Effort to Unite Mississauga residents and fight against attempts to divide its communities
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This petition is an effort to fight against the discriminatory attempts of some Mississauga residents to create division between various communities in our city.
On behalf of Mississauga residents, this petition also represents an expression of gratitude towards Mayor Bonnie Crombie and the City Council, for expressing the importance of inclusiveness towards Mississauga's Muslims, by granting them permission to publicly broadcast the "adhan" (call to prayer) every evening during the month of Ramadan.
We are very fortunate to have such a compassionate governing body, which tends to the needs of its people even in such difficult times.
As Mayor Crombie mentioned in a recent Facebook post, people need comfort and familiarity to get through this difficult time. Hearing the adhan (call to prayer) will most definitely serve this purpose for the Muslim residents of Mississauga, who comprise about 12% of the city's population (https://canadapopulation.org/mississauga-population/
Different communities find comfort in different ways; while many find comfort in other things, Muslims find comfort in turning to their Faith and praying for the well-being of all of humanity.
Contrary to what many individuals are claiming, Muslims are not infringing on anyone's freedom of religion by broadcasting a 2-minute call to prayer only once a day. They are not imposing or preaching their religion to anyone through this action. On the contrary; they are just practicing their religion, which is a universal right that this country grants its citizens.
Canada, the province of Ontario, and within it, the City of Mississauga, is a great model of multiculturalism, representing the peaceful co-existence between followers of all faiths. As per the tenants of Islam, Muslims are respectful of all people and religions., irrespective of cultural and religious differences.
Our country is celebrated for allowing Canadians to hold such views of diversity and inclusiveness. Contrary to these values, a small group of Mississaugans have expressed, through another petition, that they find the decision of the Mississauga government to be biased. They believe that Mosques broadcasting the adhan once a day during the month of Ramadan somehow violates the City's noise by-laws.
Although it's sad to learn that some of our fellow Canadians show this prejudiced opposition, we are grateful to everyone else who believes in upholding the core Canadian values of inclusivity and tolerance.
When it comes to exceptions being made for the City's noise by-law, it's well-known that this is frequently done throughout the year, especially during special events, such as festivals, protests, public gatherings, concerts, fairs, and more.
The Nuisance Noise By-law 785-80 states that "no person shall in the City of Mississauga create, cause or permit any unusual noise or noises likely to disturb the inhabitants." With a city as large and culturally diverse as Mississauga, it's improbable that all its residents have the same interests. For instance, daily summer events taking place at the Mississauga Celebration Square are so incredibly loud that residents living in highrises above the premises consider the events a nuisance. However, since event organizers seek permission prior to organizing these festivals, no one objects. As a result, these large scale events are exempt from the by-law without any opposition from Mississauga residents.
Similarly, the Muslim community has ensured to seek permission from municipal governing bodies to broadcast a peaceful call to prayer, which will barely last 60 seconds to 2 minutes at the most (much less than time than an 8-hour public concert).
Therefore, there should not be any by-law-related objections from the public for the Muslim call to prayer.
These are uncertain, testing times for the whole world and those living within it. Helping people cope with this difficult period is, in of itself, a service to humanity.
The residents of Mississauga once again thank the municipal government for graciously cooperating with its religious minorities. We also implore the greater public to engage in bridge-building discussions that bring us together in harmony, instead of causing division and discord.
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