Archive Page 2

– Who Is Behind The Islamic School Being Planned For West Edmonton?

Many citizens of Lessard/Gariepy area have expressed their concerns after the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) made public its plans for opening a school in their neighbourhood. The MAC tried to silence them by threatening to sue them. Point de Bascule explains why the citizens are justified to do everything they can to stop this development.

Who Is Behind The Islamic School Being Planned For West Edmonton?
By: Par Étienne Harvey, Marc Lebuis

 Many citizens living in the Lessard district of West Edmonton have expressed their concerns regarding the opening of an Islamic school in their community by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. Its motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our constitution. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”.
Shortly after some citizens expressed concerns in the West End News about the background of the promoters of this K-9 school, CTV and the Edmonton Sun reported that the Edmonton chapter of the MAC threatened the local paper with a civil suit. Instead of trying to defuse the concerns of the citizens by explaining how their goals and objectives were compatible with individual freedom, the MAC’s leaders in Edmonton are trying to silence their critics.
Point de Bascule (Tipping Point) has been set up to expose the subtle ways used by Islamists to promote their agenda. The text that follows focuses on identifying the objectives pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood and it provides many links towards various statements made by its leaders in the past. Another text will follow in the coming days that will deal more specifically with the tactic of legal warfare frequently used by the Islamists to prevent any discussion about their agenda.
The concerns expressed by the citizens of Lessard are not only justified, they should be taken into consideration by the authorities. Up to now, the government has been silent on the issue. The citizens have no other choice but to challenge the Islamists willing to abuse the legal system in order to shut down responsible inquiry.
Read the rest….
http://www.pointdebasculecanada.ca/article/1400-who-is-behind-the-islamic-school-being-planned-for-west-edmonton.php

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Check the following article written by The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report :

Neighborhood Group Opposes Islamic School In Edmonton, Canada 

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– What is a Moderate Muslim Organization? (By Dr. Tawfik Hamid)

 Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an  Islamic thinker and reformer, has provided answers to the question, “what is a moderate Muslim?”

This blog is posted here in an attempt to understand what MAC as an organization believes and follows. Since they declared that they are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood ( http://www.macnet.ca/about/)we would like to understand which part of the MB ideology they follow. Dr. Tawfik Hamid oulines clearly what are the characteristics of  organizations that declares themselves as moderate. The post does not intend to point fingers at our Muslim neighbors. For many years we have lived here together in peace and harmony. MAC, however, is a different case. It publicly admits it is inspired by Al-Banna. Many of us who live in this neighborhood are concerned. We would like to know what kind of Islam MAC follows and teaches. 

According to Dr. Tawfik,  Mosque leaders, Islamic scholars, and organizations who want to be considered Moderates MUST clearly and unambiguously declare the following declaration in their media outlets and on their websites. Muslim moderates must post these principles in English and in Arabic in full public view on their websites and declare them in their media outlets. Failure to publicly post and support these principles should be interpreted as clear evidence that a leader’s mosque or Islamic organization must be considered radical. Dr. Tawfik provided a declaration for the  following beleifs:

 Declaration of Beliefs of Muslim Moderates

I (We) are Muslims who want contemporary understandings of Islam to replace currently predominant harsh and radical (Salafi/Wahabbi) interpretations of our religion. We therefore declare that: 

1-    Redda Law, the Sharia Law that allows the killing of Muslims who convert to other faiths, must be banned in Islamic teachings and in Sharia legal doctrine. Islamic countries that practice Sharia must stop the practice of this law and must admit that Freedom of belief and the right to convert to other faith or believe is a basic right that must be given to all Muslims. 

2-    Current mainstream Sharia doctrines justify the use of violence against women. They encourage men to beat their wives to discipline them. They allow women accused of adultery to be stoned to death. These doctrines are barbarically inhumane, non-egalitarian, and teach Muslim children to be violent. These teachings must be ended by reinterpreting the Islamic text that justifies such violence. 

