Separation of religions is on the rise

Separation_religionIn the next few months, construction may begin on the $50 million, 150,000 square-foot property in Fort McMurray which will include a swimming pool, a K-12 school for Muslim students, a community centre, stores selling all kinds of things and it will be anchored by a massive mosque.
In Mississauga’s Ward 9, another similar but smaller project is mired in controversy, but is expected to go up anyway, this will be a 20,000 square foot mosque with a 88 foot minaret and a community centre.
In Oakville, another massive complex is expected to take shape on an 11 acre parcel. This will include a three-storey centre, two full-size gymnasiums, dressing rooms, meeting rooms and ofcourse it will be anchored by a large mosque.
In Thornhill, a similar project at the Jaffari Community Centre has stirred controversy. Apart from a massive mosque, stores, school, community centre, shops, it will also include 377 residential units.
Residents are against mini-township like developments
I have spoken to many residents in both Oakville and Mississauga who have serious reservations about self-contained mini-township like developments and not the building of the mosque. If it was just a large mosque being constructed in or around a residential area, it would not have generated such controversy, but the fact that it includes swimming pools, rec centres, community centres, shops and K-12 schools is what scares the hell out of people who fear it will change the character of their neighborhoods.
In Mississauga, Oakville and Thornhill, these properties are located in areas that are predominantly non-Muslim. There are city-run community centres and swimming pools close by, there are excellent schools too, no doubt the reason why so many immigrants decided to abandon their countries for the sake of their children. Canada has a multicultural policy in effect and is quite possibly one of the last most open societies in the world that still accept hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. So I find the whole idea of creating complexes and living arrangements exclusively for any ethnic group slightly offensive.
Small places of worship would attract little or no backlash
Let me explain. I can understand there needs to be places of worship in areas where none exist or the existing building is inadequate, but I am not quite sure that attaching a community centre next to it, an old age home for community seniors, a gym and swimming pool for the youth and schools where religion plays a central role is in keeping with the spirit of multiculturalism. It would be better if there were several smaller places of worship in various neighborhoods rather than these mega complexes, not only would be more convenient for the community it would not raise the heckles of residents and attract the ill-will that gets generated. Ethnic groups generally strive to be welcome into communities not merely tolerated.
I have spoken to South Indians as well as others from states like Gujarat who are all trying to have community centres and senior homes exclusively for their communities. In my mind it is evidence that multiculturalism isn’t working as well as it should be.
City-built facilities aren’t being properly utilized by many ethnic communities because it involves mingling of the sexes and issues of modesty. The complex being planning in Fort McMurray will have a swimming pool covered by walls so women and men who will swim separately cannot steal a glimpse of flesh.
Separate facilities promote insularity
At the Jaffari Community Centre in Thornhill, creating housing exclusively for Muslims is as offensive as a group of born-again Caucasian Christians who set up a mega-church complex bang in the middle of Malton or Brampton or for that matter anywhere. The mega-church would be okay if it didn’t disrupt traffic but a complex that included a community centre, stores, houses, school etc would be construed to be a racist development. I would be the first one to protest such a complex.
In a true multicultural society, there would be little or no need for separate community centres, religious schools, swimmingpools, gyms and even housing. The millions of dollars being spent on construction of structures for the exclusive use of particular communities does nothing to foster stronger ties with other Canadians. There should in fact be more platforms for all communities to have the opportunity to meet, mingle and be part of the mainstream. Such complexes have the unfortunate effect of creating very insular people.
Disclaimer: News/articles published are collected from various sources and responsibility of news lies solely on the source itself. United Hindu Congress Canada or its website is not in anyway connected nor it is responsible for the news/article contents presented here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>