Thornhill: the Myth of the Friendly Muslim Neighbourhood

This article is an open letter and a warning to the residents and the local politicians in Thornhill. Just like individuals, communities sometimes face crossroads, where they have to make choices that cannot be undone. In such situations one has only one chance to avoid irreversible changes.

The issue here is a new real estate development proposed by the shia Muslim Jaffari Centre. To introduce you to its details I chose articles by two eloquent supporters of the project with similar views: the Jewish intellectual Richard M. Landau and the Muslim activist Zafar Bangash, publisher of the Crescent Online magazine.

In his article, soothingly titled – Thornhill: The Kind of Canada I’d Like to Live In – Mr. Landau describes what the project is going to include:

A local Shia Muslim congregation had proposed to erect a 17-storey, 205-unit residence with retail space, along with another 17-storey seniors residence with 100 assisted living units and 61 three-storey condo townhouses near a major intersection. This is a large undertaking and buildings of that height and stature could be potentially dominant architecturally – never mind who occupies them.

Now understand that this suburb of Toronto has a rather interesting cultural history: A few decades ago, the emerging Italian populace moved into part of the community now called Woodbridge. Thornhill became a favourite location for Toronto’s growing Jewish population…

Mr. Bangash’s publication pictures the same ambitious venture:

The Shia Muslim community’s proposal includes one 17-storey, 205-unit residence with retail space along with another 17-storey seniors residence with 100 assisted living units (132 beds) and 61 three-storey common element condo townhouses.

This is impressive – there will be two high-rise buildings inhabited only with Muslims, who have a low income or don’t work at all, with the addition of many townhouses. That for sure is going to change the neighbourhood forever. As of now, the people who live in the area are mostly upper middle class Jews.

It is an economic axiom that whenever high-rise low-income buildings are built in an area, the property values drop like a stone. The increased density, combined with more crime, makes the houses around much less valuable. For most owners the home equity is their main asset and when it drops (without changing the property taxes) that doesn’t bring anything good to anybody.

Mr. Landau, however, tries to convince the scared owners that they should stay calm and carry on. In the beginning of the article he mentioned the Italians who lived there. Then he assures everybody that the Thornhill residents live in a wonderful multicultural society:

Among the communities in Thornhill is a significant Shia Muslim population with mostly Persian, South Asian, African and other roots. In fact, their long-standing Jaffari Islamic Centre famously shared a parking lot with the Jewish congregation of Temple Har Zion next door. It’s been a story of cooperation that many Canadians pointed to with pride.

Further he mentions that the Jaffari Centre would magnanimously allow the locals to use the playing fields and the tennis courts.

While I appreciate his multicultural enthusiasm, his points need a few clarifications. When the Italians moved into the neighbourhood, I am sure that their houses were not dumped all at once by a project of the Catholic Church. They bought or built their houses one by one, merging cultures that are not that different from each other.

Next Mr. Landau gives as an example of peaceful coexistence between Jews and Muslims with the sharing of a parking lot. “It’s been a story of cooperation that many Canadians pointed to with pride.” I wish he was joking, but it seems he is serious. Sharing a parking without fighting and punching each other is a basic sign of civility in Canada. It doesn’t require much of cooperation and it is odd to be proud of it. Or maybe he implies that when you deal with Muslims, event sharing a parking requires some skills?

The assumption that the mullahs will operate tennis courts and share them with Jews sounds like a line from a bad B-movie script.

Mr. Landau is oblivious to the fact that here we are talking a Muslim project, guided by rules and culture that is unlike anything that we have in Canada. Even now, the Jaffari Centre, which is a huge mosque, causes problems – especially when many Muslims show up for prayers. The local residents are often harassed by them with demands to use the driveways to park their cars.

The project is religious in nature and the compact mass of Muslims, who will move in, unlike the other mostly secular groups, is going to act in a strictly Islamic way (more details later). However, pointing out that fact in Canada is a dangerous endeavour. It could bring out the Muslim rage; the wrath of the human rights commissions, and may even label you “Islamophobe.”

