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After sneaking mosques in public schools, Islamists now eye prayer rooms in Government offices as politicians cower in fear

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  • Tarek Fatah
    A bid to convert a 12th floor sick room into a Muslim pray area at a downtown office of the province’s Attorney-General s ministry was nixed. The bid has
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2011
      A bid to convert a 12th floor sick room into a Muslim pray area at a downtown office of the province’s Attorney-General's ministry was nixed. The bid has angered Toronto Hindus and others who want religion-free workplaces and schools.
      September 27, 2011


      Ministry of the Attorney General nixes request for Muslim prayer room
      The Toronto SUN
      A bid to convert a sick room into a Muslim pray area at a downtown office of the province’s top lawmakers has been nixed by some senior Ontario government officials. A proposal by a Muslim employee to turn the room used by Ministry of Attorney General employees on the 12th floor of 655 Bay St. as an Islamic prayer room was rejected earlier this year, according to concerned workers who feared dismissal if their identities were revealed.
      The bid was turned down last June at an “employee engagement meeting” attended by about seven staffers, including department heads, union officials and other workers, staffers said. 
      “We were taken back by the proposal,” one ministry veteran said. “The room is used by anyone on staff who is not feeling well.”
      Officials of the Attorney General said they were looking into the issue on Monday. The request for an Islamic prayer room in a public office has angered members of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy who claim religion should not be tolerated in the workplace.

      “A sick room is there for a reason,” said Advocacy director Ron Banerjee. “Religion should not be playing a part in government.” The group, with the Jewish Defense League and others, have been protesting against Muslims students being allowed to pray under the guidance of an imam at Valley Park Middle School, on Overlea Blvd., on certain Fridays. “I think this is a bad precedent,” Banerjee said. “Other religious groups will soon be demanding a place to pray in other government offices.”


      The Ontario government last July sent a memo to employees telling them to be “sensitive” to their Muslim co-workers during the month of Ramadan, which was last month, because they would be fasting and praying from dusk to dawn.
      Managers were told to provide Muslims with a safe place to pray and that they will be using the bathroom more because they have to clean themselves before they worship.


      The Ontario Public Service, which has about 120,000 unionized employees, was selected one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2011 by an Internet job-search website. With the formation of a diversity office in 2008, it has increased employee training and created a “quiet room” to help meet employees’ religious and spiritual needs.


      Tory Leader Tim Hudak downplayed concerns raised by some employees over what they consider preferential treatment. Hudak doesn’t think its unfair workplace treatment.


      “One of the values we hold dear as Ontarians is equal treatment for all,” Hudak said, drawing a link to the Liberals’ lightning-rod pledge to offer what he called an “affirmative action tax credit.”


      “I think people are respectful (as long as) you get (your) work done,” he said. “It’s not my job to tell them what kind of meals to serve or what time of day (to do it).”

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