At a Canadian Mosque, the Call to Prayer Rings Out Alongside Anti-Semitism

May 26, 2020 | Tarek Fateh
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While at least one Canadian politician has been boasting of her efforts to obtain permission for her Muslim constituents to broadcast the traditional call to prayer via loudspeaker, Tarek Fateh observes some negative consequences:

On May 16, one Firas Al Najim gave his own call to prayer using a loudspeaker in the parking lot of the Jaffari Islamic Center in the [Toronto suburb] of Vaughan, where he promoted the views of the Iraqi cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani and then launched into tirade against “Zionists.” . . . Al Najim didn’t stop there. He basically asked for the end of the state of Israel. . . . And then came the reference to the “lobbies” that supposedly frame Canada’s policies.

This is what Muslims who have fled the tyranny of Islamic regimes such as Iran and Pakistan had feared. And it happened sooner than anyone expected: the use of megaphones around mosques to spread hatred and to do so under the protection of city bylaws rushed through by a scared bunch of politicians worried that they might be tarred by that obnoxious word Islamophobia that is simply a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of anyone who dare critique the actions of certain Muslims or their clergy.

As for the Jaffari Center’s defense that it has no relationship with Al Najim, Fateh demonstrates that the claim does not hold up to scrutiny. Canadian Islamic organizations, meanwhile, shifted the blame to those concerned about Al Najim’s rant:

What was fascinating about this sad display of hate is the fact that Islamic groups, instead of denouncing Firas Al Najim, chose to attack a local [politician], Gila Martow, who had slammed the hatred disguised as a call to prayer. And in a demonstration of . . . bullying and political cowardice, it was Gila Martow who had to apologize to the mosque, not Faris Al Najim.

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