As a result of that “tradition,” JDL-Canada, one of the groups that brought awareness to the Muslim development, was attacked almost immediately. Mr. Landau blamed it for spoiling the marvelous project:

But when the condo proposal was brought forward, not all was sweetness and light. Chief among the detractors was the Jewish Defence League (JDL), whose spokesperson was quoted as saying, the said condo complex would “encourage the spread of radical Islam.”

Though its reasoning is specious, it’s actually good the JDL is putting its cards on the table and not speaking in euphemisms or from behind the usual smokescreens.

The second paragraph was printed in the article with very large letters to make it clear how evil JDL-Canada is. Mr. Bangash’s fiery magazine had a much more extreme reaction:

The zionists are nothing if they are not racists. They would even oppose something as harmless as building a seniors’ home if it is for Muslims. This is what the Shia Muslim community is facing in Thornhill, a suburb outside Toronto. Ultimately, the Muslims will succeed because they are acting within their right but the entire episode once again exposes the racism of zionists…

Weinstein leads the Jewish Defence League (JDL), a notorious group of thugs well known for espousing a violent ideology. The group is banned in the US as a terrorist organization but for some mysterious reason, it continues to operate in Canada without hindrance…

Weinstein alleges the condominium project for Muslim seniors will encourage “radical Islam.” Some racists and bigots have also launched an online petition alleging the project would lead to an “influx of Muslims” into the community…

I hesitated whether to include that angry tirade, because other than being vitriolic, almost every word in it provides perfect material for a libel case. JDL in the USA is not banned and is not a terrorist organization. JDL-Canada is one of the few Jewish organizations here that openly confronts Muslim extremist events in a peaceful way.

The problem is that in our media-intense society when an event is not covered it is as if it never happened. Ignoring disturbing trends and movements creates in people and organizations the false security of the proverbial ostrich with his head in the sand. When Islamists are exposed, many of those who ignore them reluctantly pay attention or more often simply try to kill the messenger.

The shia organizations in Canada have quite a lot of skeletons in their closets as a result of their connections with the ayatollahs in Tehran. When one of them is about to take over your neighbourhood, it’s good to know what makes them tick.

Needless to say, the political and religious affiliations of the people who run the Jaffari Centre are disturbing. You can read documents about them and see videos online.

An interesting thing to note is how they define their loyalties. The radical cleric Syed Hassan Mujtaba Rizvi makes his preferences very clear:

“My affiliations are with Iran, because my affiliation with Canada would mean that if in Canada there was something for me to affiliate by, that was given to me by Allah, I should have affiliation with Canada. But when I look towards Allah, and I see that He has affiliation with Iran, has no affiliation with Canada with America, I say: I have affiliation with Iran. Do I have an affiliation with the country that I was born in? No.”

If he were a diplomat from Iran, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but since this is a guy, who is going to control a large group of Muslims about to move into the Jewish neighbourhood, his statement sounds beyond disturbing – especially when you consider the fact that Iran is ruled by a murderous anti-Semitic regime.

Not only does the Jaffari Centre provide spiritual guidance, but it also serves as an educational institution that indoctrinates the youth in the “rich” traditions of Ayatollah Khomeini. Some time ago, the blogger Blazingcatfur uncovered quite a few questionable materials. For example, the text below is from Youth Trip to Iran, a newsletter, which a charity associated with the Centre, ISIJ, sends to members of its youth wing:

“Among his strong statements to the youth, Imam Khamenei said that Marxism and Western Liberal Democracy will not have an appeal and this is evident with the awakening that has taken place in several countries over the last one year. He advised the youth that the awakening is the just the beginning and the youth must remain firm in their objectives of tarnishing the zionist dreams.”

