Sep 302014

Did you know that September 30th is International Blasphemy Day?

Don’t confuse this event as some cheap excuse to legitimize insulting those of faith. It isn’t.  This is an event that marks and highlights the importance of Freedom of Though, Speech & Expression as a Fundamental Human Right – one that cannot be taken away under the guise of Religious Freedom or privilege.

Many countries around the World (including the West) have blasphemy laws. 13 countries punish blasphemy with death, still more with lashes, jail and fines. Those found guilty (included bloggers killed this week) number in the thousands.

In honor of today we are posting a cartoon that more than a billion people can’t – and one that would carry a death sentence for many.

Luke Fevin, Director for SEA


 Posted by at 2:07 PM
Sep 112014

An article appearing in the Cold Lake Sun  this week shows the President of the Islamic Society of Cold Lake being awarded a government grant of $100,000,  reporting that this money is to assist in the building of a new mosque there.    According to the goverment page regarding these grants, there is a budget of $38 million per year that goes towards projects that enhance the community.  Any groups applying must fulfill specific criteria and there is a fund-matching policy in effect (so you must have funds of your own) before being granted money via the Community Facility Enhancement Program.

Many of the first responses to this article were questions about why the government is able to fund a religious group and if this is a violation of our Charter.  It’s worth noting that Canada does not have a clear separation of church and state, our Charter only guarantees freedom OF religion.   If you’d like a more detailed explaination, check out this article explaining the differences between the US and Canada.   Ajaz Quraishi’s group were able to meet the criteria for the CFEP as they fall under the societies act, despite also being tied to a religious group.

new mosque cold lake sun

The project has been in the works for years and first hit the news in 2010 when councillors voted to allow them to purchase some land at a 90% discount, then rescinded that offer.   Eventually the society were granted 2 acres of land at market value ($130,000)  in Cold Lake and now plan to use that space to build a community center and a mosque.

Ajaz Quraishi

I spoke to Ajaz Quraishi directly to get more details and to confirm what the monies will be used for.   He has issued a public statement on his own facebook wall explaining the report was incorrect and that the money will in fact go towards a community hall, which will be open for use (presumably rentable space) by the public.  The mosque is a separate project although it will still go on the same land.   The application for the grant took about 6 months and Ajaz is hoping to have the permits in the next few months so they can start building the community hall.   He has no timeline for the mosque as of yet as the group are still raising funds for that project.

 Posted by at 2:52 PM
Mar 102013

Once again, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association has invited us to speak at their annual Interfaith Symposium. Click the link at the bottom to see the program.

Admission is free, but please register on their page. There are refreshments afterward, and they use the registrations to determine how much to bring.


21 March 2013 @ 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Telus Centre, University of Alberta (Map)

   Interfaith 2013 Final Program

Oct 022011

One of our members recently attended Friday prayer with a Muslim co-worker. Since many members of the SEA have been to Christian services, but not many other faiths, there was a lot of curiosity. He’s kindly written up his experience for us.

On Friday September 23, 2011 I attended a Jumu’ah at a mosque here in Edmonton. A Jumu’ah is the special prayer that is performed by Muslims in the afternoon on Fridays. I have always had a bit of a fascination with Islam and, now that I have a coworker that is Muslim, I am able to learn much more about the Muslim faith. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:59 PM
Oct 082010

Our President has been invited to present an atheist perspective on this topic. Also presenting are a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim (oh my). Each speaker will have approximately 20 minutes to state his case, and then there will be a question period. As he will basically be outgunned by a ratio of three Abrahamics to one, any support would be greatly appreciated, especially in the form of well thought out questions.

Thursday, October 14, 2010
19:00 – 21:00
TELUS Centre, University of Alberta

Hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Edmonton

 Posted by at 8:45 PM