Dr. Andrew Bennett
FOLLOWING TWO YEARS of promises and planning by the Conservative government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has established Canada’s new Office of Religious Freedom. The announcement was made Feb. 18 in the immigrant-dense neighbourhood of Vaughan, north of Toronto, in a mosque and community centre run by Ahmadiyya Muslims – a minority group facing religious persecution in Pakistan.
The venue was a fitting one as the Office’s development had been spurred on by the 2011 assassination of Pakistan’s minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, by extremists in Islamabad. Bhatti, a Christian, had, just