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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Does Bill 60 Mean Leave Canada for Muslim Families?




By Kiran Malik-Khan

“Mom, are we going to leave Canada?” Shahzaib, my almost 10-year-old’s voice was laced with nervousness, his big brown eyes filled with a worry that can cut through a mother’s heart. But, my answer came gently, yet firmly.

“Yes, hon, if Bill 60 gets passed, and if it ever gets adopted by all of Canada; we would leave. In a heartbeat.”

 He got it.  Sheheryar, my older one was already asking follow-up questions.  I was glad, and relieved. They understood – being a Muslim came first. We had just discussed Bill 60. My sons couldn’t fathom the “unfairness,” of it.

And, unfair just begins to describe it.  Bill 60 is the secular values charter being advocated in Quebec.  It is Parti Quebecoi’s latest ploy to grab the headlines.  Funny how it manages to pummel basic religious values embraced by four major religions: Islam, Sikh, Judaism, and Christianity in order to create secular ones.  The separatist government led by Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville is championing the bill, which asks civil servants to get rid of “ostentatious religious symbols.”

Ostentatious? Right click the word and here’s what you learn:  ostentatious is a synonym for flamboyant, showy, brazen, and pretentious.  It is the opposite of modest, which is exactly the main reason for the hijab, and other religious “symbols” being discussed. 

Maybe Drainville can use English lessons? But, I digress.  I am unable to comprehend the chutzpah possessed by Bill 60 supporters.  What gives them the right to single out the hijab, a mandatory observance for Muslim women, or the Sikh turban, the Jewish kippa, and the Christian cross?  How is it democratic to set aside the rights of those embracing their religions in favor of those who stand for nothing?  There is no method to this madness.
And, in what can only be deemed as phenomenally ironic – Drainville banned the use of “racist” during the Bill 60 hearings now going on in Quebec.  So he’s not a racist? The supporters aren’t racists. Who’s the racist? If you can answer this question, you are surely smarter than I am.

Is this about emulating France? The Francophone in Quebec and their ceaseless yearning for the motherland has gone too far. Whatever unfulfilled desires Quebecers may have when it comes to their heritage, projecting them on other multicultural groups is simply uncalled for!

Nevertheless, here’s how you can help.  And, it doesn’t matter whether you wear the hijab, live in Canada, or what your political stance is – this is about basic human rights. This is what North America is all about – embracing democracy in its purest form. 

First things first

Quebec’s Premier Pauline Marois has recently said she’ll “listen to citizens,” when it comes to Bill 60.  Please e-mail her here.  Your two minutes will go a long way in helping her understand that this is making waves across the continent, if not the world.  Apathy needs to end where our religious duties begin.  This is for the sake of Allah.  Not tomorrow. Now.

There is also a petition going around, which is crawling at best.  Please take a moment to sign it, and add to the noise.  Every little bit counts. 

And, lastly there is a Facebook page and Twitter account of the same name:  Support Another, and while as a communications professional, I don’t think they are doing a great job – the Facebook page is limited to photos only, and the Twitter account is unkempt – they are still portals.  Using the #Quebec and #Bill60 hashtags on Twitter helps as well.  They have turned out to be effective.

Rocking the boat has never been easy.  Leading your daily life with ease is perhaps the single most important thing dear to many of us.  But, what do we stand for? Is it okay to shrug and ignore this because we don’t live in Quebec? How would we answer Allah on the Day of Judgement? How would we justify not caring for our fellow Muslims, and fellow human’s plight? We are to care for all – regardless of religion – that’s Islam.

Speaking of caring, I want to take this opportunity to thank Muslimmatters EIC, Hena Zuberi, who has been a big help MashAllah via Twitter. She said Labaik when I requested her help. And, immediately invited me to write this piece.  JazakAllah Khair sister, I’m grateful. 

So once again, please take a few moments to e-mail the Quebec Premier.  Please sign the petition.  And, share them too.  If we won’t care, who will?

[Ed. Note] Further readings:



  1. Avatar

    faiyaz shafique

    January 22, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    assalam alaikum…islam is the way of life not a cult.Though i am not a Canadian i want my voice heard for the fellow Muslims and other why to curtail the religious rights.Hijab is a choice for Muslims as Cross for Christians and so on for others.Let love and peace prevail in the society.Its high time Ummah to get united for the good cause and follow the sunnah of the Holy Prophet with all seriousness.Surely Allah will help.

    • Avatar


      January 25, 2014 at 3:16 AM

      “Though i am not a Canadian…”

      According to the democratic principles being invoked here in order to force Islam upon us all, you have no say in what happens in Canada then.

      “Its high time Ummah to get united ”

      There’s that old “us versus them” mentality being invoked. Yep, Islam uber alles – including the Canadian state, which you don’t give a damn about, only in forcing Islam upon Canada.

      Thanks for the admission of Islam’s VERY cultic nature, which you protest falsely in the first sentence. Nothing matters except for Islam – that’s the MARK of a CULT.

      • Avatar


        March 13, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        Even if it is a “cult” facts are facts and voices need to be heard. You have no point. Also, what exactly is being forced?

