Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8 Mosqueteria Protest

Bear with me for a bit. Trying a different format and posting of images so things may look a little wonky for a little bit. So yesterday evening there was another protest in front of the Toronto District School Board headquarters on Yonge street. This is the second one and there will probably be a few more to come. So far they are sticking by their decision to allow a cafeteria in a public school to be turned into a mosque and have an iman lead prayers during school hours. Since this story was broken by Blazing Cat Fur in the beginning of July, more information has come forward. He's been following it and updating on it as he gets new information. He was there last night as well taping the speeches of most of the speakers that showed up. There was a good crowd of people against the TDSB policy, a very diverse crowd as well. Sometimes I hate using the word diverse, since the left has co-opted it for their own means. In this case though it was a good mixed crowd of all cultures that are against the TDSB's decision to give one religion preferential treatment over others.
G. J. Rancourt
Rev. Tony Costa
Raheel Raza
Meir Weinstein
Ron Banerjee

Protesters Against Prayer in School
There were some good speakers and there were some bad ones.  Trust me, some people shouldn't be given a mike.  Blazing Cat Fur, has some good video of some people that were there in support from different organizations.  Worth the watch if you have the time.  I won't focus much more on the protest itself.  Similar signs from last time, so no need to cover them again.  A petition was out for people to sign to show their displeasure to TDSB.

The counter protestors though is where the real story is this time I think.
Counter Protesters

Counter Protesters
There were more counter protesters out this time as well. Before there were only four or five, this time there at least three times the amount. All young, and from what I gleaned in hearing in conversations most were from York University. A university that seems to spout anti-semitism on a regular basis and has been the subject of many news stories and articles on other blogs over the past three years.

There were a few other men there as well.  Two were at the previous protest.  One is a teacher in the TDSB and is supporting the TDSB's prayer policy.  There were a lot of heated words exchanged between these men and other protesters.  A lot of lies being said about the JDL, for example they are a terrorist group.  Not to mention that prayer IS allowed in school.  Technically they are right in one aspect.  There is no prohibition against praying in schools.  There is a prohibition of the school organizing and supporting one religion over another.  Trouble is that any other religion that wants to set up prayers or other such religious meetings don't get the okay.

"I hate zionsim"

Things were going okay, the turn out was good and fairly respectful.  There were a few heated discussions with the above three and a few other people.  About a little ways in a few of the counter protesters started crossing lines to wave their signs.  It was two girls at first that got into the midst of the protest crowd.  Some of the JDL got in front of them and tried blocking their signs with flags, which meant the two girls moved further forward and tried to get around the blockers.

Well this kept going on until there were about three or four in there really causing a roucus and a police officer stepped in and told her to get back to her own side.

This seemed to be the breaking point for the counter protesters.  They moved in closer waving their signs. moving left, moving right.  Trying to get into the crowd of the protesters to show their signs. The Anti-TDSB protesters helped by holding any of their banners in the way, and other people assisted in blocking.  I had noticed that the police presence had grown from two originally when I had arrived at around 6:30 to almost eight.  I couldn't see things getting that out of hand.  You never know though.

Well that's all for now.  The protest was interesting and the speakers had a lot to say.  Like I said the number of counter protesters were in larger numbers this time.  There are further protests planned and it should be interesting to see how many will show up next time.  If they are York University students, probably and probably from the MSA, then when the end of the month comes there will probably be more.

We can't just sit back and do nothing though.  A secular system is a secular system.  No matter who wants it to change. 

Keep watching.


  1. Wow. Blatant hypocrisy on display. Thanks for the info. This is crazy.

  2. So i was at this protest and had an opportunity to speak to some of the students thanking TDSB. I asked them what school they were from and what organization they represent. Some students yes were from York U, others were from UofT, Humber and some where from highschools in the valley park area. I agree that the larger turn out of the young students was the big story as well as the fact that those who support the TDSB's decision were primarily young people a stark contrast to the older crowd that was there.