3-    Traditional Sharia doctrines teach Muslims that they must engage in war so that Islam will dominate the world. When Islam becomes dominant, Non-Muslims are offered three options: to convert to Islam, to pay Jizzia (a humiliating tax), or to be killed. These doctrines run contrary to modern respect for diversity and for personal freedom of speech and belief. This understanding of Jihad that seeks domination of Islam over other peoples must no longer be regarded as an Islamic value and its teaching as a duty for Muslims must end. 

The early Islamic wars known as “Futohaat Islameia” were fought to implement this doctrine of Jihad. These wars therefore should now be regarded as un-Islamic and un-justifiable. 

4-    Jews are individuals who deserve the same respect accorded to all individuals. They should not be called “pigs and monkeys.” The Islamic teaching that Muslims must fight and kill all Jews before the end of days is totally incorrect and unacceptable as it does not exist in the Quran. All teachings that encourage anti-Semitic attitudes, violence or disrespect toward Jews must be declared un-Islamic. 

5-    Slavery is a crime against humanity. All Sharia laws that justify slavery in our modern times must not be taught any more. Muslim scholars must have a clear and loud voice against slavery. 

6-    Islamic Sharia laws currently permit the killing homosexuals. These laws also are advocating a crime against our fellow human beings. They must be declared un-Islamic and their implementation must be considered criminal.

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– Love Thy Neighbors: Night commotion at the Mall

August 16, 2010

Dear Sir:  

The reason I complained about what is going on at the Mall, is that on Sunday night I was awaken by a lot of noise and multiple cars leaving the mall after 12: 15 a.m.  The headlights on the cars were reflecting on my bedroom window and the walls. It was very frightening. I have never experienced anything like it.  I am extremely upset that no one prepared us or notified us about these upcoming night events.

I understand that these late night services are going to last for a whole month!  I definitely do not look forward to more sleepless nights.  I am also not looking forward to other religious or social night events that are being organized in the Mall (i.e., fundraising or other social celebrations).  The Mall was built to have several small businesses that will serve the community mostly during the day and with very little activity at night. This is changing now and it will impact our lives in a very negative way.  We,  and the neighbors who live just a few meters away knew that we had bought our houses close to a Shopping Mall and we were prepared to deal with the impact of having small businesses located in a close proximity to us. We did not plan to live besides a massive religious centre that will affect our lives days and nights.  MAC should have chosen an appropriate site for such intense activities, not a small residential mall that was not built for it and with neighbors who live just 2-3 meters away.

I have lived in this house for over 20 years and never experienced the anxiety that the mall is creating in the last few months.  In the past we had several businesses at the mall, i.e.,  restaurant and bar, but there was never such brouhaha going on.

It is already noted that MAC is not following the rules, there are “tons” of people on Friday parking all over the streets surrounding the area. The Ukrainian Church has been in this area for years.  They have organized summer barbecues or other social events, but never has the neighborhood complained about noise or unruly parking.  Their events were done by 11:00 p.m. The Church has always showed respect to their neighbors.

I would suggest that MAC ask their members to reduce their night activities and carpool so that the area is not overloaded by cars, trucks, etc.  There was a sign on their property that said  “Love thy neighbors” as it is cited in the Qu’ran.   May I suggest that it be practiced by MAC?

– Mosque Attendance: 2 Letters to the City Planning Department

Below are 2 letters that were sent to the City Planning Department:

1) August 13

2) August 28

To: Kenan Handzic
Cc: Karen Leibovici; Linda Sloan; Tim Ford; Gail Hickmore
Subject: Lessard Mall – Mosque attendants on Friday, August 13

Another Friday and another major infraction of the law  at Lessard Mall; this time however it comes  with a noticeable difference.  Today, Friday, August 13, we counted 468 attendants at the mosque – more than twice the number of seats allowed by the City.  Consequently, parking was a much more serious issue than in the last two Fridays.  This time, many cars parked along the two sides of 172 street, creating a very dangerous situation for drivers, especially when busses drove through.  If this situation continues, an accident is a matter of time. 