  2. Avatar


    January 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    As-Salam Alayikum, Well I will implore the reader of this note that he or she should look from her own perspective the effect of this Hijab and all those other signs in society. Is it affecting human being for not doing there official duties at work? Is Hijab or Religious signs affecting the development of the Country or contributing any form of bad disasters to the Queebec. If they can provide any proof for us that it’s hazadeous to the economy or it’s affecting there weather, then we know that it’s something that is causing problem for the Queebec environments and Religious people will find solutions to there problems because I can’t understand why someone will just bring up his own thoughts and feelings then impose it on people in this modern world.

  3. Avatar


    January 22, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    I see a grand total of one religious community being butthurt about Bill 60, despite the fact that it applies to everyone, regardless of religion, race and creed.

    What’s wrong with you guys? Grow up and join the rest of the secular world.

    • Avatar

      Omar Butt

      January 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      One religion? Do you really think Jews, Sikhs, Muslims or even Christians would agree with this bill? Do you have any idea how many people wear crosses on their necks or have tattoos of them? Give your head a shake.

    • Avatar

      Tanveer Khan

      January 23, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Maybe it’s because at least one religous community gives actually cares about its rights?

      • Avatar


        January 25, 2014 at 3:18 AM

        Its rights and ONLY its rights. It doesn’t give a damn about anyone else. Why all of a sudden do any of you feel like you have so many rights? Did you have all those rights in the countries you fled to go to Canada? And now you’re trying to impose the same oppression on your host.

        What else is new. That’s Islam – completely self-obsessed.

    • Avatar

      Merritt Skidmore-Hess

      January 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Actually speaking as a Jew. We hate this bill too.

      • Avatar


        January 25, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        I’m a lifelong vocal atheist and I hate this bill. I don’t want the government dictating what people are allowed to wear. I don’t want them remotely involved in matters of faith. I don’t want them deciding what constitutes a “religious symbol” (it could mean absolutely anything, as a pretext to persecuting / arresting anyone the government so chooses). I don’t want them deciding what’s a ‘socially acceptable’ religion and what isn’t.

        The withered old neo-con xenophobes behind Bill 60 can stuff it (while fingering the crucifixes hidden tastefully under their shirts, of course).

        • Avatar


          February 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

          Are you suggesting I can wear my “Free the Whales” shirt behind the service counter of city? How about my blue jays cap. Or no to steven Harper or down with the Liberals. Religion does not trump secular belief. That is the point being missed.

  4. Pingback: Sign Petition to Stop the Hjab Ban in Quebec, Canada

  5. Avatar


    January 23, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    y wld dey wnt 2 ban hijab,4 wat reason?do pple knw d definition of islam,hijab is wat Allah(d Almighty) has ordained,so wat right av u got 2 ban it?
    pls is dere a genuine reason?
    D best modesty is hijab
    wel,i see no reason bannin hijab if dere is no any genuine reason.

  6. Avatar


    January 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    You know at first this comment offended me then I thought about it and it makes sense. Islam and the good Muslims are also a target of extremists. I don’t know about other Muslims but me, I would not want to live in any Muslim country as they are now. Intolerrant and ignorant. Of course there are Intolerrant and ignorant people everywhere.

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      January 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      I apologise if I offended you. I did not express myself clearly in my first comment. I would be very sad if muslims did not feel at home in Canada. But the extremists that keep screaming about everything need to realise that if their own extreme laws were to pass, everyone would be in danger. Respect to you Junaid for understanding my point and writing with compassion!

    • Avatar


      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Dear Junaid,

      Apologies if I offended you and thank you for understanding what I meant. My comment was written clumsy but I assure you that it saddens me that muslims are worried about Bill60. Muslims should feel at home in Canada and I believe most Canadians like muslims. They are just worried about the extremists and the human rights abuses they see in countries were such people take over. However, I do not think that people should be banned from wearing their religious attire. This is indeed sad too.

      • Avatar


        January 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM


        Your points are completely valid. it is really unfortunate today that with all the poverty, corruption, injustice and inequality in Muslim societies some people care more about a cartoon!

        For anything that it may be worth, do take note that most of the so called Muslim countries and the mistreatment going on there isn’t a product of some Muslim movement but rather secular regimes that have in fact limited Islam as much as they limited free thought. from Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali, Saddam, Military dictators in Pakistan, Taliban , Gulf royalty etc were all in power with the blessings of the US (which sometimes puts its interest over its values). I know its rather off-topic but I find the need to say this, Taliban isn’t a representation of Islam. No its not extremist Islam either, its something else formed from a fusion of misunderstood and cherry picked Quranic quotes, a doze of Pashtoon honor culture, a little soviet invasion, Saudi funding and US approval.

        Thirdly, Majid Nawaaz din’t do anything wrong. that was probably calculated to insight some elements of the British Muslim society that he is using for he’s political ambitions, he is after all one of the “Insider guy who knows it all” running Quillum foundation.

        Fourthly, as a practicing Muslim I am all for religions freedom. this ban not only goes against the secular values of Canada and the religious freedom it stands for but sets a bad example to other countries. I think women should have the final choice in whether or not they want to wear the Hijab (or follow any other tenet of Islam for that matter) if Canada can use the law and the arms of the state to force thm not to, as France has recently done; how the hell do we go about explaining to Iran and Saudi Arabia that they shouldn’t do the same -with an opposite effect.


