Himy Syed’s bike got stolen on Wednesday morning August 1. That sort of minor theft usually doesn’t get reported in papers, but this one made it. Himy Syed has a special bike. Not that its magic or has cool gear – Himy’s bike was being used to visit 30 mosques in the GTA in the 30 days of Ramadan.
What happened next is exactly the sort of thing that makes you proud to live in Canada.
Canadian Tire Corp, a Canadian retailing icon, stepped in and offered to replace the bike for free. Canadian Tire appreciated the fact that this guy was biking around Toronto and blogging about our city and its inhabitants. It didn’t matter that Himy was Muslim, and was visiting Mosques mostly (appropriately enough, Himy broke his fast at the Dixie Gurdwara in a show of solidarity with our Sikh brothers after the Wisconsin Gurdwara attack). The gurdwara visit itself highlighted the beauty of multicultural co-existence.
A Muslim man, fasting in Ramadan, breaks his fast at a gurdwara, on a bike donated by a non-Muslim business. Don’t you just love it !
And what a contrast this makes with the actions of Lowes last year. Following complaints from an obscure right wing church group, Lowes pulled its ads from a show about American Muslims.
This was denounced all round as being a total capitulation to a bunch of bigots. Astonishingly, Lowes stood its ground, and refused to apologise to American Muslims, who quite rightfully, are boycotting the store. I used to go into my local Lowes once in a while. Since then, I haven’t gone. I wrote a letter to Lowes and told them I would not be supporting a business which chooses to pander to bigots, instead of standing up to them.
Canadian Tire’s actions makes me proud to be Canadian. It also means I will make every effort to shop at Canadian Tire. They deserve my business.
Action : write or call CT for quick thank you for their actions. You can use their contact page online at : http://tires.canadiantire.ca/en/customer-service/contact-phone-eml/
Oh, and while you’re at it .. maybe email Lowes and tell them what doing the right thing looks like.
They need it.