Where will P.E.I. Muslims go to pray? - Macleans.ca

Where will P.E.I. Muslims go to pray?

Muslims want the government to help fund a mosque for the Island


Where will P.E.I. Muslims go to pray?Call it Little Mosque on the Island. Last week, the CBC ran a news story about a Muslim doctor whose efforts to build the first mosque in P.E.I. have thus far come to naught. The “disappointed” doctor asked the province for financial assistance, only to be “turned down.”

The CBC story also suggested that there was reason to believe the city might step in. It quoted Charlottetown Coun. David MacDonald as saying he would be willing to meet with Muslims and “see if the city can assist in building a mosque.” But when Maclean’s spoke to MacDonald, he said, “We wouldn’t give any assistance to a religious group any more than we would to anybody else. We don’t provide financial assistance to any kind of developer.” The meeting, MacDonald says, will be little more than an “information session.”

When interviewed by Maclean’s, the doctor (who asked to remain anonymous, citing “upsetting” online responses to the CBC story) was still adamant that the province should step in to help the Island’s 250-300 Muslims, but stressed that he is not looking for a government handout. “We’re not looking for something for free,” he says. “Our main goal was to get a loan without interest, or cheap land, or a cheap building.”

The doctor worries that the province will pay a dear price if it doesn’t lend a hand. By his estimates, “two or three” Muslims, two of whom are doctors, have already left the Island because it lacks a place of worship—a big loss for a province struggling with an acute doctor shortage. “If [the government] thinks [building a mosque] is going to make professionals stay, they should go for it.”

Ultimately, he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to stay in P.E.I.: “At a certain point, when my kids grow up, I may have to leave. And I’d feel really bad—who is going to take care of these patients?”


Where will P.E.I. Muslims go to pray?

  1. "the province will pay a dear price if it doesn't end a hand." don't you love threats and especially from the "religion" of love. they should take their carpets and fly away.

  2. 200-300 people are more than enough to support a decent-sized building project. If the doctor wants his mosque, he should be asking his fellow Muslims to contribute. Their donations will be tax deductible, which would be the government's proper contribution. That is how places of worship get built in Canada.

    If the doctor was not born in Canada, I would be interested to know whether or not it is the norm for governments to build mosques in his home country.

    • You're right Jesse. My people came to this great country of ours with only a few dollars and just the clothes on our back. We build churches, schools and much more with our hands and our heads and succeeded.

  3. how many synagogues, catholic churches, protestant churches and baptist churches has the government built?

  4. I'm not a Muslim, but many Albertans take pride in Canada's first mosque that is now on display in Fort Edmonton Park.

    Fundraising for the Mosque took place during the Depression years, and came to be thanks to donations from not only Muslim families but also Arab Christians and even Jewish families. It was finally finished in 1938 and was built on a small plot of land near the centre of town. Land that was donated by the city!!!

    Let the people of the city, through their elected officials, decide whether or not to support such a project. But you can't say that their isn't a precedent for it.

    Read the fully story here: http://muslim-canada.org/alrashidmosque.html

    • "Many Albertans"

      Seriously? I don't know any that even know that mosque exists. The news coverage of it was minimal at best. Ask an Albertan where the biggest mosque in Canada is and they'll just give you a funny look.

  5. give me a break-next they will want to have their sharia law and then we will be discriminating against them if we dont give in -go back to pakistan or wherever you came from 1

    • It's coming! Wait for it.

  6. There are all kinds of Christian churches that started out by renting space or even finding free space in other places. And in time, if the membership grew, they would pass the hat, get enough funds and build their own church. Canadian Mennonites build their churches, and they don't take and never will take a single dime from the government. We can see what's comming-a no answer and the politically correct left will get involved.

  7. Maybe Muslims don't believe in seperation of church and state, but I do.

    If PEI Muslims can't raise money to build a mosque, then do what our United Church congregation in Montreal did 40 years ago; rent a space.

    The govt has no place putting money into any place of worship.

  8. Where will P.E.I. Muslims go to pray? Why is that the concern of anybody besides PEI Muslims?

    • are u stupid?

  9. Don't you just love this mentality? I want something so could the gov't buy it for me please? Hell, I want my mortgage paid off, could the gov't do that for me, and maybe put my kids through university too?

    • Ummm . . . CMHC, student loans, education funding . . .

  10. Are you kidding me? I don't want my tax dollars to go to funding a religion that has nothing to do with Canada's true founding nations – the French and the English. That is that, it's what Canada was built on and so be it. Muslims can pay for it themselves if they want it so bad.

    • So, going by your logic — would it be ok if the tax dollars go to funding a religion that has 'something' to do with "Canada's true founding nations – the French and the English"?