    • Avatar


      January 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Br. Junaid,
      Count me as a Muslim who agrees with you…
      …and I was not offended by DF’s comment either.
      I think the comment rightly points out exasperation many in the West or even among
      many of us Muslims in Muslim countries or Muslim communities in the West
      are feeling with extremists and ideologues among Muslims who have a voice
      WAY beyond their numbers, just as many of us in Muslim world or community
      are exasperated by Pamela Geller’s of the world.

      I would also never want to live in any modern Muslim nation…with the exception
      of Turkey…maybe. Further, while I think what’s happening to Muslim women
      in France and Canada is absolutely wrong and not befitting a fair and democratic society…
      I’m not signing this petition. I’ll sign it when I see a similar petition at the same time
      demanding Muslim majority nations let women make their own choices in dress as well.

      I’m sick and tired of Muslim double standards. There has to be some kind of consistent standard
      applied over rights, etc. that I don’t see often among Muslims. We just look out for OUR interests
      or the interests we happen to agree with. It’s this attitude, not just hijab, but this underlying
      attitude with everything that is causing a lot of the resentment! Ironically, the way we act or
      what we choose to act on has more in common with ideologues, extremists and many governments
      in the West rather than the people who are fighting for rights, preservation of liberties, etc.

      If Snowden was a Muslim and citizen of Saudi Arabia, you don’t even have to imagine what the reaction
      woulda been. He exposed Saudi spying on internet? “So what. It is the duty of the ruler to establish Shariah
      and maintain order. He’s a traitor and a kafir.”. 100% those comments would be made. Heck some fundoo nutjob would already be on his way to Moscow to kill him. Again, imagining this is not necessary tho. Just see
      what happened to Salman Taseer.

      • Avatar


        January 24, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        Dear ZAI and Shuaib,

        Thank you for sharing your views. It is of great relief to see such open mindedness.

    • Avatar


      January 25, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      All over the world, non-Muslims are the target of Islamic extremists. The best thing would be to stop being part of their numbers. You are the beneficiaries of these “extremists,” as they take over and force Islam on everyone else.

  7. Avatar


    January 23, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    I would like to clarify that my question about moving to islamic countries was targetted at the extremists who keep telling westerners islam will win and their western ways are sinful while preaching death for apostasy and other things. My heart goes out to the muslims who suffer from both extremists and islamophobes. But my point is that Canadians are not intolerant in general. They are afraid of the loud extremists that keep telling them their western ways are wrong.

    • Avatar


      March 13, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      Wrong and Right. Just matters of opinions really.

  8. Avatar

    Sarah S

    January 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I am a Muslim and I do not tell others how to live their life!
    I mind my own business and never let my opinions to be forced on others. Live and let live. Also, I have seen news on Quran being burnt and cartoons being made but I did not kill anyone because I know God is watching and he is way beyond all this that humans do on earth i.e. spread hate. I know there are good and bad people everywhere but we should not generalize everyone for being the same. You know I would love to move back to my country, all the killing shown on t-v is bull and overly exaggerated, we have good jobs back home. Doctors who came from back home are suffering to make a living here whereas when we were back home we had servants all over our houses!

    What does media show; negativity…

    • Avatar


      January 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Do not worry Sarah. People know muslims are good people. It is really just extremists they are worried about. I am sorry you are struggling. Why can you not move back to your country?

      • Avatar


        February 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        Does the koran tell people what to think or believe or accept as truth? Are muslims considered superior?

        • Avatar

          Parvez Khan

          February 22, 2014 at 8:38 PM

          Yes the Quran tells us the truth and to believe in Allah and His Messengers.

          The Quran tells us to live and die as Muslims. thus indicating that being a Muslim is superior in terms of faith and spirituality and success in the hereafter.

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      January 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Yes, media spreads a lot of trouble. We must keep calm heads and support all people, all religions and all orientations. Peace and understanding to all!

    • Avatar


      May 3, 2015 at 2:43 AM

      Please I have read your koran it is a hate filled killing manual. There are no moderate or extremist muslims you are all muslims and this evil does not belong in a civilized society. You like most muslims need to read the koran but be forewarned most leave after reading it.

  9. Avatar


    January 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    “Maybe Drainville can use English lessons?”

    No he can’t. The Charter was written and put forward in French. Perhaps you can use French lessons and lessons in the history of Quebec. Someone who complains of Quebecois “racism” without knowing or caring what the main language in Quebec is is in a dubious situation.

    • Avatar


      March 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Quebec is also a part of Canada and darn time they start acting like it this ridiculous! What people wear isn’t hurting anyone yet is a okay for woman to walk around half naked. Canada is suppose to be about rights and multicultured well those symbols are part of these people and yet were trying to take that away from them. Why don’t we just tear down all the churches/mosques as well….. Take religion out of Canada completly . should be focusing on more important issues! Ashamed to be Canadian!

      • Avatar


        May 3, 2015 at 2:48 AM

        It is hurting. Many women have no choose in the wearing of these oppressive garments especially in islamic countries but also in western countries. Girls have been beaten and
        honour killed for not wearing them.