    All of them said they were there on their own accord and didnt represnt any organiztions. The only place i find where the MSA is associated with these young people is on your site and blazing cat fur. Neither of which provides any evidence that the counter was an MSA sponsored event, but rather assumes such things.

    Finally, the two girls who rushed into the crowed did so after one of their friends (a young woman) was pushed by a TDSB protester (an older man). The police did step in to quell the situation.

  3. Spectator, any idea why in the world otherwise educated young people would be ok with being made subservient to someone else's religion?

  4. Spectator, Blazing Cat Fur is totally uninterested in evidence for anything that might possibly contradict his paranoid fantasies. Take a look at the exchange I had with him about this demo on his blog

  5. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  6. m, as far as i know the prayers are voluntary based, no one is asking anyone to be subservent to any religion or ideology.

    Benson Bear, Yes i followed your discussion, it is obvious a lot of what was said could not be proved. It seems this entire issue is like a black box, where no one really knows what is going on, so any speculation becomes valid.

    Furthermore, Raheel Raza said that MSAs are the source of anti-semitism on our university campuses. I am sorry as someone involved in the interfaith community that could not be further from truth. Jewish Muslim relations is all the craze on my campus, where muslims and jews trying to work together to dispell the very myths propogated by Raheel Raza.

    I wonder if the muslim community will sue thes people for essentially spreading lies about their community.

  7. Spectator: I will give you linking the counter protestors with the York MSA. I shouldn't have jumped to that conclusion. The big issue about the prayers is that it's happening in SECULAR schools, during class room times, and is lead by a preacher from outside the school. All of which is against the Ontario education act. As well it's not an occassional prayer, it's a weekly prayer.

    Now as to the anti-semitism on university campuses, are you going to dispute the videos from a year or so ago at York where the Hillel students were practically barricaded in their offices by a large angry group shouting anti-semitic slurs?

    How about "Israel Apartheid Week", which is a large antisemitic hate fest that couches it's terms in "anti-zionism"?

    Thanks for the visit.

  8. The accusation made by Raheel Raza was that MSAs were the source of anti-semitism on campus. I am not debating that anti-semitism does not exist on campuses because it does, but to accuse MSAs of such activities is false. There is no evidence that the people chanting at York's Hillel office were from MSA. Most of the folks in the vid were not even Muslim.

    Regarding Israel Apartheid week one need not go further than their website: http://toronto.apartheidweek.org/

    There is no mention of a single MSA and infact the only muslim organization mentioned is Salaam: Queer Muslim Community

    Also will you post your pics on flickr. all the ones on your blog are thumbnails

  9. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  10. Furthermore, Raheel Raza said that MSAs are the source of anti-semitism on our university campuses. I am sorry as someone involved in the interfaith community that could not be further from truth. Jewish Muslim relations is all the craze on my campus, where muslims and jews trying to work together to dispell the very myths propogated by Raheel Raza.

    I'm sorry, but this kind of claim does not match up with the facts. Anti-semitism and radicalism are well documented in many MSA chapters, both in the USA and in Canada. Does "Holy Land Foundation" ring any bells to you? Anyway, if you don't believe me there are several articles and documents on the internet that corroborate the MSA's radical ties:



    I am just listing two of the articles for now. There are several other such sources that you can find if you just look for them.


  11. Hey Knights Watch, I'm starting up a facebook page for the coalition and would like to use some of the photos that you've taken for that page. Is it okay if I took them and placed them in the page's album?

  12. Fisher

    can you post the link to the facebook group so i can join

  13. Fisher: Let me know which ones you want and I will send them to you. Better that way I think.

  14. Spectator, late to the party but I just saw your response.

    They most certainly are being made subserviant to someone else's religion. One religion is allowed, while others are not. "We are secular, except we'll kiss muslim ass"

    What in the world would you call it?

  15. did you attend the 9/11 vigil for this?