When you consider the fact that the “Zionist dreams” are limited to surviving the aspirations of the populous and aggressive neighbours of Israel, it is clear that the Supreme Leader simply means that Israel should be destroyed. When scores of youth indoctrinated in that murderous ideology move among Jews, I somehow don’t see a potential for interfaith harmony.

The same ideology could be found in the textbooks used by the Jaffari Centre to teach elementary school kids:


“Unlike the beliefs of the ancient Romans, the Jews, and the Nazis, Islam is not restricted to a certain community of a certain race, but is for all human beings and aims at human prosperity and salvation. This divine faith requires all Muslims, guided by the holy precepts and instructions of Islam, to endeavor to rescue the oppressed masses to establish peace and justice, and to acquaint the unaware people of the whole world with Islam and Islamic rules and regulations.” (pg. 71)

End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries

“Ever since the Prophet’s entry into Madina, the treacherous Jews had vehemently opposed him and his Islamic call, evoking memories of their hostility to the previous Prophet, Jesus Christ (a), half a millennium ago. The crafty Jews entered into an alliance with the polytheist Quraish in a bid to stamp out Islam. They conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad [s] despite the fact that he was lenient towards them and had treated them kindly, hoping to convince them of Islam’s truth.

Again, I don’t see how kids who grow up with that hate would live peacefully with Jews. Because of that textbook, the Centre was under investigation for hate speech. As you can expect, they never charged them citing insufficient hatred, although the police admitted that the text wasn’t quite right. Even the most radical Muslims are a protected species under the Human Rights Code.

However, the written propaganda is not the only tool that lets us judge the positions of those organizations. They organize public events and rallies, at which they are not shy to promote their extreme views. And why shouldn’t they? As I mentioned above, the media had consistently ignored them and only because of rare groups like JDL-Canada we are aware of those events.

I’ve had the “privilege” of attending many of those rallies, organized and supported by Shia organizations, including the Jaffari Centre. In the video below you see Zafar Bangash, the staunch supporter of the Muslim real estate project. At a rally to condemn the violence against Shia in Pakistan, he managed to blame the “Zionists” for it and make the case that Iran is the best Islamic country.

Those organizations also sponsor a major anti-Semitic event that takes place every year – the Al-Quds day. Created by Ayatollah Khomeini, it still keeps the hatred against Israel alive. The participants, brought with buses (from the Jaffari Centre as well) are not afraid to make their views known. Here are a few pictures from the 2012 Al-Quds rally.

One of the cartoons mocking the Jews

One of the cartoons mocking the Jews

A proud Khomeinist poses for a portrait

A proud Khomeinist poses for a portrait

Standard blackmail – “Palestinian genocide”

Standard blackmail – “Palestinian genocide”

Later the same year thousands of Muslims were brought to the US Consulate to protest the “blasphemous” YouTube movie that the Obama administration blamed for the events in Benghazi. Again, the school buses brought people that barely could speak English, let alone use a computer to find a video on an English website. There were plenty of “seniors,” who would probably live in the new homes in Thornhill:

Angry Muslim seniors against YouTube

Angry Muslim seniors against YouTube

They clearly demanded blasphemy laws for Canada. Never mind that the country’s culture is supposed to be based on freedom of speech and discussion. The elderly woman below (who couldn’t read her sign) displayed the simple message that there is no free speech when the “prophet” of Islam is insulted. The police were fine with that.


New Muslim rules for Canada

New Muslim rules for Canada

The guy in the next picture asked that the rogue filmmaker be punished. Another one, standing close to him with a similar sign, when asked by Blazingcatfur what the punishment should be, simply stated that the offender must be killed. That sentiment was shared by many other people at the rally.


Zafar Bangash and a few prominent shia clerics spoke to the crowd affirming the demands for speech control. The movie was created in the USA by an Egyptian, but amazingly the Toronto Muslims still found a way to blame the whole thing on “fascist Israel.”

Student and senior jointly trash Israel

Student and senior jointly trash Israel

The 2013 Al-Quds rally exceeded all expectations. It had proud mullahs marching under the picture of Ayatollah Khomeini and signs calling for “liberation” of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.


