Monday, August 31, 2015

Toronto taxpayers fund Muslim-only apartments - Dan Calic

by Dan Calic

The city of Toronto is allowing Muslims to have their own large apartment complex.  Not only is it exclusive to Muslims, but it is done with the blessing of taxpayer money.

In this age when "political correctness" is on steroids, one major city seems to be redefining how to interpret it.

The city of Toronto is allowing Muslims to have their own large apartment complex.  Not only is it exclusive to Muslims, but it is done with the blessing of taxpayer money.

Indeed, in January 2015, the City of Toronto provided a $1.7-million grant to a 16-story apartment complex  run by Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace, which is Islamic.  Under the terms of the 5-year agreement with the city, approximately 100 apartments have been designated for "geared to income" occupants.  In plain English, this means they are for low-income or handicapped tenants.  However, the same agreement stipulates that renters must be "members of the Muslim Jama'at."  

Non-Muslims need not apply.

Low-income or handicapped-accessible apartments are quite difficult to find.  Roughly 90,000 families are on waiting lists, some for years, trying to find a place to live.  This past week, 11,000 applicants for said housing received a letter informing them they are being dropped from the list to get into the Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace, because they are not Muslim.  The restrictive policy has actually been in effect since 2002, but the recent public outcry erupted after the letters went out informing applicants they were being dropped from the waiting list.

Not surprisingly, many recipients of the letter were shocked and outraged.  Tweets lit up, Facebook posts exploded, and when the news media heard about it, the story hit the headlines.

When asked to comment on the controversial issue, Toronto city councilman Joe Cressy said that "the solution here lies not in restricting the diverse range of housing options, but in providing increased housing options for everybody who needs it."  In effect, he is saying there aren't enough properties that restrict applicants; there need to be more.

Suppose a group of black widows over 50 applied for a grant to manage property and rented only to similar women?  How about a group of homosexuals, white supremacists, people less than 5 feet tall, vegetarians, pet owners, etc.?

The reality is that while we are living in an age of political correctness, there are also double standards and discrimination.  Anti-Semitism, for example, has been around for centuries.  Do you think the City of Toronto would grant a permit to a group of Jews who planned to rent only to other Jews?  What if Christians were allowed the same privilege?

These days, rather than being awarded such privileged exclusivity, Christians are being persecuted worldwide in alarming numbers, especially in Muslim countries.  In the United States, which is supposedly a "Christian" nation, some public schools are refusing to allow Christians to pray.  Government buildings are under fire for biblical statements on statues.  Saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Chanukah" is becoming increasingly unacceptable.  Religious holidays are being redefined  in more politically correct terms and expressions.  Imagine.

Yet accommodating Muslims has become increasingly acceptable.  For example, the airport in Orlando, Florida recently approved a Muslim prayer room at a cost of $250,000.  Is there a similar room exclusively for Christians, or for Jews?  Some public schools are allowing Muslims out of class in order to pray.  Are Christians or Jews allowed the same privilege?  New York City public schools close on two Muslim holidays.

Why are Christians and Jews being told to take a back seat to Muslims?  This might be understandable in the Middle East or where Muslims are the majority.  However, this disturbing trend is taking place in North America.

It's difficult to predict where this will all end.  Given the amount of publicity the issue has gotten, it's a good bet the City of Toronto may need to hire more public employees.  Why?  Well, if for no other reason than to process what no doubt will be a flood of applications from a wide variety of groups who will be requesting housing grants for their own exclusive expressions – unless, of course, the City Council decides to abandon its maverick attempt at political correctness and return to more mainstream version.  Absent that, Toronto may become a melting pot of publicly funded self-interest communities.

Dan Calic is a writer, history student, and speaker.  See additional articles on his Facebook page.


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