      It stands to reason that the opinions of one Muslim doctor in PEI may not constitute the thoughts of all the Muslims in Canada or even in PEI. So, why blame Muslims (all and in general)?

      • dude u suck get a life and first of all ur the only one thats making the most stupidest comments and luke… is that even ur name

    • "Canada's true founding nations?" If you want to talk about founding nations, you should mention the treatment of the First Nations peoples of this country at the hands of "the French and the English" when they claimed it as a colony, rather than spew hatred at Muslims (or any other groups) who have no less of a right to be in this country than you.

      Unintellectual ignorance and uneducated prejudice. I'm surprised such a person can read. Thank you.

      • Adam I really appreciate your unbiased and fact based point of view thank you. You can truly say that you are a True Canadian who is building this nation with love, self respect and honourable dignity of all !!!

    • The French and the English came to this country and desimated the original population that resided here previously. The French and the English are responsible for genocide. Get your facts straight before referring the the French and English as the founding nations. They were nothing short of barbaric.

    • By that logic, I guess I'm only 40% Canadian or something.

      Although I've heard a pretty good argument that "Canada" is a construct or branding of 19th-century British Victorian ideals and ignores most of what was actually here before "Canada" existed and anything that existed in the fringes or margins of society. In which case I'm zero percent Canadian, and very proud not to be a product of Victorian thinking, which this poster seems to be exhibiting.

      For the sake of argument and to remove the political aspect, I'm considering churches along the same lines as sports & arts organisations, charities & other similar groups. I agree that this seems to be more of a civic matter than provincial one, unless there are existing programs that any community group could take advantage of. I don't think it's unusual for cities to waive property taxes for community groups, and to lease or sell city-owned property to such groups at very low rates. Often the property is old schools or churches that nobody else wants. Usually the groups are responsible to pay for the upkeep of the property, which would otherwise need to be maintained by the city.

  11. Is this a joke? I will be damned if I let my CANADIAN tax dollars go towards this or any other place of worship that does NOT coencide with Canadian laws and regulations. Shame on them!!!

    • Agreed!!

  12. I do not want tax payer money to go toward a religious building of any kind. It really doesn't matter to me which religion we're talking about.

    That said, comments suggesting that "those people" should "go back where they came from" are about as anti-Canadian as it gets.

  13. The Muslim community states that they want to integrate into the community and be treated like any other group of citizens. Then they set themselves apart by asking for special treatment or they'll leave the province for more acceptable surroundings. As thet say…."don't let the door hit you in the #$$ on your way out"

    They make no attempt to be part of the community unless it's on their terms. Special treatrment for special people….as a tax payer…I think not

  14. Where will they go to pray?

    Who cares, that's not the responsibility of the tax payers.

  15. I don't think the government should pay for any religious organization, however the comments posted here on this board really showcase how ignorant/racist some so called Canadians really are…WOW!

    • Maybe you should look up the definition of a racist before making these comments. Racist is used much too freely, just because a person disagrees it doesn't make him a racist.

  16. Let them rent a gym like many churches do here in Edmonton. After a few years of renting, donations (and maybe some fund-raising events) should provide the wherewithal to build their mosque.

    I'm not religious one bit, but the government shouldn't be giving gifts to any religious group so they can build a place to worship.

  17. Two or three Muslim doctors have already left PEI? Clearly their fervor for religion ceased at the point of financing their belief and writing a check…

    Many religious factions started up in rented space in Canada, many had land donated to build their place of worship, the religion is irrelevant, all religions should be treated equally by government .

    And for those red necks with the 'go home' comments… you are embarrassing to me as a Canadian.

  18. I for one resent that churches etc. are tax exempt.
    Whenever someone is tax exempt that means that the rest of us are paying their share!
    Why should I pay for something that I don't believe in?
    It is time to start debating the whole freedom of religion thing!
    Why should the secular pay for the superstitious, irrational, hate mongering, ignorant, racists?

    • Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation: effective tax rate on first half million of profit: usually 6-8 percent.
      Canadian Citizen: effective tax rate on first half million of income: about 40%.
      My effective tax rate 1st year after graduating and earning $25,000/year: 20%

      Clearly not everyone is paying their fair share. How do we divide up national decision-making in relation to paying one's fair share?

  19. Response of the Muslim Society of PEI
    The Muslim Society of PEI was founded in 1990 to serve the needs of the growing Island Muslim community.
    The Muslim Society has been working towards the establishment of an Islamic centre. The purpose of such a centre will be to better serve the spiritual and social needs of the Muslim community; and to promote a better understanding between Muslims and other religious and cultural groups on the Island.
    The Muslim Society of PEI has been actively raising funds. It has also approached Government to explore ideas, possibilities, and potential solutions (contrary to what has been reported, at no time did PEI Muslims ask either the city of Charlottetown or the province for funding).
    In the meantime, the Muslim Society of PEI has contributed financially to the establishment of a prayer hall in the basement of a privately-owned building. Given the needs of the community, this place is temporary.
    The Muslim Society did not and does not expect any handout of public funds from Government. The Muslim Society believes that the establishment of the Islamic centre is the responsibility of the Muslim community, and wants to rely on its own efforts and that of its members to realize this project.

