Religion is a private matter and prayer should be private as well

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Mr. John Tory

Mayor of Toronto

Dear Mr. Mayor:

We are the concerned citizens of Toronto, deeply shocked and frustrated by the City of Toronto’s decision to allow Muslim community to broadcast their “Azan (call for prayer)” at sunset using loudspeaker from mosques for the period of April 25 to May 23.

It is not clear on what basis such a serious matter of public nuisance was approved, ignoring the prevailing city noise bylaw and social norms in Canada. Such a decision without any opinions from general public and consultation with other ethnic groups is certainly questionable.

It is unprecedented decision taken by the city without thinking the consequences it will have on other religions, such as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikhs and their followers who practice religions in private. Let’s not forget about other minorities and small communities and atheists.

While everyone has the right to observe their religions as long as it does not infringe on others right to practice their religions peacefully in private. As citizens of a civilized society, we think that we do not have to listen to other’s ‘call for prayer’.  We also think that this decision is a direct violation of human rights, where the social rights of all other ethnic groups have been curtailed by giving precedence to the religious insanity of only one specific ethnic group; thus, the city is allowing divisiveness, chaos, and conflicts on social fabrics of Canada.  Such a decision from a public organization is completely unwelcoming and frustrating.

During this stressful time of COVID-19, lots of us have been experiencing mental health issues. On top of that, listening to a ‘public call for prayer’ by a single religion is increasing an added level of anxiety. Many of us immigrated to Canada, not because we will experience aggression from any religions, but because no one will pressure anyone covertly or overtly to practice other’s religious choices and expressions.

So, we respectfully demand and urge you as Mayor of Toronto to immediately ban this loud noise ‘Azan (call for prayer)’ airing outside the building and respect Canadian values, other religions and people without religions. Most importantly, please save our environment by not creating unnecessary loud noises.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and co-operation.

Religion is a private matter and prayer should be private as well.

Sincerely,

Voice for Better Canada

Attn.: City Councilors:

Mr. Michael Ford

Mr.  Stephen Holyday

Mr.  Mark Grimes

Mr.  James Pasternak

Mr. Anthony Perruzza

Mr. Mike Colle

Mr. Ana Bailão

Mr. Joe Cressy

Mr. Mike Layton

Mr. Josh Matlow

Mr. Kristyn Wong-Tam

Mr. Paula Fletcher

Mr. Jaye Robinson

Mr. Denzil Minnan-Wong

Mr. Shelley Carroll

Mr. John Filion

Mr. Brad Bradford

Mr. Gary Crawford

Mr. Michael Thompson

Mr. Jim Karygiannis

Mr. Cynthia Lai

Mr. Paul Ainslie

Mr. Jennifer McKelvie