L'ASSOCIATION DES MUSULMANS PROGRESSITES DU CANADA

ASSOCIATION OF PROGRESSIVE MUSLIMS OF CANADA
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NINETEENTH ANNUAL CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS.

The 19th annual celebrations were  held again in Toronto at the Woodbine Banquet & Convention Centre Hall, 30 Vice Regent Boulevard.  Mr. Tony Burman was the Keynote Speaker and Award Recipient.   Canada Day and the Independence Day of the United States of America were celebrated together for the eight time.  

This year's celebrations were part of the Canada 150 Celebrations and well attended by many Torontonians who were enthusiastic about being THE FIRST ONES IN THE COUNTRY TO CELEBRATE CANADA'S 150TH BIRTHDAY.

APMC hosted a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony for the second time.  It was held before the event.  Some of the new citizens joined the Canada Day celebrations and were very happy to be invited to celebrate, participate and get an understanding of how great it is to be a Canadian regardless of one's faith or ethnic background.  Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga and M.P. Sven Spengemann were at the ceremony to speak to the new Canadians.  

In his welcome address, President Mobeen Khaja took a few moments to talk about the contributions made by Muslims in the past since the advent of Islam 1400 years ago, and the excellence achieved by them in literature, science, medicine, art and philosophy and many other fields.  He mentioned that: 

     The House of Learning of Baghdad and Observatory were founded in 839

     Al-Azhar University in Cairo,  Egypt was founded in 971, almost 200 years before the earliest universities in Europe and 700 years before the first universities in North America, such as Harvard. 

     The library in Cordova, one of the first ones to be established in Spain had 400,000 volumes and attracted scholars from all over the world. 

He said that during the period of Muslim civilization between the 9th and 12th centuries, scholars came to some of these centers of education to further their own knowledge and benefited from the facilities provided by the Arabs and Muslims. 

He also said that the arrival of Muslims in Canada goes back to before the Confederation.  In 1854, thirteen years before the birth of our country, a teenage bride of Scottish origin, Agnes Love, gave birth to the first Muslim born in Brantford, Ontario.   Another couple, John and Martha Simon, described as "Mahometans" in government documents in 1871, settled in Ontario. 

By 1871, there were 13 Muslims and the population grew to 645 by 1931.  Between 1931 to 1971, there were 33370 Muslims living in Canada.  By 2001, the population reached 600,000 and now it is approximately one million.

After a brief history of Canada, he said that 'Canadians across the country from coast to coast to coast are celebrating this historical 150th anniversary celebration and Ottawa is the centre of these celebrations.  Here in Toronto tonight we are proudly celebrating Canada Day at 12:00 a.m. for the 19th year and are the first ones in the country to do so.'

 Mr. Tony Burman was introduced by former M.P. Derek Lee.  After the Keynote Speech, Mr. Tony Burman was presented with a plaque that recognized his 'LONG OUTSTANDING SERVICE AS HEAD OF CBC NEWS, HEAD OF AL JAZEERA ENGLISH, TEACHING JOURNALISM AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY AND CURRENTLY FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST TORONTO STAR, THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA.

A Sandulak's polar bear sculpture was also presented to Mr. Tony Burman. Mr. Burman's speech was inspiring and relevant to the current times and he received a standing ovation for it.  You can read his speech by clicking here, and you can hear it by clicking on the link for the event's video on Youtube posted by Saaz-O-Awaz.

Miss Yumna Siddiqui and Mr. Derek Lee, former M.P. and APMC's Advisory Board Member were the Masters of Ceremonies. The National Anthems for Canada and for the US were played both at the start of the event and at midnight before the cake cutting ceremony.  

There were greetings from elected representatives, heads of Police and Security services and some prominent people.  

Two cakes were cut at the end of the event, for Canada Day and the US Independence Day.  Young and old joined in to cut the cakes, mingle and take photos 

Many thanks to Dr. Shan Chandrasekar and Mrs. Jaya Chandrasekar of Asian Television Network for Media sponsorship.

 

We are also grateful to all those who sponsored tables. 

 

You can see a one hour video of the event by clicking on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcPCXblmsIk

 

 

Some photos from the event.  The first six are of the 2nd Citizenship Ceremony which was held before the Canada Day Celebrations and the rest are about Canada Day.

New Canadians waiting to receive their certificates.

New Canadians taking the oath

 

 

 

 

Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister for Science,  M.P.s Rob Oliphant and Sven Spengemann presenting a certificate to Mobeen Khaja

The event was well attended.  Photo of one section of the hall

Mr. Derek Lee and Mr. Burman

Plaque presented to Mr. Burman.

APMC's Board members presenting plaque to Mr. Burman

Presentation of Sandulak's Polar bear sculpture to Mr. Burman.

Wali Shah, an acclaimed speaker and poet, provided some excellent entertainment.