A recently released video from the Pakistan Canada Association has confirmed that the current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, visited a mosque on July 24th, 2013 where he dressed in Islamic garb, prayed alongside fellow Muslims following Islamic prayer rituals, and then stood before the congregation and gave a speech in praise of Islam. From CIJ News:
Wearing a Shalwar-Kameez, a traditional Pakistani Islamic full-body garment, Trudeau is seen speaking to the Muslim congregation while standing in front of the minbar, the pulpit in the mosque where the imam (prayer leader) stands to deliver sermons. In his short speech Trudeau thanked the Muslim members of the congregation twice for allowing him to pray with them.
A week later, Mr. Trudeau wrote a post for the Canadian Liberal Party in which he mentioned is visit to the mosque and praised Islam and Ramadan for embodying “the principles upon which Canada is founded.”
You give a wonderful honour for including me in your prayer tonight. It is an opportunity for me to share some immersions of this moment of reflection as we commit ourselves to life of compassion and charity and I want also to greet, to send greetings to the sisters upstairs to brother downstairs and to all who welcomed me at your holy place.
For me, this moment of Ramadan is a time to reflect on the values of empathy, generosity and compassion, charity and also discipline. They are not just Muslim values but Canadian values.
And we are, all of us in this country incredibly incredibly lucky to be the one place around the world the managed to define itself as strong not in spite of our differences but well because of them.
We come here much like the Muslim community. Canadians have origins in every corner of the world, and we are defined as a country by shared values, by shared hopes and dreams grounded in respect for each other openness and willingness, and willingness mostly to work together to build a better future for ourselves, yes, but mostly for our children and in this moment you allowed me to share with you tonight.
I’m reminded once again of the strength and of the unity of the Muslim Canadian community as a young mom mentioned, we’re are facing a world of changes, of challenges, and when we look at the various citizens’ groups around the country, whether we look at Occupy or Idle No More in the Aboriginal communities, the Arab Spring and citizens’ uprising around the world, there is a call upon citizens and by citizens to stand up and demand more of our leaders, of our neighbours, and yes even of ourselves.
And I know one thing that if we are successfully face down and overcome the very many challenges that the twenty first century holds for us, not just as British Columbians, not just as Canadians, not just as Muslims, but as human beings.
If we are able to look beyond certain differences between us of different colour, of origin, of language or even of religion and understand that the hopes and dreams define us all together.
And I’m humbled by your openness towards me, and I’m certainly hopeful that in the coming months and years we continue to earn that support and trust that you have demonstrated by including me and allowing me to pray along side with you tonight.
Thank you very much for your welcome tonight and I wish you a blessed holy month of Ramadan.