PRINT - Can India News - Mississauga, 08/05/2020 - Editorial, P.3, English
Summary: Pradip Rodrigues - Last week Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and other cities in Ontario began granting for the first time all local mosques permission to broadcast the call to prayer called "the Azan" over speakers at sunset every day during Ramadan for a maximum of five minutes. Municipalities are mindful of the fact that Muslims are unable to get to their mosques as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown thought this was a good gesture. Mayor Bonnie Crombie managed to pass a unanimous resolution amending the city noise bylaw that will legalize the blaring of loudspeakers at all Mississauga mosques. Cities have suspended their Noise Control By-Law up to May 24 and by and large, most people are too preoccupied with their changed circumstances brought about by COVID-19 to bother with protesting the Muslim call for prayer, but in cities like Mississauga and Brampton, there has been a swift backlash in the form of fierce online protests and petitions not to grant mosques permission to broadcast the Azan for several reasons. They fear that this could become a permanent and symbolic thing. If it was possible to congregate, hundreds would be out protesting outside Mississauga’s City Hall. Mississauga resident Ram Subramaniam who is part of the Peel Region group Keep Religion Out Of Peel Region Schools (KROOPS), announced a plan to launch a constitutional challenge against the change of Mississauga’s noise laws and is receiving plenty of monetary support for this cause through a Facebook page that has a growing number of followers. “This is not about religion or being against Islam. This is about the separation of religion and state and preventing any group trying to throw their religion on others via loudspeakers that blare religious messages into the privacy of homes,” he said. In places like Mississauga, which is home to a large South Asian population, this controversy is the latest to divide people along religious lines.
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