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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
September 27, 2007


I rise today in recognition of Ramadan, the holy month of the Muslim calendar. It is a time of worship and introspection for Muslims to commemorate the revelation of the Qur'an through Muhammad. During Ramadan, Muslims cannot eat or drink from the first light of dawn until sunset. The fast is then broken with a prayer and Iftar, a meal.

Manitoba is one of the most diverse provinces in Canada and is home to a variety of cultures, races and faiths. The Winnipeg Central Mosque on Ellice Avenue is an important pillar of our vibrant multicultural society and enriches the community through its continual cultivation of peace and respect. The mosque was officially opened in October of 2004 and is now attended by over 500 Muslims from throughout Winnipeg and the surrounding area. It is a religious centre for Muslims from over 40 countries, from recent immigrants to those who have resided here for several generations.

The mosque opens its doors to community events, schools, other religious groups, social organizations, media and political leaders. The mosque is managed by a council of dedicated volunteers who, with the support of community members, work to contribute positively to the cultural and spiritual fabric of the urban community.

I'm proud to be the representative in this House for such a culturally rich area of the city of Winnipeg. We should all be proud to live in a province where everyone is free to celebrate their beliefs and holidays. Manitoba's Islamic community remains true to the core tenets of Islam while also becoming a key part of our cultural mosaic.

Mr. Speaker, I wish, with sincerity, a happy and peaceful Ramadan to all Muslims in Manitoba and hope that all prayers during this holy month are answered.

Thank you.