Opinion: Path to fame, road to infamy (Kingston Whig-Standard & London Free Press)

By Sikander Hashmi

This is the tale of two young athletes living in the same city and belonging to the same faith community. Both have made headlines recently. How they got into the headlines is what sets them apart.

In 2006, 16 year-old Nazem Kadri was attending A.B. Lucas Secondary School in London, Ont. On the other side of town, Ali Medlej was close to graduating from London South Secondary School. Both were Muslim teens of Arab descent. Kadri was a practising Muslim who served as president of his school’s Muslim Students Association and was into hockey; Medlej was on his school’s football team.

Kadri, now a star forward with the Toronto Maple Leafs, made headlines early this week after scoring his second career hat trick and subsequently being kissed by Don Cherry on national television. A few days later, Medlej was leading national newscasts for allegedly being part of a deadly terrorist attack on an Algerian refinery in mid-January. According to news reports, Medlej, 24, was killed along with high school friend Xristos Katsiroubas, 22, also a London student.

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Also: Pick a life path – stardom or infamy?

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Opinion: Casino debate must end with a ‘No’ (Kingston Whig-Standard)

By Sikander Hashmi

Everyone likes to win. Nobody wants to lose.

In the current casino debate, proponents of a casino in Kingston want our city to reap the anticipated financial benefits. Since Kingston and Gananoque are in the same new gaming zone, Kingston’s win will be Gananoque’s loss.

Although the opening of a new casino in Kingston may appear to be a win for the city, it will be a loss for at least some of its citizens.

Let’s take John Doe and Jane Doe as examples. They will walk in through the doors of the casino, much more than once, with aspirations of big wins but will leave with disappointing losses.

These losses might not only take a toll on John and Jane. They could bring suffering to their family members as well.

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Saying “No” to the Casino Gamble (Friday Khutbah)

Friday Khutbah, March 1, 2013 at the Islamic Centre of Kingston (Ontario)

Saying “No” to the Casino Gamble (Runs: 22:46 ~ 7.81 MB)

Gambling is gaining popularity and now there’s talk about possibly bringing a casino to our city. What are the Islamic teachings regarding gambling? What is gambling capable of doing? What message should be given to the city’s leaders?

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Muslim Community’s Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence

For the first time, over 80 Canadian Muslim organizations, imams and community leaders have signed on to a call for action against domestic violence. Read it here.

This is much more than a statement. This is a commitment to work towards eradicating domestic violence and “honour” killings.

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The moment a private sin goes public

For those of you who haven’t been following the very close UK election, Prime Minister Gordon Brown didn’t have the smoothest of campaigns. A major gaffe was when he forgot a wireless microphone belonging to Sky News on in his car after a campaign stop and referred to a woman he just met – a long-time supporter of his Labour party – as “bigoted.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refers to a woman he just met on the campaign trail as "bigoted" while he is driven away. The comment was caught by a wireless mic he had mistakenly left on.

Brown was asked to come into BBC studios for an interview on the blunder. During the interview, the tape was played back for him. The defeated look is a classic.

The moment Brown was told his comments were going to be played on-air

British PM Gordon Brown while his "bigoted" comment is played back to him on-air

Brown’s incident reminded me of having our sins aired publicly on the Day of Judgement. If this is how crushed we feel when a few private words go public in this world, imagine how we’ll feel when our entire list of sins is judged publicly on the Day of Judgement?

May Allah protect us all. Ameen.

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