 We would like to add that several cars parked at the church’s parking lot.  As far as we know, the church has never agreed to that.

 Keenan, how is the City going to respond, given that MAC has been warned last week?  How is the City going to respond to a group that egregiously, and as a matter of course, does not hesitate to demonstrate their disrespect of the law?  MAC has stated on public TV, and in a letter to the residents, that they would like to be good neighbors and contribute to our community.  “As it is enshrined in our vision,” they told us in March, “(to establish an Islamic presence in Canada, that is balanced constructive and integrated, though distinct, within the social fabric and culture of Canada) we strive to be part of the social fabric of the Canadian society.”  Breaking the law and bringing chaos to our neighborhood is a strange way to show that. 

 The residents are getting more and more frustrated by the week.   They feel angry with MAC and the City.  It is one thing for the City to tell us that we have to monitor attendance at the mosque and report it to the City; it is quite another to have the information and not act upon it. _______________________________________________________________________

Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2010
To: Kenan Handzic; Gail Hickmore; Tim Ford; Linda Sloan; Karen Leibovici
Subject: Mosque attendance – August 27

 Dear all:

 On Friday, August 27, 389 attended the mosque for the early afternoon prayer.  This number is still below capacity , as we all know.  However, you should know that whereas the City has helped MAC to stay within the law, the City has exacerbated the traffic issues.  As we all know, the 4-worshippers-per-car formula does not apply in this case.   Many cars carry no more than one or two passengers.  As a result, the new by-law is a license to make traffic issues more serious in our neighborhood.  On Friday, the parking lot at the mall was full; about 20 cars parked at the church; and the two sides of 172 street were lined with cars, including at least one heavy truck.  Thus a permit that has made it easier for MAC to comply with the capacity limit, has aggravated the situation for the residents.

 I know that all of you are operating within the City zoning and by-law requirements.  However, I find it very discouraging (and sometimes depressing) how little has been done (and perhaps can be done) to protect the resident rights.   Many of us have lived here for over 20 years.  I know many of the residents in this neighborhood.  They are exemplary citizens, the bedrock of Canadian society.  Together, we have built ice rinks, playgrounds, coached sport teams, etc.  We paid taxes and never broke the law as a matter of course.  Respect, tolerance, and decorum are our core building block.  In short, together we have created a very healthy community, one of those that makes Canada the envy of most other countries in the world. 

 I am not the smartest person in the world.  So perhaps you can explain to me how come that literally overnight, a group that has done nothing for our community, that has not invested an ounce of sweat into the fabric of our neighborhood,  has been able to create so much trouble so easily?  Do property rights outweigh our rights?  Is worshipping more important than our own daily rituals (e.g., why worshipping is more important than the sleep of an older sick neighbor who is awaken late at night by the noise of the cars leaving the mosque) and values?   

 What are the obligations of the City to its citizens?

 With much respect to all of you,

– Letter to the Editor: Rezoning Proposal Faces Opposition

Rezoning Proposal Facing Opposition (Full version)

Published by:  West End News August 16, 2010

By :   Concerned Residents of Lessard/Gariepy Community

We are a small, quiet community with a friendly and neighborly manner.  Most of the residents have enjoyed a welcoming attitude in this ethnically diverse community. In March, 2010, residents who live close to the Lessard Shopping Mall received a letter notifying them that the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) had applied for the rezoning of the Mall to include a K-9 Private Islamic school.  MAC neglected to inform the residents that, in February, they had started a mosque on the site and that they intended to provide a variety of other religious, social, and cultural services to the Muslim community (e.g., Qur’an Memorization School, weekend Arabic and Islamic classes, after-school programs, youth centre, summer school, day camps, banquet Hall, retail stores).  The MAC plan would change our community from a quiet residential one to a busy thoroughfare.  Our little community is about to be overwhelmed by traffic flowing from other parts of the city to a small strip mall that was built to serve a small number of businesses and their clients.

