Toronto CAF President asks Mohamed Elmasry: "Who gave you the authority to prohibit my participation in Shariah debate"
Ali Mallah is President of the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Arab
Federation and a founding member of the Muslim Canadian Congress.
In this letter to the Toronto Star, he brilliantly challenges Mohamed
Elmasry of the CIC to answer as to who gave him the right to decide who can
and cannot participate in the debate over Shariah.
Read and reflect.
Aug. 30, 2004. 01:00 AM
Where is authority to limit debate?
Mohamed Elmasry (President of the Canadian Islamic Congress) describes the
Muslim Canadian Congress as "non-religious Muslims who have no right to tell
religious people what to do."
How dare he question my right to participate in a civic discussion about a
piece of legislation that would impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands
of Muslims, mainly women and children?
As a founding member of the Muslim Canadian Congress, I strongly protest
this false depiction of my religiosity. This is exactly what most Muslims
fear from their clergy - their self imposed authority to declare the rest of
us as good or bad Muslims.
Not only is this approach offensive to Muslims, but also denies the rest of
Canada the right to participate in this debate. It is at best tribal, if not
racist and segregationist.
When Elmasry says that non-religious Muslims have no right to tell religious
people what to do, is he suggesting that Canadian Muslims not respect the
laws made by lawmakers who are almost all non-Muslim?
I pray five times a day; I fast during Ramadan; I pay my obligatory zakat
(wealth) tax and no one has a right to accuse me of being non-religious. But
even if I was not religious, who gave him the authority to prohibit my