What would the response of our politicians, from local to federal, have been if we allowed anyone in our school system or pulpits to refer to Muslims as misguided, their beliefs an aberration, and that they were the most obstinate of enemies ?


When I went to school the public schools in Ontario were considered Protestant rather than secular. No matter one’s religious or nonreligious belief system we started the morning off with the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come,Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

It’s an innocuous prayer. A call to be a better person.

Prayer is no longer allowed in the public, secular system. Over the past 150 years we’ve worked hard to provide equal rights to all people no matter race, colour, creed, religion or sexual orientation. We shun homophobia and misogyny and fight hard against xenophobia. And in the 21st century we should demand that no hateful speech toward another group of people is ever promoted in the public square and most importantly in our public schools.

Yet, in our desire to be accommodating and inclusive and promote diversity, we allow Muslim students to have prayer time our schools; most often on Friday when these students are given the opportunity to have a full service: prayers and sermon.

The Al-Fātiha which means to open, unlock, reveal, conquer is the prayer they share. It’s the most important prayer for Muslims. It’s the first sūrah (chapter) of the Qur’ān, and was one of the earliest portions of the Qur’ān revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. The entire Qur’ān was revealed in the years from 610 to 632 AD.

It can be repeated as often as 17 times a day for those who pray five times a day. It’s the prayer that starts all services in mosques across Canada.

As for its virtue, it is narrated from the holy Prophet (S) that:

“The reward of any Muslim who recites the Surah ‘Opening’, is like that of a person who has recited two thirds of the Qur’an, and so much reward would he receive as if he has given every believing Muslim, man or woman, a free will offering.

“In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds. The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.

Guide us on the straight path,the path of those who have received your grace; not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray. Amen.”

There are those in the Muslim world who say that “In many ways, the verses of the Fatiha are virtually identical to a prayer that Jesus gave, called the Lord’s Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13.”

Yet, according to Imam Omar Subedar of the Peel District School Board Faith Leaders Network, the final verse of Surah [Chapter] al-Fatiha, specifically ‘those who wander astray’ refers to the Christians because they were ascribing divinity to other entities: Jesus, which is exclusive for Allah.

And “those who have brought down your wrath” he prophet (pbuh) has identified as the Jews who now disbelieve in the verses of Allah (swt). This is the first thing that had angered Allah. The second thing is the rabbinical community. Whenever there was a threat to this power by new leaders coming in town particularly the prophets, they would kill the prophets, and habitually transgress the laws of Allah (swt). So this ultimately had now directed Allah’s (swt) anger to this community for the rest of eternity.

 The Al-Islam organization has provided “An enlightening commentary into the light of the Holy Qur’an Volume 1.Who are those who have brought down wrath or those who have gone astray? They are the Jews and the Christians.

For, as the Qur’an has clearly pointed out in different verses, the misguided Jews used to show a special grudge and enmity against the invitation of Islam, though, at the beginning, their scholars and learned men were the bearers of the glad tidings of Islam.

Very soon, though, under the effect of deviation of thought, belief and notion, and, also, because their financial gains were being endangered, they became the most obstinate enemies of Islam and they did whatever evil they could against the progression of lslam and Muslims.

(Even today, Zionism and Zionists hold the same position regarding the manner in which they treat Islam and Muslims.)

Therefore, to render these people as ‘those inflicted with His Wrath’ seems very correct.

But, the misguided of the Christians, who upon encountering with Islam were not so grudging, but were misled because of their misperception of the Divine religion and therefore refusing the Truth, were rendered into / dallin / ‘ those gone astray’.

They believed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost instead of clinging to true Monotheism, the worship of Allah. This is, in itself, one of the greatest examples of ‘astray’ and ‘aberration’.

All the commentators agree that “those who earn the anger” are the Jews; and that “those who go astray” are the Christians.

What would the response of our politicians, from local to federal, have been if we allowed anyone in our school system or pulpits to refer to Muslims as misguided, their beliefs an aberration, and that they were the most obstinate of enemies ?

Is it not our obligation to help all people acculturate to our values? How can we do that if we condone divisive teachings in our schools and houses of prayer?

Yes, we live in a country that prides itself on including many different lifestyles. But we have worked hard to move on from declaring one religious group better than another. One creed better than another. Yet, we are allowing these divisive ideas to be shared in our secular schools and Mosques. At the very least we are condoning the teaching of distaste for Christians and Jews, if not hate for them.


From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”