The Residents of Gariepy neighborhood are concerned about this plan.  It is likely to change the Mall from being a small commercial strip shopping centre to a massive religious, educational and cultural Islamic centre.   Our opposition to the rezoning application is based on three concerns:

1. The expected large volume of traffic into the area;

2. The availability of sufficient parking space for the fully functioning Center;

3. MAC’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

MAC has stated that they expect to be able to attract and serve 1300 to 2300 worshippers from all over the city ( https://lessardcommunity.wordpress.com/ ). Such a plan would create much more traffic in the area.  A parking lot with 160 stalls would not be able to accommodate all the cars necessary to transport so many people. In the last few Fridays, the parking lot has already been insufficient to accommodate all the cars.

Similar to other Islamic Centers/mosques, the community expects that this mosque will attract more and more members in the coming years. At present, the mosque is allowed to serve only 200 worshippers. Is it possible that MAC invested more than five million dollars to buy a property that would serve only 200 people? The concern is that membership will grow significantly in the next few years, and the neighborhood is likely to experience even more traffic and parking issues.

The size of Lessard Mall is 3.2 acres.  In Edmonton, an average elementary school is built on about 8 acres. This site is too small to provide for appropriate playground and sport fields. The community is surrounded by three schools that are located within a short distance from Lessard Mall – Centennial, Talmud Torah, and Our Lady of The Prairies.  Bus traffic is already very high in our area. Adding a fourth school will increase the traffic volume and the demand for parking that could not be accommodated in the small site, making a difficult situation an unbearable one. 

Recently a number of schools in Edmonton were closed and many more have significant surplus space that could easily accommodate the 150 students proposed for the school.   MAC should consider the use of these facilities, which are designed to accommodate school age children. They have already been zoned for a school and they offer the required playing fields which are not available at the Lessard Mall site.

In addition, across from Lessard Mall there is another religious centre — St. Anthony’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  During religious events, traffic is already high and parking in the neighborhood is an issue.  The proposed Islamic Centre will further aggravate the situation.

We have a tolerant and orderly community in Gariepy, where all of us have lived in respect of one another.  Our church and the nearby synagogue have cooperated and worked together in the spirit of harmony.  We wish to welcome the same respectful neighbors from among the Muslim community.  However, MAC has listed itself as being tied to the Muslim Brotherhood (http://www.macnet.ca/about/).  MAC states on its web site that it’s “roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early 20th century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. … MAC adopts and strives to implement Islam . . . as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.”   The Muslim Brotherhood is a political group, who calls for an Islamic political and social system and opposes Western political and cultural influences. The group’s political activity has been described as evolving away from modernism and reformism towards a more traditional stance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood).

Given the above, we would like to know what the new Center will be preaching.  We do think it is fair-minded for the Center to ask what our church and synagogue are preaching.  Our position is tolerance, acceptance, multi-culturalism, democracy, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of demonstration, women’s rights, and minority rights.  Do the Center’s spiritual and administrative leaders take the same view?

Click below to check our ad (published in the West End News):

ad_Stop the Rezoning

– Updates: Lessard petition campaign

Here is the latest update regarding the Lessard Petition (June 21, 2010)

–         We have an overwhelming support from the residents of Gariepy Lessard rejecting the proposed rezoning of the Lessard Mall

–         We had multiple meetings with the city officials from the planning and development office and city councillors.

–         We have presented a factual truthful data supporting our arguments that the proposed project will generate significant traffic and parking issues.

–   Flyer Campaign has been launched.  We will be dropping flyers in ever mailbox in Gariepy/Lessard neighborhoods and beyond

–         The process through the city takes usually few months and we will update you regularly.

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– Share your concerns about the rezoning proposal

  • Call the city to voice your concerns:   780-944-0123

  • To sign the petition  please call:            780-619-5951

  •  To join our mailing list-  email:  

            lessardcommunity@gmail.com  

              (Please provide your name, email and home address)

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