Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nevermind Alcohol, Is Living In Canada Haram?

Over at The Varsity, the student paper for the University of Toronto, we get a couple updates regarding the halal controversy at the UT Scarborough campus, a topic the paper originally covered a few weeks ago. President Wulkan is censured by the student union (whatever that amounts to), and the paper mentions that they plan on continuing to cover issues of religious accommodation, though they lack an "m" with their "accomodation" (I don't know if that is a Freudian slip where the "m" may stand for something, or if it's just Canadian schooling). Anyway...

As the original article outlines, a school cafeteria, Bluff's, started to offer halal foods. Ahmad Jaballah, an MSA executive, criticised the move, saying, “This initiative was brought forth solely by Bluff’s without ever consulting the MSA or Muslim students. If this was a deliberate accommodation, it’s kind of offensive in giving us the food in a manner unsuitable to us" and he also "argued that patronizing such an establishment is wrong because Muslim students would provide revenue for Bluff’s to purchase alcohol—an action forbidden by hadith, a Prophetic saying." So, according to the MSA, not only must halal food be offered in order to be religiously accommodating, but so must the haram substance of alcohol be removed. Beer being "Canada's drink," this didn't go over so well with many.

At the bottom of this article, a discussion (of varied quality, including some nasty remarks) among posters ensues. In it, though, a few posters discuss how MSA actually comes to the conclusion that alcohol is haram and that, further, they're not even allowed to buy halal products from a store that sells it. The best evidence offered is an hadith Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2776 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik, which is probably the hadith Mr. Jaballah was referring to, which says:
The Prophet invoked the curse of Allah on ten people in connection with wine: 1. the wine presser; 2. the one who has it pressed; 3. the one who drinks it; 4. the one who conveys it; 5. the one to whom it is conveyed; 6. the one who serves it; 7. the one who sells it; 8. the one who benefits from the price paid for it; 9 the one who buys it; and 10) the one for whom it is bought.
From this, the one poster picks out number 8, saying that everyone in Canada benefits from the price paid for alcohol, because of taxes which pay for public services. If this hadith forbids Muslims from patronising Bluff's, it surely forbids them from what everyone Canadian does: using roads, sidewalks and water.

But that the MSA can't justify their actions textually doesn't really matter as to if they should be accommodated or not. This is the bizarre but natural result that the current ideas on religious accommodation, a subset of multiculturalism, in Canada bring, as represented in University policies.

There is rarely ever a method to determine what counts as a genuine religious requirement for any religion, especially for a religion like Islam that lacks strong authorities, and this is realised by crafters of policies. They eventually come to say that anything can be a religious requirement as long as it is sincerely believed in by a person. Rather than setting up a set of actual rules and regulations, which students can consider when deciding if they either want to follow them and face no consequences, or not follow them and face the consequences, students are allowed to mend the rules to their own personal beliefs -- not having to write scheduled tests when they'd rather be praying for example. What would prevent a student from "sincerely believing" that God wants them to have an extra day to write an exam? Apparently nothing; and, indeed, students are given extra days to study as the result of religious accommodation all the time. Why even have an exam schedule? Just let students write them whenever they believe they're [divinely] ready.

So, back to the titular question, is living in Canada haram? According to multiculturalism, yes...if you sincerely believe it.

51 comments:

John said...

Try to be nice, and on these matters you quickly learn it's never enough. I guess cabbies refusing to transport passengers with alcohol would have predicted this reaction. Christian (and other) teetotalers could make the same argument, but have somehow learned to live with the real world. I doubt there is anything to prevent an enterprising Muslim from opening up what I trust would be a very profitable cafe.

roberto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roberto said...

Happy to see your new blog.

I have a deeeep regret nevertheless. By naming your blog "Kafir sthng", you actually define yoursel from a muslim point of view.

For who, apart from muslims, would qualify you as a "kafir" ?

By so doing, you acknowledge that THEY define the norm by which you stand.

Pretty awkward IMO

Kafir Canada said...

Roberto:

It doesn't exactly define me from an Islamic point of view. It only keeps that point of view in mind. By using the same term for myself that others use for me I'm just showing that I'm listening to what they say, not that I believe what they say.

Being called a kafir in the sense of infidel which I'm using actually implies knowledge on my part. The Islamic scholars say that in order to be a "rejecter of faith" (kafaru) one must actually know what is being implied by the faith, and yet still reject it. This is what I'm trying to say: I know what you're saying, but I still reject it. And, further, why do I reject it? Because it's wrong.

I think the name is apt.

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I like the name and the blog. Do you hear the message that these cats don't want to be Canadians (or Nebraskans, from my perspective). They want to make wherever they are into a Mohammedan nation, Mohammedan state, and Mohammedan town, down to the neighborhood eatery. They won't be happy until your own home is a Mohammedan home.

This kafir knows how to hit a nerve. I'll be back for more.

Algy said...

I live in Edmonton and found your blog on "Gates of Vienna". I grew up in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) where the slang word for indigenous Africans was "kaffirs". Good thing those peaceful Moslems didn't start and perpetuate the slave trade in Africa.

Indigo Red said...

Of course living in Canada is haram, but that's from a purely American perspective, eh.

I've nothing against hilal foods and practices, just don't force others into the same straitjacket. And leave the beer alone...it may be Canadian beer, but it's still beer!

John Savage said...

Kafir Canada, great post. I've linked to it over at my blog.

I know Canada is in pretty bad shape with regard to multiculturalism, but I had no idea it had gone this far. Who are these folks who want to turn Canada into a dhimmi nation? (That's a rhetorical question, of course.) It's insane.

Hope to see much more good stuff from you!

j_not_a said...

Here is the e-mail I sent the present of the SCSU:

I read with great dismay muslim students demanded the above establishment cease serving liquor and playing music.

If they don't like the restaurant serving liquor and playing music or serving pork for that matter or allowing seeing eye dogs, too bad. Nobody forces them to go there. If they are offended by your infidel ways, they can stay the heck home. You give in to one demand, dozens will follow such as footbaths, prayer rooms, etc. It will never end.

Stand your ground and tell them we don't have sharia law in Canada and never will.

A Concerned Toronto citizen
J. V.

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sanwin said...

I made an interesting discovery, that the Ahmed Jaballah mentioned in this article is none other than the son of Mohammad Jaballah, who is in jail under a security certificate under Terrorism charges.

http://citizen.nfb.ca/onf/info?aid=4462&eid=16661

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh ?

Great blog you have here.

Febin said...

Hi,
Its really bad to give halal foods for Muslim students. Not only for Muslim students if it for others also it is not nice.Every one should be considered equally.
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