  10. Avatar


    January 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Whoever wrote this petition is being dramatic and childish. The Bill proposes that Civil Servants not bear symbols of religious affiliation, it condemns nothing from the civilian populace.

    • Avatar


      February 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Finally some sense. However the muslims want to frame the argument as an attack on their person.
      Manipulation. They us the human rights ideals as a sword

  11. Avatar

    Obadiah Wright

    January 24, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    First of all, I’d like to make clear that the following is coming from a non-religious person. & I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon this, especially since I’m not Canadian…
    I would probably be a lot more outraged if this bill applied to common citizens rather than just Civil Servants, but still, this makes me shake my head.
    I wish I could find a source that linked to what this bill actually says, because these days it’s easy to get worked up over petitions written with one shade of grey (if you get what I mean).
    But symbols, “ostentatious” or not, are such a part of identity for some; they become part of one’s person. That someone might feel “disrespected” or “intimidated” by someone else’s identity is just a sign of ignorance. Would you not agree that respect, and demeanor should come from and be evaluated by someone’s attitude and actions?If instead a group suppress their identity to “service” people who might otherwise feel “disrespected” or “intimidated,” is that not also feeding to their, the general population’s, ignorance?

    • Avatar

      an idea

      January 24, 2014 at 1:38 AM

      Dear Obadiah,

      Maybe you should read this article where non-muslims are described as kaafir who will be sent to hell and do not deserve to be in anyone’s prayers. Bill 60 is not right. It targets innocent people of all religions. But it has come about as a result of religious people hating non-religious people simply because they are not religious. You might want to read the comments. They are particulrly hateful.

      • Avatar


        January 24, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Or you can speak to a Muslim like me for example and realize we are just like anyone else trying to make a life for ourselves. I respect everyone’s opinions and choices even if I would not choose it for myself.

        I am the RULE not the EXCEPTION.

  12. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 3:41 AM

    Islam is a religion of Peace. One of our women’s identity is to put on their Hijab. There is not misconception in this issue of Hijab, as we all know that hijab has no influence or impact on the economic growth or development of any country, then you don’t have to give yourself anxiety, concerns, or any problems.

    • Avatar


      January 25, 2014 at 3:23 AM

      Dear “Nonbeliever”

      Please read our Comments Policy Due to numerous violations of this policy you are being placed on moderation.

      Best Regards

    • Avatar


      May 3, 2015 at 2:53 AM

      They are a symbol of oppression. Females in islamic countries are forced to wear them. Females in free countries have been killed by their families for not wearing them. I can only image the number that are
      forced to wear these garments of oppression. So please know what you are talking about.

  13. Avatar

    Northern Lights

    January 24, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Canada is a largely secular nation & the province of Quebec particularly so. Quebec endured many centuries of almost complete control by the Catholic church that was eventually challenged by the “Quiet Revolution”. This bill isn’t directed at the citizenry at large but the provincial employes who are expected to maintain a degree of ambiguity & not express affiliation with any group but the state. While it might violate personal freedom of expression, most people know that when you take on employment, personal beliefs & self expression quickly get pushed aside in order to do the job & do it without controversy. Truthfully if Bill 60 were to be fully implemented, the province of Quebec would alter its flag & remove the large cross from it. Canadians have a right to believe in and practice a religion but Canadians also have the right not to practice or believe in a religion. We have the right to express our viewpoints & to question the viewpoints of others, but we can also expect to have government services that do not emphasize or promote any particular deity or path.

    ““Yes, hon, if Bill 60 gets passed, and if it ever gets adopted by all of Canada; we would leave. In a heartbeat…..He got it. Sheheryar, my older one was already asking follow-up questions. I was glad, and relieved. They understood – being a Muslim came first.”

    If your religion has more importance to you than this beautiful land you call home then perhaps you should leave…..there are far too many people in Canada & not enough of them are actual Canadians.

    & to the non-Quebecers who are trying to influence this from abroad; please mind your own business & stop trying to influence the ways in which Canadians govern themselves.


    • Avatar

      Northern lights2

      January 24, 2014 at 6:56 AM

      I love this!!!!

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    January 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    First I would like to clarify that I am completely against an all out ban on so called ‘ostentatiously religious symbols’, it is your liberty at stake here and claps to the author for the link to petitions, people that can be emailed etc. It’s great to empower your audience instead of just winding them up. However, there are some errors her that I must correct.

    Firstly “the hijab, a mandatory observance for Muslim women” is misleading. It is not mandatory for a muslim woman to wear a hijab except when in prayer, I would know because all of the religious people in my family are muslims without exception and have been for the past few hundred years and no women in my family has ever, I reiterate, ever worn a hijab. Come to think of it neither do any of my islamic friends. The fact of the matter is that faith is between yourself and god, your clothing doesn’t come into it, anyone who believes otherwise has clearly missed the point. Likewise, there is nothing immodest about leaving your head uncovered in an environment where the majority of the population does so, if anything, it is ostentatious.

