TORONTO:  Islam teaches us to be practical and not emotional. We must act accordingly and try to build bridges between people and communities. This is the message we must spread.

            Shahid Hashmi, Chairman of Canpak Chamber of Commerce and a prominent personality of the community, stated this in his address at the Mohammed Ather's election campaign fundraising dinner at the Baba Banquet Hall here on September 8, 2006. Mohammed Ather is contesting for City Councilor Ward 42, Scarborough Rouge-River.

            He said: "We need young and energetic persons like Mohammed Ather to come forward and lead the people. We must focus on the young generation and encourage and support them. They are our hope and future."

            Despite being Friday, the weather very bad and the Muslim Festival of Shab Barat on that day, over 150 people of all ages and various communities attended the event.  The fundraising proved successful with a good amount being collected.

            The senior officials of PEACE Foundation and the Islamic Foundation of Toronto openly assured full support to Mohammed Ather and donated generously.

            Hameeduddin Ahmed, Publisher and editor of Awaz, was the MC on the occasion. He conducted the proceedings professionally and succeeded in pooling good funds for Ather. He kept highlighting Ather's abilities and qualities with the audience responding with cheers and clapping.

            A slide show on Ather's campaign was shown, explaining his policies, objectives and strategies. The audience was impressed by the presentation and proceeding of the event. Almost everyone praised and congratulated Ather for the successful campaign and fundraising. They assured him full support of the respective communities in Ward 42. 

            A musical show was also organized in which Nadeem Shah, Amer Talat and other artistes participated. The audience enjoyed the performances.

             Mohammed Ather in his speech thanked the people for the tremendous support and encouragement. He said: "I will serve you people and I am nothing without you. I need your support to win the election. Seeing the tremendous backing of the residents and non-residents I am confident of winning this election."

            He highlighted the problems and issues of Ward 42 and said they need urgent attention. He wondered why they were neglected despite repeated demand and reminder of the people. Some areas need immediate attention and improvement, he added.

            "My objective is to connect people and communities and serve them. I am dedicated to serve and create awareness. This is my motto and commitment and I am determined to fulfill my commitment at any cost. I will strive for a safer, healthier and a progressive community in Ward 42.This can only be achieved with practical support of the people and the communities," he stated.

He thanked each and everyone who are helping him in any way in the campaign and for his success.

Fundraising tickets were of $50 and $100 and most of the participants bought the tickets at the gate.

Javed Zaheer (Masters in International Relations), Canadian of Pakistani Origin (CPO), Professional Freelance Journalist, Veteran Active Member  (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Member of The Ontario Club, Member of National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), Council Member of Karachi Press Club (Pakistan), served as Senior Sub-Editor of Pakistan's leading English Daily DAWN (1986-1999).  Associated with Journalism Profession since 1974 and believes in fierce and free expression. Address:  1709-35 Thorncliffe Park Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M4H 1J3, Canada.  Tel # (416) 696-0981.Email:,,,,