February 05, 2014
Councillor Alan Shefman
City of Vaughan
2141 Major Mackenzie Drive
Re: Public Hearing for Files OP.13.013 and Z.13.036 – “Jaffari Centre”.
Dear Councillor Shefman,
I attended the public meeting held at the Council chambers on February 4, 2014 and herein express my concern over the manner in which the meeting was conducted. I registered to make a verbal deputation, but was called away early due to an urgent family matter. I was present in the hearing room until approximately 10:00 PM.
I wish to state my complaint about the manner in which the meeting was chaired and suggest that there were a number of procedural violations that you allowed that should invalidate several of the deputants. I am troubled that you failed to adhere to the strict rules that you laid out at the inception of the meeting which resulted in the application of a clear double-standard regarding the deputations.
You stated that the only information that you would allow to be presented were issues that related to matters regarding “planning”, “zoning” and “by-laws”. I believe that you correctly sensed the proposal before council to be potentially incendiary and you cautioned the public that racial remarks would not be tolerated. You made it very clear that each deputant was required to identify themselves by name and address in order to be heard.
The first group of deputants who opposed the project adhered to those rules, clearly identified themselves as residents noting their street addresses and proceeded to address technical faults of the proposal.
Your record will show that most of the second group of deputants who supported the proposal failed to identify themselves by residence address and further did not speak to technical matters — but rather tried to influence council with self-serving expressions of “faith” and “community”. This was not just my personal observation, but also the observations of many others who have contacted my office within the last 24 hours.
I respectfully suggest to you that the testimony of those who breached your conditions of procedure should be invalidated and struck from the record.
My deputation in brief is distilled in the following two points that relate to broad public safety concerns and a breach of the Human Rights Code:
The Jaffari Centre poses a serious safety threat to the stability of the existing community as it’s public values as espoused on the “Jaffari” website are contrary to core Canadian values of democracy and tolerance. The Jaffari Centre reveres and pays tribute to the Ayatollah Khomeini, who is regarded as the father of their Islamic revolution — representing an intolerant, medieval,misogynous and homophobic culture — hardly the cultural values promoted by the Canadian Charter.
I attach a document posted recently on the website of Crescent International — representing itself to be “….a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought” — a document written by the leading members of the same Shia community with whom the Jaffari Centre has partnered in the past — a document using incendiary language that is clearly anti-semitic. You will note that the same article contains a previous cover titled “Tipping the Score” where the symbol of the Islamic revolution and the flag of the terrorist organization “Hezbollah” are depicted as tipping the scales in their favour. I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that Hezbollah is an organization that is recognized (not alleged) by the Canadian government to be a banned terrorist organization.
The President of the Jaffari Centre is on record stating clearly to the news media that the project is a “Muslim only” development — clearly in contravention of the Human Rights Code.
Please consider this our formal objection to this proposal.