    Secondly, “And, in what can only be deemed as phenomenally ironic – Drainville banned the use of “racist” during the Bill 60 hearings now going on in Quebec. So he’s not a racist? The supporters aren’t racists. Who’s the racist? If you can answer this question, you are surely smarter than I am” Ok, well, seeing as no particular race was mentioned here, no racism has occurred. Please not, islam, Judaism and christianity are all faiths, not races. Where a person of any race can chose to alter their religion to join any faith, you cannot change your race regardless of your religion. Clearly the author has fallen into the racial-religious stereotype so I would like to suggest that if anyone here is a racist (as determined by making assumptions about such as that they should belong to a particular religion based solely on their race) it is the author of this article.

    Lastly, as I have said before, the government has no right to all out ban any item of clothing, an employer has every right to expect their employees to dress in a particular way regardless of their personal beliefs or tastes. This is because in the employer/employee situation you maintain you right to choose how you dress by choosing to leave the job if you do not wish to follow the requirements that your employer has placed on you. Seeing as this bill only concerns public servants, i.e. employees of the government, the government has the right to ban any item of clothing in the work place be it a turban or t-shirts. If civil servants don’t like it, they can quit their jobs and move into the public sector. Of course, they also have the option of petitioning their employer, but ultimately, the employers wishes must be respected.

    • Avatar

      Umm ZAKAriyya

      January 30, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Sister , the only difference in opinion is regarding ” niqab/face veil” whether it’s obligatory or not .

      There’s no doubt whatsoever regarding hijab being fard because the versus are so explicit in the quran .

      If I wrote down everything here, it would be a long post :) so am posting a link ( you can find several other articles on it)

      Btw,’ to reduce vision’ is translated as to ” lower gaze “. We have to remember the quran Q&A revealed in Arabic , not English .
      The words khimar ( head cover ) is right there in the verse. Pre islamic women also worn some sort of khimar but would leave the ends open, so the neck and chest is not covered by khimar. ( you can still see many hindu and Christian women still wearing the pre-islamic khimar style)

      Allah’s command was to bring the ends of the khimar close , so as to cover the chest in the front . That’s how muslim women cover today – the headscarf( khimar ) is wrapped , not only to cover the head , but also the neck and chest .

      • Avatar

        Umm ZAKAriyya

        January 30, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Typo :

        Quran was revealed in Arabic

        ( not -quran Q&A …)

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  18. Avatar


    January 25, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    “being a Muslim came first.”

    Thanks for admitting what we all know: Muslims have no loyalty to anything or anyone other than Islam and the ummah. Muslims are free to be traitors wherever they may live. You’ve just proved it to be so.

    Being a Muslim comes first – damn the law of the land, screw the rest of the world. We’re taking over and subjugating everyone else. That’s Islam!

    And Islam is AGAINST democracy, so please quit trying to use that against us in your quest for global domination.

    Also, Islam is NOT a race, so playing the racism card won’t work with intelligent and moral people.

  19. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    January 25, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Let me show you the true Islam!

    The Promise of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) to The Christians of St. Catherine

    In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and requested his protection. He responded by granting them the following charter of rights. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in modern-day Egypt and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.

    The Eternal Promise:

    “This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

    The promise is eternal and universal. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment. The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties.

    The document is not a modern human rights treaty but, even though it was penned in 628 AD, it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.

    If someone wants to validate, please visit

    • Avatar


      January 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      This a great example of acceptance, however you said:
      “The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges.”

      These aren’t privileges, these are RIGHTS, we’re not doing them a favor if we abide by this charter, we’re fulfilling their rights.

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        January 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        It is a simple copy and paste from another site. I found it relevant in a way to the current article. Our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is called Rahmatul-Lil-Alameen. This convent is one of the many many proofs.

  20. Avatar

    love all

    January 26, 2014 at 3:38 AM

    This is esp to Nonbeliever. Your comment ” Islam is provoking people to commit violence, murder, rape all over the world” shows your misunderstanding the evil actions of man as the Word of GOD Almighty. Plse know that people’s actions do not represent any religion be it judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc etc. Lay blame squarely on the indiviiduals n groups of extremist.

    My adivice to u, is to quit being a fan of “islam hate sites” as your above rant of blatant lies, is being spewed frm such hate sites.

    Plse people of all faiths! do pray for ‘hate filled’ souls such as ‘Nonbeliever’ n let’s unite all peoples of this beautifull world.

    • Avatar


      March 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      To love all:

      You need to study your Quran and Muhammad. Any study at all of Islam’s beliefs, writings and history will show Islam PROMOTES violence, murder and rape.

      *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

      • Avatar

        Aly Balagamwala

        March 7, 2014 at 12:26 AM

        Dear Jack

        I am sure your comment is based on your sincere study of Islam’s beliefs, writings and history and not what you learned casually browsing Islamophobic sites. The numerous people who convert to Islam daily, really need to study up what they are getting into. Can they come and study Islam with you so they are enlightened?

        Best Regards

        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

        • Avatar

          Umm ZAKAriyya

          March 23, 2014 at 8:08 PM

          Who’s the one hating here ? :)

          Perhaps I would have done the same thing as you if I did not study islam and know what it really is .

          Have an open unbiased mind and start studying islam . From islamic resources , not anti-muslim hate sites .
          Good day !

