Last week, a number of local mosques in the Toronto-area municipalities were granted permission to broadcast azan – the call to prayer – at sunset every day during Ramadan. This decision was hailed by many since the pandemic has made it impossible to gather for prayer.
Patrick Brown, the Brampton mayor, tweeted: "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."
A Twitter user going by the name Ravi Hooda responded to the tweet: "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 account was later made private.
Hooda’s profile bio states that he is a "professional realtor, immigration consultant and community volunteer."
However, the Peel District School Board revealed that he was an executive council member for the Macville Public School in the city of Boston.
On Tuesday morning, the board tweeted that Hooda would be removed from his position as school council chair and would no longer be allowed to participate in the council "in any other capacity."
Robin Perri, Macville school principle, posted a letter online: "Today, we were made aware of a disturbing, Islamophobic tweet that was written and shared by a member of our parent community. We immediately conducted an investigation into the matter. Please know that this individual's views in no way reflect the values of the Macville Public School community, nor those of the Peel board. Comments like these are upsetting and hurtful, and never acceptable."
Hooda sent a statement to CBC News maintaining that 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 that he had removed the tweet and immediately posted another one apologizing “unconditionally,” but it made no difference. He added that the school board had not given him an opportunity to explain himself before they removed him for his post.
"I am in the process of legally addressing that," he said.