Chelby Marie Daigle is Muslim Link’s Coordinator. Under her direction, Muslim Link adopted its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy so that the paper strives to reflect the complexity of the region’s Muslim communities. As Coordinator, she works to build relationships with local Muslim and mainstream organizations and manages the paper's social media and events listing. She also works closely with the Publisher to develop operational policies for the paper. Find her on Twitter @ChelbyDaigle
Assma Galuta, aka Asoomii Jay, 25, has been an active YouTuber since 2011 when she began doing hijab tutorials. “I saw a lot of my friends removing their hijab and it made me sad,” she explained, “They were just doing it to fit in with their Canadian friends and they would say ‘I don’t look good in a hijab’ or ‘I don’t feel welcome in a hijab’. I started my YouTube Channel because I wanted to show girls that they could still look pretty and feel pretty and be stylish and wear the hijab.” Her channel became popular internationally with thousands of subscribers on YouTube and tens of thousands of Facebook followers.
Aaida “Mombasa” Mamuji is an amateur boxer who, while studying for her PhD at the University of Ottawa, began a program training Muslim women at the Final Round Boxing Club. Now that she’s left Ottawa for an exciting position at York University, she is happy to see the program continuing with a new trainer, and former participants as coordinators. Muslim Link interviewed Mamuji about what she feels the program has achieved over the last four years.
Muslim Link caught up with the coordinators of this year’s Islam Awareness Week (IAW) at Carleton University. Carleton University Muslim Students' Association (MSA) members, Bangladeshi Canadian journalism student Radiyah Chowdhury and graduate student Arab Canadian Amr Daouk, ran the MSA's annual IAW from March 16th to the 20th in Carleton’s Atrium.
On Wednesday, March 18th, students at the University of Ottawa gathered to take photos and to speak out against discrimination against Muslim women who veil in Canada. The action was initiated by Civil Law student Hina Ansari and led by fellow Civil Law student Assma Basalamah and Common Law student Aruba Mustafa, who is also the president of the university’s Muslim Law Students’ Association (MLSA).
On March 14th, thousands of Canadians gathered across the country in over 70 communities to show their outrage over the Conservative government’s proposed Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51. Everyone from Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, to NDP Party Leader Tom Mulcair and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, to former Prime Ministers Paul Martin, Jean Chretien , and Joe Clark, have spoken out against this Bill, stating that it will needlessly infringe on the civil liberties of Canadians and also will probably not increase national security. Despite this, the Conservative and Liberal Parties have stated that they will vote in favour of the Bill.
Born and raised in Montreal, Indo-Pakistani Canadian Navaid Aziz, 33, stumbled upon a vocation as an Islamic scholar when he was accepted to the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia at 17. Now an imam in Calgary, Aziz will be coming to Ottawa’s I.LEAD Conference to discuss youth empowerment, countering radicalization in Muslim communities, and creating a balanced and just Muslim community.
Born and raised in British Columbia, Islamic Studies teacher Hafsa Dean Thompson will be participating in this year’s I.LEAD Conference. She will be leading a women’s only session addressing the challenges Muslim women face in finding balance in their daily lives.
Muslim Link had the chance to interview her about her pursuit of Islamic scholarship, her community work with Muslim women in crisis and in prison, and why she prefers to focus her educational efforts on women only.