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‘Disturbing, Islamophobic’ tweet about call to prayer in Brampton sparks outrage

BRAMPTON

Brampton’s decision to allow mosques to broadcast the call to prayer has resulted in plenty of protests on social media, while many comments and tweets are borderline decent, one in particular has prompted the Peel District School Board to remove one of its school council chairs and launch an investigation into comments it says are “never acceptable.”
So the backstory is that last week, several GTA municipalities including Mississauga granted local mosques permission to broadcast the azan or call to prayer over speakers at sunset every day during Ramadan given that mass gathering for prayer is impossible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a tweet Brampton mayor Patrick Brown said: “Our noise by-law originally passed in 1984 and only included an exemption for Church bells, it will now include all faiths within the permitted hours and decibel levels. The Muslim community can proceed with the sunset azan because it’s 2020 [and] we treat all faiths equally.”
The offensive tweet that crossed the line came from one Ravi Hooda: “What’s next? Separate lanes for camel & goat riders, allowing slaughter of animals at home in the name of sacrifice, bylaw requiring all women to cover themselves from head to toe in tents to appease the piece fools for votes.”
The user’s Twitter account has since been made private.
On his Twitter profile, Hooda identifies himself as a “professional realtor, immigration consultant” and “community volunteer.”
But according to the Peel District School Board, he was also an executive school council member for the Macville Public School in the city of Bolton. School councils are composed of parents, staff and community representatives and advise principals on a range of topics including codes of behaviour, budget priorities, and curriculum delivery.
Hooda has since been removed from his role as school council chair and will no longer be allowed to participate on council “in any other capacity.”
That tweet also cost Hooda his job as realtor with Remax.
“We do not share nor support the views of Mr. Hooda. We can confirm he has been terminated and is no longer affiliated with RE/MAX,” the company tweeted.
In a statement to a news outlet, Hooda said his comment was “not directed towards any community or entity but just my attempt to state that we shouldn’t be going back to the times where such means of communication was necessary.
“Unfortunately my tweet was misinterpreted,” he said.
Hooda said he removed his tweet and immediately put out another one apologizing “unconditionally,” but that the action hasn’t made much difference.
While Hooda did post a tweet in the heat of the moment, he has since regretted it, the price he is paying is high and costly.

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