London attacks galvanize Muslims

Between the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the most recent bombings in London, a dramatic shift has occurred in the way Muslim religious and cultural leaders respond publicly to terrorism, reported Montreal’s Gazette July 22. In issuing their statement Thursday denouncing terrorism, and vowing to route out extremism in their communities, 120 Canadian imams and other Islamic spiritual figures were following the lead of prominent Muslims in Britain. It was the first time in Canada an Islamic coalition from diverse ethnic backgrounds has taken such a public stand. Saeed Rahnema, a political scientist in York’s Faculty of Arts who specializes in Islamic studies, said attitudes changed following the first London attacks, when the profile of the four subway bombers – born and raised in Britain, according to police – galvanized British Muslims.

No point selling LCBO

“The LCBO review panel’s findings and recommendations, which your [July 19] editorial correctly rejects, are based on unfounded claims and assertions as well as significant omissions,” wrote Nuri Jazairi, an economics professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, in a letter to the Toronto Star July 22. The panel struggles to demonstrate that “social control” under its plan can be maintained through a complex system of “regulatory enforcement” and “more effective legislation,” which even if true, offers no improvement over the simple use of the LCBO as a government public policy instrument to decide how, where, when and at what price Ontario’s beverage alcohol should be sold, argued Jazairi. The panel’s central claim that “the consumer would get greater convenience and choice and would benefit from a competitive retail environment” is unproven and a gross exaggeration. The convenience that may result from allowing wine and beer stores to sell spirits as well is clearly unimportant, and the “greater choice” and the “benefit from a competitive retail environment” are generalized assertions made without proof or analysis, Jazairi stated.

Choir leader to teach gospel music at York

Former Brantford resident Karen Burke has parlayed her musical abilities into a new job, reported Brantford’s Expositor July 22. The leader of the Juno-winning Toronto Mass Choir has taught in elementary and secondary schools. Now, she’s accepted a position with York University and will begin teaching gospel and other forms of black music this fall.

Black volunteers get awards

Four Torontonians, including a York student, were honoured Thursday with a Michael “Pinball” Clemons Community Leadership Award sponsored by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the City of Toronto, reported The Toronto Sun July 22. The awards celebrate exceptional contributions and community involvement by members of the city’s black and African community. Among the winners was Rahel Appiagyei, an international studies and English student in York’s Glendon Faculty.

Soccer goalie heading for Portugal

Roberto Ferrari, a 21-year-old goaltender for Hamilton Thunder of the Canadian Professional Soccer League and a second-year kinesiology student at York, plans to put his studies on the back burner while playing in Portugal after the Thunder playoffs, reported The Hamilton Spectator July 22. “Soccer is my passion,” he said. “I’d like to see how far it will take me.”

On air

  • In a live broadcast July 21 from Simcoe Park for the start of the Dim Sum festival, CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” aired music by the Yellow River Ensemble, a group lead by Kim Chow-Morris, director of York’s Chinese Classical Orchestra.