    • Avatar


      May 3, 2015 at 3:06 AM

      Suggest your read the koran it is commanded that all muslims are to kill the unbelievers. Are you saying you do not believe in your own book. IS is following the koran and the hadiths to the letter so what kind of lacklustre muslim are you.

  21. Avatar


    January 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    If Bill-60 does get passed, it’s only going to affect Quebec(not the rest of Canada), so I don’t see why you have to leave Canada because of this bill, perhaps you could leave Quebec and move to another province if you really want to wear your hijab, but if think rationally, is it really conducive for you and your family to move to another province/country?Will be able to quit your job,sell your house and pull you children out of school and move to some place where they might have difficulty fitting in?I think it would be very unfair for children to just move elsewhere because of bill-60.

    One more thing i would like to say, you claim that the Hijab is a “mandatory observance” for Muslim women, could you cite any sources for that?I believe based on what my understanding of Islam is, the Quran does not command women to wear the Hijab, it only tells them(and men too) to dress “modestly”(a subjective term), so wearing the Hijab is purely a choice, however many Muslim women/girls i know of, get pressured into wearing it by their fathers/brothers/husbands or by other self-righteous Hijabis(not all of them are self-righteous).

    All of that being said I do not support bill-60 and believe in freedom of expression, however where is the “ummah” when Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and Iran aren’t given the freedom to wear anything but the Burka?We’re lucky that there are many noble non-Muslim people speaking for our rights, but there are far fewer Muslims speaking up for the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.

    • Avatar


      January 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      “We’re lucky that there are many noble non-Muslim people speaking for our rights, but there are far fewer Muslims speaking up for the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.”

      Afrin! Well said.
      …and the few brave souls that speak up get the Salman Taseer treatment!

  22. Avatar

    Matthew French

    January 30, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Though I generally agree with the writer, am I the only one who finds dealing with people with covered faces puts one at a serious disadvantage? Trust and empathy just go right out the window. How is it different to dealing with people wearing a hoodie and a bandana over their mouth, or a balaclava, both of which are considered HIGHLY socially unacceptable. Wearing a symbol I understand or wearing a non-obstructive piece of clothing. But let’s say a religion existed whose principal belief was that they had to carry knives. There is no way it would simply be allowed because of religious freedoms, because in the end the freedoms of the many outweight the needs of the few and there will always be more people not belonging to a particular religion than belonging to it.

    • Avatar

      Umm ZAKAriyya

      January 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      When many people wear it( overt religious symbols)as a part of their religion , and have good social behaviour , and no negative remarks about them in the media,the rest of the public do not associate them with anything harmful or unacceptable.

      Such as Sikh turbans( wrapping long uncut hair) in India , niqabs in Saudi etc

      In parts of coastal south India , many women wear niqab ( in predominantly non muslim areas), and it’s seen as something normal . You will see niqabis chit-chatting with hindu women at the bus stands , cracking jokes in the stores etc . All while their faces are covered in public!

      People are always accepting of other good people ( even if they carried knives as some Sikhs do)

      • Avatar

        Umm ZAKAriyya

        January 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        But yes , it does put niqabis at a serious disadvantage in places like America where people generally don’t get to meet/ befriend/work with niqabis . And with all that shown in the western media , things get even more difficult .

  23. Pingback: Places to live in Canada » Blog Archive » Does Bill 60 Leave average Canada for Muslim families?

  24. Avatar

    Teresa Kelly

    February 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Separation of religion and state is necessary for the peace of the nation and for the freedom and well being of all citizens.

    • Avatar


      April 9, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      You fail to understand the danger of Islam.

  25. Avatar


    March 13, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Canadian first Muslim second is the correct answer otherwise do let us know if you need directions to the airport.

  26. Avatar


    April 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Pass the bill then when all the Muslims leave repeal it and don’t let anymore in.

  27. Avatar


    April 9, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    I think the comments on here are disgusting coming from an adult! Canada is suppose to be welcoming hope for a better life, freedom. And adults are suppose to set examples for our children our future. How do we expect our future for our children to be better if we show them hate! Shameful are we human beings or animals!

  28. Pingback: Quebec’s Ruling Party Suffers Crushing Defeat – Despite the Anti-Muslim Campaign |

  29. Pingback: Canada: anti-Muslim party suffers crushing defeat | Alhudaa CanadaAlhudaa Canada

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#Current Affairs

My Heart Shook In New Zealand

Mohsin Ansari



One would imagine that a person would be dead-tired and ready to crash in his bed after a grueling, 36-hour journey from Christchurch, New Zealand to Washington, DC. And I will admit, that was the way I felt. Yet somehow, all my somnolence vanished as soon as my head rested on my pillow and I closed my eyes to rest. A wave of recollections fell over me: memories of the survivors, the emotions they expressed, and their feelings of an uncertain future as they planned their lives after the loss of their family members. These feelings instantly took away all the desire to get rest and sleep. I sit upright now and begin writing this reflection of a once in a lifetime experience- a voyage of grief and hope to Aotearoa- land of the white cloud as the indigenous people call New Zealand.

