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Canadian Muslim Union hosts a Conversation with Tariq Ali

February 7, 2007

letter to The Toronto Star published 2007/02/07

re. Islamic leader under fire
(letter as submitted)

I am no fan of Zafar Banglash but I have to take exception to the uproar over the building of a new mosque. It's not as if Islam is the only religion with a "conservative" or "fundamentalist" segment, after all.

Would the same fuss be raised over the building of a new Roman Catholic church? Isn't the Pope an authoritarian who relegates women to a secondary role and who speaks against people based on their sexual orientation? Doesn't his Church threaten political leaders with religious sanctions if they vote against his idea of morality?

Or what if it was a synagogue? Aren't there a lot of Jews willing to forgive Israel of almost any crime as it continues to illegally occupy Palestine? And again, aren't there Jewish sects whose outdated views on women and homosexuals mirror those of many Christians and Muslims?

To be clear, I am no friend of any fundamentalist. But this is Canada and we have freedom of religion and freedom of thought. Granting approval for the building of a house of worship must be done without considering which religion or religious group is making the request. The battle for hearts and minds should not take place in a city planning committee.

Gary Dale, Toronto

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