Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
1st Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 139, Issue 122
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, Parliament Hill was the venue for two joyous Milad-un-Nabi celebrations over the past two weeks, which commemorated the birthday of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad. May peace be upon him.
On Thursday May 30, 2002, the Ottawa Muslim Association, in conjunction with other local Muslim organizations, held a Milad celebration in Room 200 of the West Block. I had the pleasure of co-sponsoring this event with His Excellency Dr. Mohammed R. Al-Hussaini, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and His Excellency Dr. Mohammed A. Mousavi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In his address, the Saudi ambassador spoke of the nature of Islam and extolled the prophet’s virtues. He said:
For more than one fifth of the world’s population, Islam is a religion and complete way of life. Prophet Mohammed, as a messenger of God, received the revelation over the last 23 years of his life. We, as Muslims, strive to follow the Prophet’s steps.
His Excellency continued:
The Prophet’s virtues are reflected in his great modesty, honesty, compassion and love for other human beings regardless of race, colour or origin. These are the qualities of a great man chosen by God to be his messenger.
The Iranian ambassador spoke of the positive effect that events like the Milad on the Hill could have. He said:
As the Muslim nations of the world are currently facing numerous challenges related to having a negative perception and identity crises, I believe these kinds of forums can positively help in dissuading the concerns of the Western world, if they have any.
On the afternoon of Sunday, June 9, 2002, Ottawa’s Ismaili Muslim community held a celebration of the Holy Prophet’s birthday in Room 200 in the West Block. Professor Karim Aly Kassam of the University of Calgary gave the keynote address on the topic: “To whom much is given, much is expected: Prospective from a Canadian Muslim.” Senator Prud`homme spoke at both of these events.
Professor Kassam spoke about the significance of celebrating the Milad on Parliament Hill. He said:
The recent Milad events commemorating the birth of Prophet Muhammad on Parliament Hill are a testament to the Muslim presence in Canada and the Canadian commitment to pluralism and religious diversity.
I hope all honourable senators will join me in celebrating the Holy Prophet’s birthday and acknowledging his monumental contribution to humanity.