Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, is commemorated on 11 November each year and marks the end of World War I in 1918. In Canada, this is a time of remembering the men and women who served and continue to serve our country during times of conflict and peace. It is a public and federal statutory holiday, as well as a statutory holiday in all three territories and in six of the ten provinces, reports Waseem Ahmad Sahib.
Inspired from the UK Jamaat’s participation in their Remembrance Day programme, Canada Jamaat also started it here. It was named “Muslims for Remembrance Day” campaign, now in its ninth year.
With the Markaz’s permission, Canada Jamaat has also been coordinating with other commonwealth countries to hold Remembrance Day programmes. Alhumdolillah, many countries now regularly participate, and it can be said that Canada Jamaat helped them get started. There is a global coordinated effort with the hashtag, #MuslimsforRemembrance.
By the grace of Allah, on Friday, 8 November, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada celebrated Remembrance Day throughout Canada. Due to Friday prayers, a much larger crowd comes to the mosque on Fridays, including women and children, hence why Friday was selected as the day of remembrance. Special ceremonies were held in all Canadian Jamaats. These ceremonies demonstrated that Ahmadi Muslims are proud Canadians and support the sacrifices of their veterans. More importantly, they are ready to live up to the Islamic teaching, “Love of country is part of your faith”.
The main event was held at Baitul Islam mosque, where Amir Jamaat Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib welcomed all those present and briefly explained the Islamic perspective on patriotism.
Messages from the Prime Minister of Canada Mr Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Official Opposition Mr Andrew Scheer and Premier of Ontario Mr Doug Ford were also read out. Many dignitaries, including federal and provincial ministers, federal and provincial members of parliament, mayors and councillors attended this event. Some of them were invited to speak. The Canadian National Anthem was also sung. The poem, “In Flanders Fields” and the music “Last Post” were played, followed by a two-minute silence.
The event concluded with silent prayers. The attendance figure was approximately 1,000. Similar events were held across Canada in Jamaat centres of Barrie, Bradford, Brampton, Calgary, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Montreal, Milton, Mississauga, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Windsor to name a few. Wonderful feedback was received from many of the participants. One example was the tweet of Canadian Senator, Ms Paula Simons, who attend the event in Baitul Hadi Mosque, Edmonton. She tweeted that she had a most enjoyable and memorable day attending the Remembrance Day programme at Edmonton Mosque. This was a strong rebuttal to notable Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry’s recent divisive remarks on live television insinuating that immigrants do not fully observe Remembrance Day. Long Live Canada!