break their fast) for a period of month,” Ayesha Syed-Rashid of Project Ramadan Team told Iqra.ca. Each ‘Iftaar basket’ costs $60. With the donations received, Project Ramadan will create food baskets and donate them to the Muslim Welfare Centre in Toronto for distribution to needy families. “Our goal is to get the community involved in supporting families-in-need during this holy month of Ramadan,” Syed-Rashid said. “We want to create an outlet for people to “do good” during this month.” The MPR Community Group was formed three years ago by a group of volunteers who share the common goals of creating social awareness and instigating positive reform in the Muslim community. Their first community event was titled ‘Discover T-Dot’ and raised over $5,000 for the Second Harvest and Daily Bread food bank. The group is hoping that Project Ramadan will also create awareness on poverty issues around the GTA. There are 6,000 families accessing the services...

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Man reported abducted found and charged with Public Mischief

(August 25, 2009) – The Toronto Police Service is thanking the public for their assistance locating a missing man. Furqan Muhammad-Haroon, 22, of Toronto, was reported to have been abducted on Saturday, August 22, 2009. (See report below) He was located in St Catharines, Ontario on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. After further investigation, no abduction occurred as reported. Muhammad-Haroon, 22, of Toronto, has been charged with Public Mischief. He is is scheduled to appear in court in east-end Toronto on Wednesday, August 26, 2009, at 10 a.m. Muslims arriving for the nightly Taraweeh prayers at the two large Islamic Centers in north-east Toronto, the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and the Islamic Institute of Toronto, were shocked by the news. Furqan Muhammad-Haroon is a former student of the Islamic Foundation School and had made the pilgrimage with the Islamic Intitute’s Hajj group. “I’m glad he is safe but shocked that he could have done this,” Yahya Qureshi, principal of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto School, told the Toronto Star. —————————————————————————————————————— Toronto man kidnapped in broad daylight (August 24, 2009) – A Toronto man was kidnapped by armed gunmen while driving in the east end of Toronto on Saturday According to a Toronto police bulletin, “Furqan Muhammad−Haroon, 22, was driving his car in the Midwest Road/Midland Avenue area, when three men, one of whom was in possession of a gun, forced...

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A Portrait of Ottawa’s Muslims

(August 25, 2009) – The Ottawa Citizen newspaper has focused it attention on the city’s Muslim community in a special report in last Saturday’s edition titled, Islam, Here and Now. The Citizen’s Faith and Ethics Reporter, Jennifer Green, conducted more than 30 interviews for the report on Ottawa’s Muslim community whose population has swelled to 65,000 members in less than three decades. “The median age among Muslims is a young and fertile 28, compared to the national median of 38.8.,” according to the report. According to Green she “found a community both bound and fractured by unprecedented stresses: faith torn between modernism and tradition; immigrants caught between their old culture and this one; women deciding for themselves what it means to be Muslim, with or without a hijab. Some parents fear their Canadian-born children will abandon Islam, others that their children, especially boys, might get alarmingly zealous.” A great segment of the report deals with the community building efforts of Azhar Ali Khan, a distinguished community member, who has been attempting to bring about cooperation among the many mosques and community groups in the city. Read the report at the Ottawa Citizen...

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“Where is home, Ma’am?” – Reflections of a new Canadian

(August 22, 2009) – I was returning from a short road trip to the U.S. to attend a friend’s wedding. This is a routine question that the border officer asks every person presenting a Canadian passport to enter Canada. However, answering this question made me experience flashes of memories and intense mixed emotions that have lasted with me till the day I’m writing this article, a week after he said it. I immigrated to Canada four years ago, and just recently celebrated my Canadian citizenship. This past trip to the U.S. was my first carrying the Canadian passport. I immigrated as a skilled worker, and so I feel about my Canadian citizenship the same way I feel about my PhD – I’ve worked hard to earn it because Canada’s immigration laws welcome highly skilled immigrants. Hence, I feel entitled to be treated equally in the same way as other fellow citizens who were born in Canada. After all, no one chooses where to be born, but I chose Canada as a country to settle in and now call it home. I always think about the question of “homeland” and “belonging to a place”. I was born in one city (City 1) decided by my parents who had the luxury to choose where their offspring would be born. I grew up from birth in another city (City 2) where I...

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Canadian Muslims Start Fasting on Saturday

(August 21, 2009) – Canadian Muslims will begin Ramadan, the month of fasting, on Saturday August 22, 2009. From Vancouver to St. John’s, the majority of the country’s Muslims will begin fasting tomorrow. The national organizations, ISNA Canada, ICNA Canada and MAC (Muslim Association of Canada) are following the decision of the Fiqh Council of North America which had previously declared the first day of Ramadan as Saturday, 22 August. The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) recognizes astronomical calculations as an acceptable Shar’ia method for determining the beginning of lunar months. Muslims following the position that the actual local sighting of the new crescent signals the beginning of the month have also declared the first day of Ramadan as Saturday. The Hilal Committee of Metropolitan Toronto and vicinity has confirmed late this evening that their member organizations will begin the month of Ramadan tomorrow: “Based on confirmed verified reports, the Hilal Committee of Toronto has declared the 1st of Ramadan 1430 to be on Saturday 22 August...

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