Statement to the Senate

Mr. Ibrahim El-Sayed, President, Toronto District Muslim Education Assembly: I am grateful to you, honourable senators, for giving us the opportunity to appear before such a distinguished panel. I want to greet you all with the greetings of peace: I wish you all well.

Our assembly constitutes well over 20 organizations from across the City of Toronto, and it is representative of close to 300,000 people. While we are only from Toronto, the views that we are going to put on the table before you are representative of close to 1 million Muslims across this beuatiful country that we made and we chose, and we would not have any differences regarding this matter.

I have been in this country for 26 years, I made it my country by my own choice and I came here on my own. I am grateful for that. I came from systems and regimes that are, relatively speaking, oppressive. I thank God that we have democracy here in Canada, that we have freedom of speech, and that our rights are protected under the law.

From what we see as Muslims, what we witness in our community on a daily basis, our children are being systematically taken away in front of our eyes. We are losing them to a system that deliberately undermines the family unit and its rightful role and responsibilities. As parents, our rights regarding our beliefs, moral values, religion and culture are taken away while the rights of the family are given wholesale to non-family entities by the system. For example, the public education system is consciously poisoning and indoctrinating our children's minds with all kinds of materials against the teachings of our faith, moral values and culture. Also, through such agencies as the Children's Aid Society, parental roles are stripped and our children are taught to turn against their parents and to be rebellious because of our lifestyle as Muslims. Islam teaches obedience and submission in the institutionalized process. Not only the family or parental rights, but our children's rights are also taken away. This is wrong, and we strongly object to it and call for the restoration of family and parental rights in Canada.

I believe that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code and the internationaal charter, which is the United Nations charter, gives parents the final say about what their children are going to learn. I do not want to go too far, but I am involved in the education system in the City of Toronto, where they introduced sexual orietnation policies as well as other policies that undermine our rights.

I will give the rest of my time to Dr. Ali, who will make the presentation.

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