  20. I worship the flying spagetti monster, may I have some money?

  21. While I don't know the desired layout for a mosque , I do know that a number of former churches are for sale. Most likely at below costs of starting a new project.

  22. I think building a worship place is responcebility of concerned believing group,
    Every body with the 'go home' and anti islamic comments… you are embarrassing to every Canadian out there.

    • Who gave you the right to speak for me?

  23. why not since this is canada;the softest touch in the world;always bending over to anyone that will vote for their party!! let the politicians fund (these so called places of worship) outta their own bankaccounts and leave we taxpayers alone! or ask bin ladens charity schemes to fund it! bah-humbug shoul we also support arranged marriages for these types and change our christian laws of the land of canada!

    • Let's not get all worked up here. Obviously, you have not read the response issued by the Muslim Society of PEI (5 posts earlier).

      Macleans' title is obviously (intentionally?) misleading.

  24. If there were a great majority, then this would be acceptable, but where it is only one person, why should he be given funding by the provincial and city government to pay for this, when that money could be used for schools and roads

  25. MISGUIDED, MISLEADING and deliberately biast. All of em have started to follow the footsteps of FOX if u knw what i mean.
    I read all these articles about muslims in new york times etc and i see delibrate misguidance and what is more dissappointing that an entire opinion about muslims, islm or any nation would be developed by relying on these articles.

  26. I must say that there is an incredible display of ignorance in a few of these comments that is indeed embarrassing to any self-respecting Canadian. Despite the aforementioned, it is true that church property concerns should not be the concerns of the government, or civil courts for that matter, as they inevitably succumb to involvement at one point or another.

  27. The government officials run the risk of expressing favouritism, though for those who claim that separation of church and state is a celebrated facet of modern society should perhaps try and develop a higher understanding of Canada's Criminal and Civil codes. Law and legal code in its entirety stems from Christian moral and ethical standards – even the smallest review of any section will illustrate that.

  28. The greatest sustenance of any religious body is member contribution and has been so since confederation and the development of the Constitution Act. The Muslim Society of P.E.I. has denied that they requested government financial assistance for the construction in this forum, yet the article claims they did and so clearly one of the organizations is lying or is seriously misinformed.

  29. Nonetheless, the goals of the Society, as stated in this forum, are completely irrelevant in this discussion. Every religious body expresses religious goals similar to the ones described but it is not a legitimate reason for requesting government funds to fullfil those goals.

  30. Ultimately there are two plights to consider: that of the Muslim peoples of P.E.I. (for which I do struggle to understand given the incredible amount of tolerance and understanding they receive in Canada [not considering some of the comments made in the above forum]); and that of the rest of the P.E.I population who are threatened with a doctor shortage if they don't address the absence of proper place of worship. If this is indeed true, though people should remain skeptical of what they read, even in a renowned magazine such as MacLeans, than the Muslim community of P.E.I has abandoned its good will.

  31. Why, this is just another sly attempt by the Moslems to build more Mosques in Canada. Why can't they go to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia to pray? It's only about 4.5 hours to Halifax.

    Who cares if they are full tax-paying Canadians, with equal rights, and positive contributing members of society?

    It is our duty to assume that these are all foreigners, coloured people, not true Canadians, who have no right to be in PEI in the first place. That's what Brampton's for.

  32. Shame on some of these responses. I'm not saying that the PEI Mosque should be fully publically funded, but some of you act like Christian insitutions never received any government assistance. Catholic schools get a ton of money here in Ontario, and on average are FAR superior in resources to normal public schools. But I didn't expect close minded individuals to acknowledge that. I don't disagree that they should fund it themselves, but maybe not entirely. Some of you need to give your heads a shake.

  33. Some of you are responding like you are Americans or something. Like you have some sort of greater right to be Canadian than someone else. Embarrassing.

  34. Oh you guys, the government has NO MONEY… they use OURS… WE are the people who fund the mosque, and if the "government" or "all of us" are going to fund one religious church we "have to" extend the same funding to all other religions…. WHY can the Muslins get money from the government to build religious buildings when the remainder of canadian religions cannot? is there discrimination going on here against the real canadians? The canadians whose main objective is to destroy this country like they are doing in Iran and other parts of the world. Not long ago Iran was a free democratic country.. what is it now?

  35. Insha’Allah.