Plans are in the works for a Phase II and expansion to other towns in Ontario.
From the National Post.
Giving Peace a chance in Muslim suburbia
Peter Kuitenbrouwer, National Post
Published: Saturday, October 06, 2007
VAUGHAN -Before dawn in this sprawl north of Toronto, McDonald's is locked and Tim Hortons is empty. The fake mountain of Canada's Wonderland, the amusement park, peeks from the gloom. Across the street looms the white minaret of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at mosque.
Note - Ahmadi or Ahmadiyya in Urdu is a sect of Islam. Basically they believe that a prophet after Mohammed walked the earth. This is considered heretical by most Muslims since it is believed that Mohammed was the last prophet with none to follow. This is why the Ahmadi are not considered Muslims by many of their fellow Islamic believers. Ahmadiyya, as opposed to Ahmadi, tips us off that the majority of the residents in the exclusive Islamic neighbourhood in Vaughn are Pakistani immigrants since Urdu is the primary dialect of Pakistan. This makes sense when we consider that Pakistan is one of Canada's top immigrant producing countries.
Welcome to Peace Village, Canada's first Islamic subdivision, where all 260 homes belong to members the Ahmadiyya sect, who flooded to Canada in the 1980s after persecution in Pakistan. It looks ordinary, with basketball nets and minivans in the driveways, until you notice the street signs: Mahmood Crescent, Ahmadiyya Avenue and Noor-Ud-Din Court.
"There is nothing like this in North America," boasts Naseer Ahmad, a real estate agent from Pakistan who dreamed up this community of Islamic dream homes (including oak stairs and central air conditioning) on the edge of Toronto. "You have a mosque, and people are walking to enjoy their faith."
The houses, with some modifications, such as increased ventilation (for spicy food) and separate living rooms for women and men, are so successful that, six years after Peace Village opened, Mr. Ahmad plans to double the mosque's size and is now selling 55 townhomes, 1,700 square feet each, for around $350,000 with a garage and a yard, as "Peace Village Phase II."
Settlers have gathered around churches since Europeans first came to Canada. Newer immigrants took over downtowns vacated by earlier ethnicities, giving Montreal a Chinatown and Toronto a Little Portugal. This is different: it is a new development for one ethnic group.
To the dismay of some locals, a demolition crew last year took down a United Church next to where Peace Village is growing. The changes have inspired Christians to reassert themselves: Across the highway, Italian-Canadians built "Vellore Woods" with a large Catholic church at its centre, mimicking Peace Village.
Note - Is there a more apt image of the decline of Western civilization, of which Canada is apart of, than the demolition of a Christian church to accommodate an encroaching Muslim populace? But then again maybe the cultural aggressiveness of Muslims may be what we in the West need to rediscover our Christian heritage. I know, I know, it is wishful thinking.
The Ahmadiyya plan a similar faith-based suburb near a mosque they are building in Calgary.
The Ahmadiyya say they don't mean to isolate themselves, and they send their children to public school. Still, the nation's "cultural mosaic" is fairly monochrome in this spot: Teston Road Public School, which opened last month next to the mosque, is about 80% Muslim, and the school provides its gym on Fridays at lunchtime so the kids can kick off their running shoes, bow low toward Mecca and pray.
"Even though they are born in Canada," says Teston Road's principal, David Nimmo, "their first language is Urdu."
Although Muslims bought all the houses, he insists he does not sell only to adherents of Islam. "There is no exclusion here," he says. "You come and buy the house, no problem. You want to live beside the mosque, you want to live in a predominantly Muslim community, no problem at all."
Note - Who's he kidding? He knows no one is going to move there. That's why he says "there is no exclusion here" because he can get away with it. But we know that such an ethnically exclusive neighbourhood has a tendency to drive away and keep away those who do not share the same ethnicity. In fact he contradicts himself. What has he gained if he builds a neighbourhood with a centralized mosque but only, say, Hindus move into all the houses? He foils his own dreams for this community. He has managed to build for himself an Ahmadiyya colony in Canada with plans to build similar colonies across the nation and he is quite proud of it.
"Over here is going to be a TV station," he says. (Already a special cable to each home feeds Muslim television from an audio-visual room at the base of the minaret). "Then over here we're going to have a big huge guest house."
In his office, Mr. Ahmad points to other projects: "This is my Brampton mosque. This is in Cornwall. I have architects and engineers working for me freelance. This is the Calgary mosque."
The children's lack of English is a hurdle. "Our academic scores are low in these schools," Mr. Nimmo says, leading a tour of his shiny school, filled with children. He is helping to change that.
Two years ago, he called a meeting at the mosque. "I wanted to tell them how poorly their children were doing." When he got there, he found only a handful of parents.
"I was very discouraged, so I asked Naseer Ahmad, he got on the phone and within 20 minutes there were 300 people there. That's how organized they were." Now, he says, "they've rallied around us," and grades are going up."
Note - First generation Canadians being raised in Canada withouth a fluent knowledge of French or English is more common than we care to admit. This is a major problem with this type of neighbourhood. Those who live there can associate, work, and go to school in the native tongues of their home countries. This does not help them to integrate and become Canadians.
The appeal of faith-based suburbs is simple: People feel more comfortable among their own kind. Maqbool Bajwa immigrated to Toronto from Pakistan in 1987 with his four brothers, his mother and father. Immigration Canada let in his father under the business investor category. The family's first home was in Toronto's troubled Jane-Finch area. In 1997, Maqbool Bajwa bought a house in Brampton in Toronto's western suburbs. A year later he sold it and bought in Peace Village. Family bought adjoining houses.
"The mosque was nearby, the street names were all from our community," he says, sitting in an office at MB Computer Depot, a new store his brothers started in an Ahmadiyyaowned plaza near Peace Village. "I love it. When I see Ahmadiyya Avenue, it makes me proud, no question about it. Plus we've got the Vaughan Mills [a new mall], we've got the Wonderland and hopefully the subway coming. I can wear my shalwar camise and walk from home to the mosque without someone looking at me funny for what I'm wearing. It just gives me the absolute comfort of being home."
Read it all here.
Just remember that when white Canadians behave the same way they are called racists.
This does not encourage integration. It intentionally discourages it. That parcel of land in Vaughn no longer reflects Canada. It is an Ahmadiyya colony built to reflect the cultural life of a foreign country. And there are hopes to repeat this pattern across the nation. I find it offensive really. It tells me that those who live there do not really want to live in Canada with Canadians or partake of Canadian culture, to say nothing of preserving it. They only want the good life Canada can offer. Canadians can keep the rest. This community/colony is symptomatic of the failures of the multiculture social model.
We should expect this kind of behaviour though. Ethnic groups in Canada have been doing it for years with little deference to Canadian identity. How is "Peace Village" any different from the clustering of Chinese in Markham, the Italians in Woodbridge, South Asians in Brampton, the Jews in Thornhill? Nothing really it's just that the Ahmadiyya are being honest about it.
This is why Canada's immigration system needs to be reformed and official multiculturalism abolished. It does not serve the interests of the mass of Canadians. I am bothered to see my country parceled away piece by piece to better reflect foreign countries. This is not India, or China, or Italy, or Portugal, or anywhere. This is Canada and there is only one Canada. When it is gone it is gone for good. Why should we surrender it so others may preserve their culture here; a culture that is alive and well back in their homelands?