Moderate Muslims with immoderate demands

Moderate Muslims with immoderate demands

The message again was crystal clear – “free our Jerusalem.” Since Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, to achieve that apparently the Jews must be kicked out.


The Muslim fanatics were so confident that the police around was not going to do anything to stop them, that they openly flashed flags of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, which is actually banned in Canada. Of course, not many people care about that – it is much easier to demonize JDL-Canada.

The charming Hezbollah groupies

The charming Hezbollah groupies

The anti-Semitic curriculum that I mentioned above obviously played its role to brainwash the kids, because a few of them were allowed to speak. The little mujahedeen below was very passionate about the destruction of the evil Israel.

The future “warrior”

The future “warrior”

But that was not all – one of the keynote speakers openly called for the extermination of the Jews in Jerusalem. The crowd cheered him. To the best of my knowledge, no Muslim organization that took part in the rally condemned the speaker Elias Hazineh.

The speech was so outrageous that the police eventually had to investigate the numerous complaints about it. In a shocking decision a few months later, the Attorney General of Ontario refused to file criminal hate speech charges. Let’s forget about anti-Semitism for a moment – here we have a guy, who utters a death threat. He could easily be charged with that crime under the Criminal Code.

However, since the politically correct idiots from our provincial government see Muslims and Jews involved in the incident, they’d rather ignore the crime than risking a few potential votes. In the case with the Muslim curriculum they did the same for the same reasons.

Do you see a pattern here? The radical Muslims are watching. They realize that the spineless government is afraid to mess up with them. Next time they will be bolder.

Those are the people, who are about to move to the Jewish neighbourhood in Thornhill. Of course, not all Muslims are radicals, but the worldwide experience with Islam shows us that the most radical Muslims are in charge due to the authoritarian structure of Islam as a religion and ideology. The moderate reformers (like Tarek Fatah, Raheel Raza, etc. in Canada) are marginal figures at best and don’t have much influence in Islam.

Let me ask the residents of Thornhill: are you willing to take that risk in the name of “multiculturalism”? Accepting radicalized people, who think that Israel is a cancer that must be excised through the extermination of the Jews, is not the best course of action in a Jewish neighbourhood. I wonder how far Muslim kids (like the little mujahedeen above) would go to explain their position to the Jewish kids on the playground.

Of course, there is another option as well – just close your eyes and dismiss all warning signs as malicious propaganda. When the reality strikes, salvage whatever is left from your house’s value and get out.

Eventually, it will be up to the people of Thornhill to decide their fate, but remember – you will get only one chance to make the right decision.


© 2014


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  1. The Lone Ranger says:

    We need to get back to the reason why the Crusades were fought in the first place. They were a long overdue response to the Muslim aggression that destroyed the Christian communities across the Levant and North Africa, invaded and colonised Spain, invaded France, Italy and the Mediterranean islands. The relentless Islamic persecution and murder of Christian pilgrims added to the offence. Just like the black and white slave trades Muslims are never made to face up to the crimes committed by them. Our histories are manipulated so as to show Europeans in a bad light and avoid “offending” Muslims.

    Now we are seeing the Islamic push to colonise us all over again. Except this time they are doing via mass immigration and the manipulation of our politically correct sensibilities. .

  2. Steven says:

    This article quotes Richard Landau, who correctly states on his Facebook page: ” Those who have an overwhelmingly negative impression of Islam and its followers would do well to acknowledge that the distinguished Aga Khan and his followers — the world’s 10-15 million Ismaili Muslims — have a remarkable track record in the advancement of civilized society.”

    Mr. Landau should appreciate 2 important facts in relation to his support of the Jaffari Centre; 1) 10 to 15 million Ismali Muslims (sadly) represent only 1% of Muslims, and 2) the Jaffari Centre and its leaders are worlds apart from Ismali Muslims,

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