With lost baggage, long flights and too many connections, at times it seemed unlikely that my eldest son Moaz and I would make it to Jumm’ah and Janazah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. But Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted our prayers so that we could fulfill the guidelines set by our beloved, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). We were able to fulfill one of the rights of a Muslim over the others; that when he is sick visit him, and when she dies, offer her funeral and be part of her burial.

Hagley Cricket Ground was supposed to have a cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand that Friday. Commentators reckon that it would have been the final day of that test match. But the 22nd of March 2019, brought a much bigger crowd to this world-famous cricket ground than what anyone would have seen on the final day of that test match.

Officials and security directed us towards the VIP area as they wanted to pay respect to the guests who traveled all the way from the USA, Canada, and Australia. The environment of love, solidarity, and respect, coupled with the hijab-clad women standing in solidarity with Muslims in that enormous crowd, created an impact which cannot be articulated by mere words. Every single uniformed female officer was carrying their firearm while donning a hijab; creating a welcoming gesture in a rather somber and gloomy atmosphere.

I do not have the words to thank the leadership of Charity Australia and the Islamic Forum of Australian Muslims (IFAM) for providing us with logistics, facilitating meeting the families of the “shuhudaa” (martyrs) and arranging to visit those injured in the tragedy. ICNA, Helping Hand, and Charity Australia banners highlighting the slogans of “American Muslims stand in solidarity with Victims of Christchurch New Zealand” were the center of attention for thousands of local New Zealanders gathered in solidarity that day. Their hugs, sincere prayers and tearful eyes were the greatest gift that I want to share with everyone reading these reflections.

Right after Jumm’ah, the majority of the crowd attended the collective Janazah prayer of 27 of the martyrs. In those emotional moments, I met with the most courageous woman on earth, the wife of 51-year-old Shaheed Naeem and the mother of 21-year-old Talha Naeem, the two spirited souls who gave their lives to save others in the mosque that day. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She mentioned that her husband, Naeem, was a person who lived the life of a man of service, always ready to help others. She described Talha as an angel who was too pious and too noble to be away from Jannah too long. We heard similar feelings from Naeem’s mother (grandmother of Talha) the next day when we visited their home.

The visit to the home of New Zealand’s national soccer team player, Atta Elayyan (33), was not only emotional but also deeply inspiring. Atta lost his life and his father (the founder of Al-Noor Masjid) was severely injured during this brutal and hateful attack. There were several scholars from the United States, including Sheikh Omer Suleiman, in the visit to Atta’s home. We could offer nothing to console the brave mother of this shaheed, who greeted us with words of courage and wisdom. We had no words to accompany the tears in our eyes, except prayers for the most noble young man who helped so many in coming close to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Our visits to Al-Noor Masjid and the Linwood Islamic Center were also filled with memories of love, harmony, and reverence. There was a continuous influx of hundreds of visitors, not only from New Zealand, but also from different countries including, but not limited to, Australia, Fiji, and Canada.  Thousands and thousands of flower bouquets and other items of love were left by these visitors. I was really thrilled to see that local Muslims left many Qur’ans and flyers with basic concepts of Islam and addressing the common misconceptions about Islam for those visiting. I witnessed many people visiting these mosques were taking those Qur’ans and other books with them in order to learn more about Islam.

We also met Mr. Aziz, the unsung hero who repeatedly attacked the killer with different objects including an empty gun —which the killer had discarded. The terrorist fired on Aziz multiple times, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not only saved him, but he also forced the killer to flee from the Linwood Islamic Center. Mr. Aziz was one of the reasons why the number of casualties in this mosque was only seven, compared to the 43 martyrs in Masjid Al-Noor. We also met certain individuals whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved miraculously. A young man showed his trousers fenestrated with holes of bullets but had no signs of injury. The husband and wife who entered the premises of the mosque and only to be showered with a burst of 26 bullets while in their car, leaving it completely destroyed. Yet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved both of them while they took shelter in their vehicle.

The visit to the hospital’s ICU was simply heartbreaking but at the same time increased our resolve and commitment to help these families as much as possible. We encountered a Turkish brother who was in a coma for nine days and met his elderly parents, who spoke to us in the very little English they knew. The only thing which we could understand from their hushed voices was the request for du’a and tears of helplessness in their eyes. The 71-year-old father of a local Pakistani from Hafizabad, who had arrived two weeks ago to visit his son, was now on a ventilator fighting for his life. As a physician who has worked in ICU settings for a long time, I simply did not have enough medical reasoning which could have provided him any words of hope!! Similarly, I was not able to provide any glimmer of hope to a brother from Bangladesh whose wife will never be able to walk again and will be paralyzed for the rest of her life.

While I saw hope and felt resilience from every victim in that hospital, this hospital visit was brutally heartbreaking.

Lastly, I cannot imagine the pain, agony, and helplessness that the father of Mucad Ibrahim must feel after losing his 3-year-old son in his own arms. I gave him the longest hug possible, as he taught the whole world the meaning of Beautiful Sabr (Patience).

After seeing the devastation caused by the terrorist attack, and the work that must still be done to heal the community, Helping Hand USA, ICNA Relief Canada, and Charity Australia have formed an organization called the “Christchurch Family Support Network”. The operations have already begun, and our team is on the ground. The first group of mental health professionals with a background in Islamic Integrated counseling are set to leave to provide victims and their families immediate psychological assistance.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to accept our work, bring healing to the community, protect our brothers and sisters, and accept the shuhadaa’ in the highest level of Paradise.

