August 17th, 2019

Community support appreciated in wake of tragedy

By Letter to the Editor on April 13, 2019.

We at the Lethbridge Muslim Association would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the unbelievable support we received from the citizens of Lethbridge in the wake of the New Zealand mosque shooting that left 50 people dead.

In particular, we would like to express our thanks to Mayor Chris Spearman, Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips, Rev. Erin Phillips, and last but not least, the members of the fine police force of the city, all of whom graciously participated in our weekly Friday prayer service immediately after the attack to express their solidarity and support for the Muslim community.

Our hope is that we may strive together as a single community to extinguish the flames of political and religious extremism and divisiveness to help create a more peaceful world of co-existence and mutual tolerance for ourselves, our children, and future generations. Our mosque was deeply touched by the gesture of goodwill we received from innumerable people in our city.

Dr. Abdel Baset Aborawi

President, Lethbridge Muslim Association

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24 Responses to “Community support appreciated in wake of tragedy”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    We all hurt when you hurt, after all you are a respected part of our community family.

  2. chinook says:

    It’s a tragedy that we wish would come to an end. But given the polls it probably won’t as mistrust towards Muslims continues to grow. Muslims need to be part of the solution and do far more to mitigate this situation. … Muslims claim that Islam is a religion of peace but the evidence is not there. Islamic countries have a horrific human rights record; women are oppressed, Sharia Law is imposed; daily floggings, beheadings and other acts of horror seem to be an everyday occurrence sanctioned by their religion. … … Christianity has evolved over the centuries but Islam remains in a time warp. Muslims favor immigrating to counties established primarily by Christians and then refuse to assimilate. This leads to huge social problems. People in the host country takes notice and many feel disrespected and taken advantage of.

    • snoutspot4 says:

      chinook. Not really the place to bring this up. In fact in this context your have successfully blamed the victims. Christianity seeks to take away my Charter rights every day. I hardly think you can absolve christians of oppressing women.

      • prairiebreze says:

        I was saddened to hear about the shootings but ultimately I have to agree with Chinook. And if we don’t bring this up now, then when? From what I know of this religion, its out of touch with the modern world; centuries overdue for Reformation. This has not happened and it would be a non issue if what they believe and practice were contained in their Islamic countries but they are migrating into the west as never before bringing their 7th century mindset with them. This is a big problem.

  3. IMO says:

    chinook looks to polls to obtain information about Islam and claims

    prairiebreeze relies on limited self-knowledge.

    On April 20, the Lethbridge Muslim Association is hosting its annual Open House and Appreciation Day at the Lethbridge Islamic Centre.

    Face-to-face interaction, education, and interreligious engagement are key to breaking the grip of Islamophobia in our country, in this province, and in this community.

    The best way to combat prejudice against a group is through positive personal interaction with members of the group. Equally obvious is the necessity of education. Islamophobic attitudes are usually grounded in ignorance or, worse, gross misinformation about Muslims and Islam.

    It takes moral courage to choose to understand and address phobic biases and prejudicial attitudes.

    One hour of personal presence can accomplish much.

  4. Pecker says:

    IMO I have one question. Why should I be ok with the fact that women are much lower in the pecking order than men in that religion? Ok 3 questions. Do you support their right to treat women however they want? Does the fact that I would never want to live under any of their rules make me Islamophobic?

    • IMO says:

      Pecker: I am not a Muslim; therefore, I recommend that you attend the Lethbridge Muslim Association open house to ask your questions regarding the Islamic faith and the role of women.

      The Oxford dictionary defines Islamophobia as “Dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.”

      The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition states that Islamophobia is an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against Islam or people who practice Islam.”

      Therefore, on the basis of these definitions, only you, Pecker, can answer your question.

      • Pecker says:

        You didn’t answer question number 2.

        • IMO says:

          Your question #2, directed at me, is not germane to this discussion.

          Therefore, again, I recommend you attend the Lethbridge Muslim Association open house.

          It is best to seek answers from those best equipped to give you correct information.

