More than 600 people showed up at the North American Muslim Foundation on a recent Saturday to hear a debate over secular liberalism in Islam.
It would have been something of a face-off. The prospective debaters, Tarek Fatah, author and self-described secular Muslim, and Sheharyar Shaikh, president of NAMF and a conservative imam at Masjid Qurtabah, are known polemicists who have not shied away from very public disagreements in the past.
In fact, the event only came about after an open challenge to Mr. Fatah was published late last year by Mr. Shaikh, who called on the controversial author to publicly defend his moderate views, which have been called unIslamic by some in the Canadian Muslim community. Mr. Shaikh — who has openly defended polygamy and opposed secular education for Muslims — is among them...And you mean to say that the Trillium Foundation has no problem giving these folks money to build a sharia-compliant, er, sorry, a "culturally-sensitive" gym?
Some little Trillium bureaucrat really messed up--big time.
Update: Found this info online:
About Masjid Al-Qurtaba
35000 S.Ft. industrial unit recently acquired by North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF). Presently only Jummah prayers are held at 1:00 PM. facility is big and part of it is used as Muslim Kids junior school. A Gym will be added shortly. Youth are welcome to participate in games/sports that will become a regular activity in near future. Please support NAMF to make it a dynamic and vibrant organization.
Update: Jewish, Hindu and Christian organizations also received money from Trillium, but the recent offical announcement rather misrepresents the NAMF grant:
North American Muslim Foundation
$150,000 over one year to renovate industrial space in Scarborough for use as a gymnasium to make it available to the broader community, as well as for several ethnocultural communities. Current users include those who wish to have recreational activities in their first language, such as Urdu, Hindi, Mandarin and Somali.That "industrial space in Scarborough," as we know, is a mosque. But why try to hide it, and why make it sound as though non-Muslims will make use of a "culturally sensitive" mosque gym?