El-tawhid juma circle


Embracing an Inclusive & Compassionate Islam


We are a  compassionate focused, inclusive, Islamic mosque space. We are an LGBTQ affirming, Gender Equal, Place of Healing and Learning.


The El-Tawhid Juma Circle/ ETJC was founded by El-Farouk Khaki, DR. Laury Silvers, and Troy Jackson in May 2009. ETJC is a gender-equal, LGBTQI2S affirming, mosque, that is welcoming of everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, sexual identity, or faith background.

When we came together in May 2009…

to start the el-Tawhid Juma Circle as manifested in the Toronto Unity Mosque it was with the intention of creating an inclusive tawhidic Muslim identified prayer space where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated and not just given lip service: where the inherent dignity of every human being regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, linguistic group, dis/ability, religion or class is recognized as Allah-given as underscored in the Qur’anic declaration that Allah is closer to each one of us than our own jugular vein, without distinction.

el-Tawhid Juma Circle is Human Positive in that its foundation is that all humans are equal agents of Allah in all aspects of ritual practice. Since May 2009, the Toronto Unity Mosque has been meeting every Friday for congregational prayer. Our service exemplifies the notion of shared authority as jamaat members take turns in giving the call to prayer, delivering the sermon and leading the prayer. Our service is accessible by skype as some of our members are isolated due to health, geography or conscience. 

Our mosques are places of ritual and spiritual healing for everyone – regardless of whether they identify as Muslim or not. Since May 2009, eTJC has inspired, resourced and/ or helped establish 9 similar communities in North America.

In 2015 Dr. Laury Silvers stepped away from ETJC to concentrate on academic and spiritual pursuits. ETJC thanks her for her service, we invite you to follow her work at

 Our – is designed as a gateway resource center for our global jamaat including those who wish to start similar or eTJC affiliated mosque spaces. 

We invite you join us on Friday afternoons as you are able, in person, by skype or in spirit. We look forward to the day, inshAllah, when there is an inclusive mosque like eTJC in every city.







Email for Location



Fri. 12:30pm-3:30pm

Evening Programming throughout the year.


Mosque Makeovers - 2011

Excerpt from Walrus Article:

Another version of this model is the el-Tawhid Juma Circle, a small mosque of straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender worshippers. They gather for afternoon prayers on Friday—the most important day of the week for Muslims—at a private address in downtown Toronto. El-Tawhid has been meeting for about two years now, in a small room covered by a carpet, with an old church pew at one end. People plunk themselves down on cushions wherever there is space; the question of whether to have greater interaction with the wider Muslim community is more important right now than where people sit at prayer time. On this winter afternoon, the room fills up with about twenty people, a mix of born Muslims and converts, academics, and refugees from Muslim countries.
Anyone can sing the call to prayer or lead prayers during the service, and several women have taken regular turns as imam. One is Laury Silvers, a convert from Los Angeles and a professor of religion at the University of Toronto. Other than during el-Tawhid’s services, women have led men in organized prayer only in a few unique circumstances. Silvers has red hair, a cheerful but commanding group leader voice, and a Facebook page full of statements and causes—exactly what you’d expect from a passionate activist.
She calls the group to attention at about 1:15, as a few stragglers are still shaking off their coats. Islamic prayers are to be said at specific times, and she opens by asking everyone to come on time: “If we’re going to be a real mosque, we have to do things by the book.”
After prayers, the group moves to the kitchen for tea and snacks before heading back to work or school. Discussion ranges from academic shop talk to the focused activism expected from a group like this. There is little tolerance here for a go-slow approach. Most aspire to a Muslim culture where chauvinism no longer has a place in the mosque, but Silvers is adamant that el-Tawhid’s approach is one of many and not to be forced on others.
For every feminist frustrated with the pace of change, another is sensitive to the dangers of moving too fast. Little Mosque’s Zarqa Nawaz captured this tension in her 2005 documentary, Me and the Mosque. In it, she sits at her mother’s feet in the women’s section of the Islamic Society of North America mosque in Mississauga, behind a translucent, waist-high divider. The mother says she had not been inside a mosque until she moved to Canada, and likes that she can see the imam behind the small divider. That’s enough for her. But her daughter is not satisfied; she wants vocal support for more.

Frustration and friction seem natural when diverse peoples confront shared taboos. Even though they represent a small group of reformers among Canada’s roughly 600,000 Muslims, many of those pushing for gender equity in mosques today see more differences than similarities among themselves. For instance, when Naseer Ahmad was pondering his approach, the implications of welcoming menstruating women meant more than just a large enough prayer section. He installed coin-operated tampon and pad dispensers in the washrooms. Reactions to this decision underscore the range of preferences and sensitivities: some were pleased, and some felt it a trivial move, or a reminder of how far there is to go. Others did not realize that in some Muslim cultures people think a tampon can deflower a virgin. And some were surprised: “I’ve never even thought to look for that!” said Globe and Mail columnist Sheema Khan.