          • Pecker says:

            It is I am asking because I’m wondering how muck you are willing to overlook in your rush to be politically correct.

            • IMO says:

              Pecker: It could be equally stated: “How much are you willing to overlook in your rush to condemn.”

              Dragging out the ad hominem does little to advance your position.

              Moreover, to continue to interrogate me is tantamount to trolling.

              Attend the Lethbridge Muslim Association open house. Ask your questions of those most qualified to answer correctly.

  5. Pecker says:

    I am no fan of the religion but we are all humans and people shouldn’t be killed because of their beliefs.

  6. Aletheia says:

    Pecker, Islam is a complex religion no less diverse than Christianity, so I suggest we be a little careful about making grand generalizations about a faith with almost two billion adherents. There are interpretations of Islam that are misogynistic and others that many woman would find liberating, so it really depends on which particular form of Islam you are talking about. We could say the same about any other major religion. But to say Muslim woman are below the “pecking order” of men by default reflects a total ignorance of how religions operate, are interpreted, and continuously redefine themselves over time and across cultural boundaries. And please spare quoting us some passage from Muslim scripture that seems to justify in your eyes Islam’s supposed misogyny because as I said, it all depends on how one interprets the tradition.

  7. Pecker says:

    reflects a total ignorance of how religions operate,

    I think I understand religion just fine.It is used to control people.You would think religious people would hold themselves to a higher standard but instead they take the ends justify the means approach to wielding their power over others.

    it all depends on how one interprets the tradition

    ” Tradition and heritage are all dead people’s baggage, stop carrying it.”

  8. biff says:

    pecker – great points, and excellent quote – that is far more liberating than islam or christianity.

    aletheia – i cannot imagine the type of female that would find islam liberating, but it would seem to be one whose spirit has been broken and whose brain has been conditioned to accept that a female is a lesser being. or, perhaps it is a female that is a devout extreme christian, and subscribes to the glorious bible’s notion that woman is lesser.
    of course, who am i to tell another how to live, how to approach life, or whether one should have to see oneself as fully equal to all others. the line for me is crossed only when one’s universal rights become compromised. so, choose your path, learn from experience, share your heart, but do not f up my planet or subvert my right to freedom and to my body.

  9. IMO says:

    biff states:
    i cannot imagine the type of female that would find islam liberating, but it would seem to be one whose spirit has been broken and whose brain has been conditioned to accept that a female is a lesser being
    biff: Your arrogance and ignorance on the topic is beyond deplorable.

    10 powerful Muslim women who governed their countries as heads of state or heads of government.

    Muslim women and civic leadership in New York City

    From the Canadian Council of Muslim Women:

    Women Who Inspire awards brunch raises money to provide scholarships for Canadian Muslim women to pursue their education through the Lila Fahlman Scholarship fund. It is a wonderful tradition that adds support to the dozens of Muslim women who deserve to be supported with their education.

    The 2018/2019 Lila Fahlman scholarship recipients are:

    Saima S. Hussein
    Kaffie Abdirashid
    Alia Youssef

    In addition to the scholarships, CCMW honours Canadian Muslim women from diverse backgrounds that have achieved excellence in sports, business, education, arts, community service, and leadership. Challenging the conventional stereotypes, these women proudly serve their communities and are a source of inspiration for all Canadians.

    The 2019 Women Who Inspire award recipients are:

    Hifza Buhari
    Afua Cooper
    Fahmida Kamali
    Selda Kateroglu Sezen
    Seher Shafiq
    Tammy Gaber
    Samaa Elibyari

  10. Pecker says:

    IMO heres a couple more names for your list.
    Also in June 2010, 57-year-old father, Muhammad Parvez, and his 26-year-old son, Waqas, pled guilty to second-degree murder death of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez.25 Aqsa’s father and brother were charged with first-degree murder after she was found strangled in her family’s Mississauga home in December 2007. Friends said that Aqsa was experiencing conflicts with her family due to her refusal to wear the hijab, the Islamic headscarf worn by some Muslim women.

