06 November 2007

Muslims pray for Ontario hospital

The Brampton Civic Hospital, which officially opened on 28 September, was blessed by the Muslim community of the north-western Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in a ceremony held on 21 October (see p. 15 of this PDF).

In an event organised by the Muslim Friends of the William Osler Health Centre, over 500 people gathered to perform the Islamic noon (zuhr) prayer at the hospital, and to pray for the success of the establishment. Contributions worth $5,800 were collected for the hospital from those assembled (Canadian Asian News).

This is a perfect illustration of where the superiority of the Canadian model of immigrant integration lies as compared to, say, the French model. Whereas in France any attempt to hold a public prayer at a public hospital would have very possibly led to an outcry in society, in Canada (though not in Quebec), this sort of thing fits in quite well with the majority population's understanding of their own country. What better way to make the users of a hospital feel that they have a stake in it than to have them pray for it, in their own way? What better way to make public institutions truly public, rather than off-putting manifestations of a faceless state?

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