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Author: iqradotca

Tear Down These Walls

BY MUNEEB NASIR It takes specific circumstances to highlight absurdities in the practices of certain Muslim groups. I attended a fund raiser this past weekend that was held to assist the victims in Gaza. The event was organized by a few mosques that are culturally orthodox in dealing with their membership. On arrival at the reasonably elegant banquet hall where the program was held, men and women were being directed past ‘checkpoints’ through separate entrances. The banquet hall was divided by a ‘separation wall’ – men into the ‘neighborhood’ and women and children into the ‘camp.’ ‘Diplomats’, including female politicians and politicians’ wives, were ushered into the friendly ‘neighborhood’ with female attendants providing services. The women and children could not engage in the proceedings and were not to be heard, ‘sisters, keep quiet and listen!’, very much like their Gazan sisters whose images were being projected onto the video screens. Someone looking in from the outside would have thought that the organizers were brilliant in putting on an enactment to highlight the oppression and injustices that Palestinians have been enduring for sixty years. Publicly held relief events should be much more than fund raisers for collecting monetary contributions. They are to be a remembrance (dhikr) to honor the dignity of the oppressed, a supplication (dua) for the victims of injustice and an opportunity for us to attain goodness by...

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A Great Loss to the Muslim Art Community

BY TAHA GHAYYUR I write this message with a heavy heart. I can recall his beautiful smile and extraordinary energy in lifting people’s spirits. He was a performing artist of remarkable calibre. He was the leader of the Fletcher Valve Drummers, who were first introduced to the Muslim community at MuslimFest 2004. Dale (Jamaluddin) Marcell, who embraced Islam about 3 years ago, has passed away at his home in Kitchener, ON, last night (Dec. 10, 2008). He was in his mid-50’s. The meaning of his Muslim name, Jamaluddin (“Beauty of the Deen”), did not only reflect in the beauty of his personality, but also in the beautiful art he so passionately shared with the world. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon (To God we belong and to Him we return). May Allah erase his past mistakes and give him the glad tidings of Paradise, Ameen. Many of us could recall his public declaration of Shahada (acceptance of Islam) at MuslimFest 2005 as he shared the stage with his drumming companions and Br. Dawud Wharnsby: “I love Islam and I love Muslims!”. Born and raised on a farm on the St. Lawrence in Iroquois, ON., Dale Marcell, who was of Metis descent, had always been drawn to the use of drumming in Aboriginal cultures for emotional and spiritual healing. The layers of rhythm and energetic percussions of the Fletcher Valve...

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Transition and Transformation

By  Muna Ali, Muslim Presence Living rushed lives juggling demands and deadlines, we are always thinking of the next moment; neither living in the present one, nor reflecting on the one that just passed. Few among us are those who lead a life of self-conscious purpose; the rest of us sleepwalk through the trance that is our unexamined lives. As we busy ourselves with climbing career ladders, obtaining the latest gadget we “need,” or complaining of ills of the world and waiting for others to cure them, the days of our lives pass by. We are left often dissatisfied and in search for something we cannot even name. It is no wonder that depression and loneliness are pandemic. Our relationships with family, friends, self, and God are often not what we hope them to be.  Try as we might, we can’t seem to have them work. Family members try our patience and the limits of love…the many friends we think we have disappear in difficult times…we fall short of the self-improvement plans and goals we set for ourselves. (READ...

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Medical Students Lend Hand and Hearts to Homeless

By Dr. Taufik Valiante On Friday February 20 at the University of Toronto Medical Science Building, a group of aspiring doctors being interviewed for a position in the medical class of 2013, were expounding on their commitment to help others. At the same time and not too far away, a group of medical students weremaking good on these very societal obligations as they prepared almost 200 lunches for distribution to homeless shelters throughout the downtown core. This project, created by the Muslim Medical Student Association (MMSA) at the University of Toronto and supported with funds from the U of T Medical Society, included students from all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and years of training. The purpose of the annual “Sandwich-Run” is to raise awareness of the growing problem of homelessness and hunger in Toronto and is one of anumber of community initiatives taken on by the MMSA. Some of the group’s other events include a Fast-A-Thon to raise money for Canadian Feed the Children (CFC), where people of all faiths fast for one day during Ramadan and donate their lunch money to the CFC; and supporting the Orphan Sponsorship Program of the U of T Muslim Students Association, which helps abandoned children in developing countries. According to MMSA president Tarek Abd El Halim, “…advocacy [is] one ofthe most important roles of being a competent physician … [it] goes hand in...

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The Good Samaritan redux

A little more than 10 ago, just after I’d been diagnosed with cancer, my wife and I moved to a new residence. As word of my disease spread, friends started calling less and less, or not at all. Some would ask if they could help, but never followed through. Others offered excuses, but still stayed away. It was tough but we understood: Cancer scares people. (READ...

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