    In November 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada refused an appeal from Adi Abdul Humaid of his conviction for first degree murder in the death of his wife in 1999.31 Mr. Humaid claimed that his wife’s insinuations of infidelity caused him to loose control because of the significance of female infidelity in Islamic religion and culture.

  11. sikorsky says:

    Well I’m not religion but in mixup many times in this life, not just Muslims. But don’t bother to go to open house, you learn nothing. Cananda is open arms to all kind of people. maybe ask them why they come to Chritian country not Muslim country. Maybe ask why kids have prayer rooms in schools, and banning Christ figures and symbols. No problem their – I think problem ther. Now for better information go to London England hang around central awhile, then spend some time at Spreakers corner to get some info and you will see why the radical part of religion gives bad name to all. Problem is to figure out radical from sunday morning type. except Muslim is 24/7 all year dedicate to sharia life. This is power, I ask to be careful, this is problem inside and outside country where Muslim are. I have friends who are Muslim drink Vodkca with me – no problem with Allah so far I kno.

  12. biff says:

    imo – right on cue. always ready for a dressing down from you.
    any religion – or philosophy or approach – that dehumanises is unacceptable. and there are many religions and beliefs that do as much.
    despite your short-list of examples/names, the list of self-actualised muslim males is oh so much longer. i bet in countries that are primarily muslim, the list of “men who inspire” is really long. regardless, put me in the group that believes awards are for losers, and are hardly inspiring.
    i am not at all suggesting there is no hope for islam to evolve such that it sees male and female as equal…after all, even hypocritical/backward christianity has made some strides over the many centuries. but based on all that i have seen, it sure sucks to be a muslim female compared to a male muslim, no?
    i am also thinking, imo, seeing that one likes lists and such, that the list of females that have had their genitals mutilated in the name of islam is a little bit longer than the list of males (yes, i know, not all muslim women have been victimised by this most ungodly procedure, and that such wickedness has been practiced by other religions). i also feel that the list of females having been stoned to death for such things as infidelity, or being on the street without their master/owner, or for whatever massive transgression the male leaders decide is wrong, is a little longer than the list of stoned to death males. there are other obvious “imbalances”, but i am sure you get my point.
    go ahead and refer to me as arrogant, but do not forget ignorant, too, because i would also prefer to be a pet cat or a dog in western culture, if owned by decent people, than to be a muslim woman owned by a religion that has a long history of cruelty and heartlessness, especially with regard to females.

  13. Aletheia says:

    It is unfortunate that a letter sent in such an irenic spirit by the president of the LMA in response to a terrorist attack AGAINST MUSLIMS should provoke a debate about the ills of Islam. Amplify the sentiments in the comments above, and you are not too far from the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim social media screeds of Brenton Tarrant.

  14. biff says:

    clearly it opened a can of worms. we do not see many letters apologising for attacks perpetrated by muslims upon others. however, the nz attack was cruel and unacceptable, as are all cowardly attacks upon peoples. while i have many reservations with islam, as i do with all religions, i support the right of all to their thoughts. i understand that there are varying approaches to islam – but i am not aware of any, nor how widespread, that would be liberating for a female by non-islam standards.

    • snoutspot4 says:

      biff. Perhaps we should just permit women who follow the faith of Islam to choose what they wear and where they wear it? When women young and old are wearing polyester dresses over their layers of modest underwear and with a head covering are sweating in +38 in the summer do you complain about their Christian male bosses? Islam is not hurting women and children in Lethbridge but there is plenty on the other side to turn your “reservations about all religions” attention toward.

  15. biff says:

    i am fine to let people do as they wish, limited of course by the rights of another. to that extent, free will is absolutely essential, and to tramp on that is intolerable; i uphold the right of everyone to their free will. it is not free will when there is coercion, and i am not referring only to islam. if one is ok with being second class, then one may accept being second class. hard to fathom, but whatever floats one’s boat. and i get it – islam is not the only religion that loves hierarchy, fables, and controlism. christianity and the bible also provide excellent examples of rubbish. “christian” women are also still working to full equality. we only need go back a generation to be reminded of the many limits imposed on half our society.