Hopefully, many of you may remember the recent 'Mosquteria' controversy that took place in Toronto just a couple of weeks ago. If not, don't fret! We'll fill you in.
At a Canadian public school, known as the Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students gather for a good 40-50 minutes every week on Fridays, during the school lunch hour break, to observe Friday congregational prayers.
Islam is composed of five essential pillars which cannot be compromised unless under special (or severe) circumstances. One of the five pillars is 'Salah', the ritual prayer that must be performed by Muslims at least five times per day, each at its own specified time. Noon time just happens to be one of the times of day during which Muslims must perform their Salah.
According to Islam one must begin to pray at the age of seven, after which at age ten the child must be steadfast in prayer. An authentic Hadith from Abu Dawood entails the following injunction:
Amr Bin Shuaib reports: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: "Command your children to pray as soon as they are seven years old; beat (lightly) them when they are ten, if they do not pray, then separate their beds."
Indeed, one can see from the above statement that the daily Salah is an important tenet of Islam, for the young and old, male and female. Though the students at the Valley Park Middle School may not be able to pray the noon prayer each and every day, they have set aside Friday noon for congregational prayer - a right guaranteed to Canadian students who wish to observe religious prayer. These prayers are paid for and organized by the Muslim community and are not funded by tax dollars as some would like to project.
A secular Hindu (supposedly) man who goes by the name of Ron Banerjee, president of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, somehow picked up on the news. This apparently irked the man, reasons otherwise known by him, to the point that he rounded up his anti-Muslim friends to protest the student's freedom to observe prayer at school. Setting aside all the drama, fact is no one knows who this man is. In fact the Canadian Hindu Network has stated that it doesn't even know or recognize the Canadian Hindu Advocacy as an affiliate.
Ron Banerjee is obviously trying to score some anti-Muslim brownie points to up his profile and popularity. We kindly ask Ron to sit down and think a moment about what he's doing:
Just one more video for good'ol comic relief: