Borhras and reform
Canadian Senate foils Sayedna's plans - Part 2
In 1992 Sayedna's attempt to become the sole owner of Bohra community's property in Canada (Bill S-13) was defeated by the Canadian Senate. Here we re-produce a petition sent by a Canadian progressive Bohra to Senator Corbin urging him to argue against Bill S-13.
February 1, 1993
Hon. Senator Eymard G. Corbin
Rm. 575 F
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa K1A OA4
Hon. Senator Corbin.
Re: Bill S-13
I understand from the Senate Debate of December 14, 1992 re. the above Private Member's Bill that you wish to speak on the matter when the Senate resumes the Second Reading of this Bill after the Senate's return from Xmas vacations.
As a concerned Citizen of Canada and a member-by-birth of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, I wish to append and present my following thoughts on the above subject which you could consider using during your submission to the Senate.
I wish to clarify at the outset that I consider the Dai Al Mutlaq His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin as my spiritual and religious leader but not as my secular or temporal leader. This is also the view of most of the Community members - including the so-called dissident and progressive\reformist members.
- The Dai Al Mutlaq and his family live in Bombay at Saifee Mahal (Palace) and Badri Mahal and the family is known to the Community as Royal Family. His sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and other blood relatives are addressed by the Community members as Shahzaadas (princes) and Shahazaadis (Princesses). Throughout the world (most of them in India) there are at least 2000 members of the Royal Family who are directly supported by the Community by the following 21 types of taxes extorted by the various Governors (Amils) - in most urban centres these being the Princes of the Royal Family:
- Zakat - Income Tax - Alms for the Poor (have to be paid to Amils).
- Sila Fitra - Annual Poll Tax, including by deceased first and second generations.
- Nazar Mukam - Divine intervention commitment.
- Hakkun Nafs - Death Taxes
- Khums - one-fifth wealth tax.
- Sabil - monthly dues.
- Building or Property acquisition funds.
- Nazranas and Salaams for following occasions:
- on marriage
- on naming the child
- on cutting hair of the child for the first time
- on oath of allegiance to the Dai Al Mutlaq - (Misaq equivalent to Bar Mitzva)
- on funeral prayers and various memorial services on the 3rd day, a month, 40 days, 1 year after the death and death anniversaries
- on in lieu of pilgrimage to Mecca by the family of a deceased who was unable to do so during his\her lifetime
- on invitations to members of Community to one's residence
- for passport or entry to Paradise
- for religious discourse
- on invitation to Royal Family Members
- for the privilege of a visit by Royal Family Members to one's residence
- conferment of patronage titles: NKD, MKD, Mulla, Sheikh
- on pilgrimage to Mecca
- The so-called Governor of the Dai Al Mutlaq (Amil) in Canada, Quresh Bhai Saheb Shehabuddin (known to his flock as Quresh B.S) - Dai Al-Mutlaq's nephew, of Toronto was sponsored as an immigrant about 10 years ago to reside in Canada by the Community under concocted reasons and false pretences despite the Community already having in Canada numerous Mullas and Sheikhs to perform the religious rites and services for the 125 or so families of the Community residing in Canada at the time.
- The Amil not only receives a stipend from the Community (including a salary, untaxed house, car, generous travel expenses throughout the world) but also a certain percentage of the gross receipts extorted as listed in I above - plus unaccounted and untaxed substantial amount of tithes from the members of the Community compulsorily extorted every time a Community member wishes to utilize the services from the Amil as expounded in item 8 above.
The Dawoodi Bohra Community in Canada has registered an organization called Anjumane Najmi with Revenue Canada as a Charitable Organization and issues receipts to its members for only taxes paid for items 6 and 7.
Hence the Canadian taxpayer has contributed towards the acquisition of the Community Centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario (by way of a tax deduction to the Community Members) and after the completion of the purchase, this by way of Bill S-13 will revert personally to the Dai Al-Mutlaq.
No receipts are issued for the other 19 taxes as they are directly deposited into the Dawate-Hadiya's Account. The following people have become prosperous self-employed businessmen since being appointed executives and office-bearers of the Community.
