Posted by Tahira Saliha
By Vito Pilieci
Gavin Boby, who has gained notoriety for his messages on techniques to prevent the construction of new mosques, spoke at the library on Feb. 4.
His criticisms of mosques, and Islam in general, were slammed by Muslim missionaries Saturday, who said Boby’s assessment of their religion and their places of worship should never have been permitted to happen.
“This is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. We, who have made Canada home, love this country as much as anybody else,” said Muhammad Afzal Mirza, a missionary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (AMJ) from the Toronto area.
“How many mosques in this country have created problems? If there is a problem coming out of any place of worship, it should be dealt with.”
Boby is the founder of an organization called the Law and Freedom Foundation, which is devoted to “resisting the tide of Islam.” He believes that mosques are “socio-political” and act as a foothold in Western society to advance Islam.
But Afzal Mirza fired back Saturday, saying a mosque is simply a place to pray. He said that in many countries, mosques aren’t necessary and people observing the Islamic religion pray outside or at home.
However, in Canada where the climate isn’t as forgiving, building a place where Muslims can pray together is important.
He also said that anyone from any religion is welcome to pray at a mosque and questioned Boby’s motives for trying to prohibit the expansion of a place of worship that is about spreading understanding, “peace and love.”
Another AMJ missionary, Imtiaz Ahmed, told the audience that Boby’s claims about Muslims being violent and unruly are provocative and untrue. He called for tolerance from Canadians with regards to religion and quoted Canada’s 13th prime minister, John Diefenbaker, to make his point.