Just a few weeks after I shared with you a report about a Kitchener mosque that had received nearly $200,000 in federal government funding, another Muslim group is looking for its handout.
A Muslim group in Woodstock, Ont., a small southwestern Ontario city, is looking to build the first mosque in its city and wants the municipal government's help.
Woodstock's city council has said that it will assist with permits and zoning, but the Imam of the mosque-to-be says that isn't enough.
"We are asking for more, we are asking for a grant,” Imam Omar Alshehri said.
Alshehri's group currently meets in the basement of a church. He said that Muslims not having a dedicated place to go to pray five times a day is not just an inconvenience, but a violation of their freedom of religion.
“There are Muslims in Oxford County and they are Canadian,” Alshehri told the Woodstock Sentinel Review. “Under the Canadian law and values, people should have freedom of religion and should practice their religion wherever they are. Muslims pray five times a day, they do the weekly sermon on Friday, many gatherings and weddings, and of course a mosque would be central on their lives.”
The last time I checked, freedom of religion meant the government would stay out of the way and let people practice their faith--which means they get to fundraise the money to build their own mosques, churches and synagogues.
Once again, we need separation of mosque and state.