- Sheikh Hamza Najmi (formerly Patel)
- Sheikh Zulfiqar Zakir (formerly Patwa and brother-in-law of Patel)
- Mulla Ismail Yahya
- Nassir Kanchwalla (name since changed)
(As it transpires from the above, the priests compel the change of names of their disciples at whim and slightest excuse. A person named Zahid Hussein in Ontario was ordered to change his name to Hussein. Hussein because according to Quresh B. S., Zahid happens to be the name of a dissident member in India. One wonders why Quresh B.S. is not ordering all the Mohammeds to change their names as there are Mohammeds who belong to the so-called dissident\progressive wing of the Community in Canada).
It is also known that Sheikh Hakim Abdulhusein Shakir has been given a substantial amount of interest-free loan (Quarze Hassana) from the Community funds. Is this or the payment of fat legal fees paid or payable to the lawyers to incorporate the Dai Al-Mutlaq or the alleged political donations paid to a political party allowed under the Charitable institution regulations?
On September 22, 1992, Senator Atkins stated that adherents of the Community are required by their religious beliefs to be patriotic and loyal to their adopted nation and to participate in its economic, cultural and educational developments ... and participate in the milieu of Canadian life.
This statement, presumably prepared for Senator Atkins, by the Amil Quresh B.S. is far from true for the following factual reasons:
- Genital mutilations of clitoris under the guise of female circumcision is actively enforced by the Community in Canada - although this is not an Islamic tradition or custom. One of the cousins of Quresh B.S from California - a lady with medical background or qualifications visits Ontario regularly to conduct these procedures on little girls of the Community. Female circumcision is a crime in Ontario. This fact can be verified by having the Children Aid Society's doctors physically examining all the female children of the Community over 4 years old who have been born in Canada.
Members of the Community in Canada who work for Banks or Insurance Companies have been directed by Quresh B.S. to be socially and religiously shunned, harassed, intimidated, threatened or boycotted by other Community Members (Baraat - meaning ex-communication which by the way is not recognised in Islam).
The shunning entails refusal by Quresh B.S. to conduct naming of child, Misaq, wedding ceremonies, funeral rites or memorial services. Members of the Community are compelled not to associate with people who have been “red-listed” as such - or else they will face the same fate. They practice their own version of “Bohrapartheid” on the followers.
- Female members are compelled to wear Rida (Chador), or else baraat!!
- Male members are compelled to wear a full beard, or else baraat!!
- Members of the Community who have any mortgages, RRSPs or loans suffer the same fate. The Akbarally Family of Montreal had to give up their lucrative I.G.A. franchise and a Cash and Carry Store after being coerced by Quresh B.S. to do so. Other members throughout Ontario had to sell their residences at a substantial loss of their equity because they had mortgages on the properties.
A female member of the Community, Ms. Yasmin Tayabali Ajmerwalla invited some members of the Community for a recitation of the Holy Quran at her residence in commemoration of her recently deceased father's rites. She and all the people who participated in these rites were ordered to apologise in writing by Quresh B.S. because the recitation of the Holy Quran was held on His Holiness's birthday and because permission was not sought from Quresh B.S. Since when is the recitation of the Holy Quran a sin in Islam? And why does recitation of the Holy Quran require permission from the priest? What a sacrilege?
Aren't the above practices against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Canadian Human Rights Code and abuse of Civil Rights?
- All members of the Community (especially in B.C.) have specifically been ordered NOT to associate with another Shia sect called the Ithna Asheri Community and Quresh B.S. has directed the Community in other Canadian cities that they should not hold their functions in Churches as their children will be contaminated by Christian influences. Isn't this against the Criminal Code - spreading racial hatred?
During the 10 days of the month of Mohorrum (when the martyrdom of Imam Husein is commemorated), Quresh B.S. has actively encouraged the members of the Community in Ontario to fake sickness and take sick leave from their employers to attend his sermons in Toronto.
Sheikh Hakim Abdulhusein Shakir, an appointed executive of the Community, is employed by the Toronto Transit Commission and has been known to be cautioned by his employers for taking excessive amount of time-off.
Members of the Community, most of whom originate from the State of Gujarat in India, predominantly speak the Gujarati Language.
The Metropolitan Toronto School Board encourages the teaching of Heritage Languages. Gujarati is one of the languages being already sponsored and paid for by the Board for sometime. The teaching of religion is specifically excluded by this programme.
In order to circumvent this regulation, Quresh B.S. and his clique, a few years ago, intentionally and under false pretences changed the name of Gujarati Language to Lisane Dawat - Komi Zabaan (language of the community) and applied to the Board and was granted funds to have this language taught as a Heritage Language. Sheikh Hakim Abdulhusein and his wife are being paid by the Board to teach the children. But instead of teaching the language, children of the Community are taught about the Dawoodi Bohra Community religion (!!) and songs of praises for His Holiness and curses against the Sunnis and dissidents and progressive members of the Community. One can easily verify whether the children have ever been taught the purported Heritage Language.
Two elderly widows from Brampton, Ontario, who were earning a meagre living from teaching the kids privately have been specifically forbidden by Quresh B.S. to continue as the Board will only pay for the teachers if the numbers justify.
Jamie Lamb of the Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) wrote two feature articles on January 8, 1993 and January 11, 1993 on the above Bill. Quresh B.S., through his lawyers has threatened to sue Jamie Lamb and the Vancouver Sun for these factual articles.
Didn't the Reichmann Family use the same ruse and their billions to silence the media against some Canadian writers and publications a couple of years ago when the Canadian media wanted to expose the truth?
- A few years ago, an Editorial in the Daily Nation, a Nairobi newspaper owned by the Aga Khan (another Shia Sect), exposed the extortion, corruption and abuses by the High Priest's representatives on the followers of the Dawoodi Bohra Community in Kenya. After an intense pressure exerted by the His Holiness's administration in Kenya on the Aga Khan, the Editor was asked to apologize. The Editor refused on a matter of principle (truth) and was fired by the Aga Khan.
I implore upon you to have this matter go to Committee. Invite through press advertisements or personal invitations and have any member of the Community testify in Camera, as under the threat of Baraat\excommunication and physical harm, nobody would dare come out in public to testify. Due to the adverse publicity on the opposition debates, Quresh B.S. has ordered all the Community members in Canada to sign a blank petition to be sent to the Senate and House of Common Chambers asking the Government to pass Bill S-13 by hook or by crook.
You must also subpoena Quresh B.S., as the sole representative of the Dai Al-Mutlaq, to appear before the Committee and ask him under oath about all the above abuses etc. in Canada. But I must warn you about the concept in the Dawoodi Bohra Community of what is known as Taquiyah. This principle allows a disciple to lie, perjure, cheat, steal, exaggerate or hide when in his opinion his faith is threatened by a non-believer of the faith.
Hence when Quresh B.S.'s lawyers, Borden & Elliott and Senator Norman Atkins allude that “...the Dawoodi Bohra in Canada represents a harmonious source of community traditions within the rich blend of Canadian Society” it is true for most of the law-abiding members of the Community. However, it is certainly not true for its leaders and the appointed henchmen who run the Community for their own selfish motives and profit at the expense of its docile and God-fearing followers - however naive and gullible.!! As George Bernard Shaw, after studying all religions, quite rightly surmised and quipped: “Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers.”
The Community has not remained a glorious Community which it used to be some 30 years ago but a Family-controlled clan of slaves. In fact, the followers are compelled to call themselves “Abde Syedna” - meaning slave of His Holiness. Islam does not recognise institutionalised priesthood. A number of Community members have converted themselves to Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and Bahaais to escape the torture by the priests. Despite their conversion, their unconverted families, friends and relatives are being hounded by the priests and their cohorts.
- After the destruction of the mosque in Ayodhya (India) and the race riots between Hindus & Muslims, the Principal of Tyebiah Girls High School, Bombay (run by Saifee Mahal - Palace) was dismissed by the Bohra Community priests for producing a play on national integration and unity depicting the life of a Hindu family. This led to the launching of protests in media in favour of the principal's rights. This may have exacerbated the Hindu-Muslim tensions and led to the riots in Bombay just two weeks ago in which numerous Bohras were murdered.
- We do not want or need this situation to be transplanted in Canada. Passing Bill S-13 will enhance and compound Quresh B.S.'s delusion of grandeur and credibility in order to repress the Canadian members of the Community all the more.
Thank you for your support to the silent and suppressed majority of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. Some of these members had emigrated from their home countries to Canada to escape the religious persecution regularly practised by the Dawoodi Bohra Community priests as they could not seek any redress from the corrupted third world countries governments - only to find history repeating itself in Canada.
Senator Hon. Philippe Deane Gigantes
Senator Hon. Royce Frith.