Certify all religious clerics or certify none

We need to promote multi-faith dialogue and mutual trust within our country

Editor, The Times:

As a Minister of the United Church of Canada, I agree with Imam Mazhar Mahmood of the Ayesha Mosque and Catholic Bishop David Monroe that the Senate proposal to certify Muslim imams is discriminatory.

Such a proposal is clearly unjust. Either all religious clerics in Canada are certified or none should be.

The Senate proposal is unnecessary.

Most, if not all, organized religious groups in Canada require their leaders to complete internal and external checks, including RCMP criminal-record searches.

No system is perfect, but the present one works well.

In my opinion, the Senate proposal would do nothing to promote greater peace and security in Canada.

It only fans the flames of fear, intolerance and prejudice.

Instead, we need to promote multi-faith dialogue and mutual trust within our country.

When we get to know our neighbours — no matter what faith they may or may not follow, that’s when peace and security increases.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Ayesha Mosque in Knutsford for a prayer service celebrating the breaking of the fast with the end of Ramadan.

I attended after hearing on CBC Radio an invitation from Mahmood for the public to attend the prayer service, followed by a meal.

I had never been to an Islamic prayer service. I was warmly welcomed and appreciated meeting members of the Muslim community.

Thank you to Imam Mahmood and the Ayesha Mosque for their gracious invitation and hospitality.

Rev. Bruce Comrie

Kamloops, B.C.