Dr. Mohsin Ansari is the Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Chairman of Helping Hand USA (HHRD)


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#Current Affairs

Because Muslims Matter | Honoring The Martyrs Of #Christchurch

Hena Zuberi



As the days go by, it is easy to forget the names and faces of the people who passed away. The horror of the act eclipses their memories. We do not want that to happen to our brothers and sisters in New Zealand.

اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لِحَيِّـنا وَمَيِّتِـنا وَشـاهِدِنا ، وَغائِبِـنا ، وَصَغيـرِنا وَكَبيـرِنا ، وَذَكَـرِنا وَأُنْثـانا. اللهُـمِّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْـتَهُ مِنّا فَأَحْيِـهِ عَلى الإِسْلام ،وَمَنْ تَوَفَّـيْتَهُ مِنّا فَتَوَفَّـهُ عَلى الإِيـمان ، اللهُـمِّ لا تَحْـرِمْنـا أَجْـرَه ، وَلا تُضِـلَّنا بَعْـدَه

Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa’ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa ‘unthaanaa..

O Allah forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our menfolk and our womenfolk… [7]

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Grief and Giving Survivors Meaning After Attacks

Mashal Anjum



“Ummati, Ummati..” – Prophet Muhammad, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). 

Most Muslims collectively gasped in horror for the victims of the attacks in New Zealand the instant they heard of the news. As for the families, their lives have been ripped apart, and we felt their pain with them. Women have become widows. Children have become orphaned. As most victims were men, many of them fathers, now women will have to raise their children alone, and the children will have to grow up without the protection that only a parent can provide.

When my father passed away, I remember the initial stage of shock, which is usually when the family is surrounded by people. For some, the company will be unbearable, because it is a result of the loss of the one special person who was taken away. But when the company starts to dwindle, the emptiness closes in around the family, and the loss feels more pronounced than ever before. This is what I grieve for. For some of us, it takes years for the feeling of grief to feel more manageable.

Unfortunately, when someone has experienced something as violently traumatic event such as a mass shooting, they cannot cope with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I felt a sense of foreboding when I read of one of the surviving victims of the New Zealand shooting felt “survivors guilt,” because his father and brother were killed in front of him.

Just yesterday, I was horrified to read of the news of the suicides of two survivors from the Parkland, Florida school shooting. and imagining the state of their parents took the wind out of me. 

Most people who experience trauma do not die by suicide, but it does increase their risk, said April Foreman, a psychologist on the board of directors for the American Association of Suicidology. Knowing someone who has died by suicide also heightens one’s risk, she said.

“We know this is a rare, but complex reaction to trauma,” she said.- News Times

Then we hear about the suicide of the Sandy Hook father. 

Richman’s daughter Avielle and 19 of her classmates were killed Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Soon after, Richman and Avielle’s mother, Jennifer Hensel, both scientists, founded the Avielle Foundation: Preventing Violence & Building Compassion, a nonprofit that aims to prevent violence through brain research.

The foundation said in a statement Monday that Richman’s death “speaks to how insidious and formidable a challenge brain health can be and how critical it is for all of us to seek help for ourselves, our loved ones and anyone who we suspect may be in need.”- Washington Post

I pray that this is not the case for the families of the deceased, and they are able to see the beauty in God’s Plan since their loved ones are resting in an Eternal Abode with the best of people now.  

Imam Gamal Fouda, who gave the sermon in New Zealand a week after the shooting, mentioned a verse of the Quran, “Do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Rather, they are alive, but you perceive it not. They are alive rejoicing with their Lord.”

I started sobbing when I heard that verse. It is such an appropriate way to give a grieving person some peace and meaning when they are grappling with loss. We must remember that death is only a passage into the next life, and if we are lucky, that death will be an honorable one. For some, it will definitely be strange to hear that this kind of death is almost enviable to most Muslims. A clean slate- all sins wiped clean, because they died while praying, on Friday, the holiest of days, and during Jummah, the prayer that is said to wipe our sins clean from the previous week’s sins. They died beside their brothers and sisters in Islam. They died protecting each other.

My husband said in Urdu, “Allah Ta’la nay unsay bohot baraa kaam liya,” which translates roughly into, “God Used them for great work”, that the taking of their lives was a favor to the Ummah of Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). But in return, not only did they achieve Paradise for something they did not even see coming or bring about, but their martyrdom received some of the largest outpourings of love and respect from the non-Muslim community! Their deaths were the concrete proof about how targeted Muslims are by hate groups, and hated by racist and intolerant people.

On the Day of Judgment, everyone- mothers, children, fathers, brothers, and sisters, including all of the Prophets, from Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Jesus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) will all be worried about themselves, and all of the sins that they have to be taken account for in front of God. Mankind will go from prophet to prophet, and they will all say, “Nafsi, nafsi,” or “Myself, myself.”

But then, all mankind will go to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, who will say, “Ummati, Ummati.” My Ummah, My Ummah.

To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging 741741. 

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