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
In the wake of the shooting at Tanger Outlets on Boxing Day 2014 in Kanata, Imam Sikander Hashmi reached out to Muslim Link for help in organizing an information session about gangs in Ottawa. For many in the Kanata Muslim Association (KMA), this event brought home the reality of gangs in Ottawa for the first time. It also disturbed them because both the perpetrator and the victim were from Muslim backgrounds. However, for Muslims in other parts of Ottawa, in particular Ottawa-West, Ottawa-East, and Ottawa-South, the presence of gangs, and the disproportionate number of young Muslim men involved in them, has been a serious concern for years.
In a joint effort by KMA and Muslim Link, the Stop It: Gangs, Guns, and Drugs Information Session took place on January 16th 2015. Staff Sergeant Andrew Buchan from the Ottawa Police Service's Youth Section and Sharmaarke Abdullahi from Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) were invited to speak about their organization's efforts to address Ottawa's gang issue.
Muslims in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, and London will be coming together on January 31st to celebrate peace and community spirit.
Organized by a group Calling themselves "Canadian Muslims for Peace", long-time community activists Saleha Khan, in London, Ontario, and Sheema Khan (no relation), in Ottawa, developed the idea of having a peace gathering for Muslims. They felt that it was important for Canadian Muslims to hold an event that would help reclaim the narrative about Islam and Muslims in the wake of the Paris attacks and threats from ISIS. Shahzad Mustafa from Toronto joined in to complete the core coordinating committee.
Recently, concerns have been raised within Ottawa's Muslim communities about how many of youth that seemed to be involved in gang-related violence, both as victims and as perpetrators, are from Muslim families.
Muneeza in the Middle is a new Canadian documentary which will be premiering nationally on CBC's Documentary Channel on January 21st at 9pm. The documentary by Ottawa-based Egyptian Canadian Muslim filmmaker Hoda Elatawi, who is a producer with GAPC Entertainment in Ottawa, follows young Muslim Canadian mother Muneeza Sheikh over five years. I had an opportunity to meet both Hoda and Muneeza when the documentary premiered in Ottawa in early December 2014.
Sheikh Ismail Albatnuni was born in 1964 in Tripoli, Libya. From an early age, he sought out Islamic knowledge, memorizing the Quran, and eventually studying Maliki fiqh (a school of Islamic jurisprudence) from local scholars. However, he knew if he ever wanted to take his studies further it would mean having to leave his homeland.
"In Libya at that time, it was very difficult. Qaddafi shut down all of the Islamic universities," Sheikh Albatnuni explained. Instead, Albatnuni made the practical choice to study engineering and computer systems. However, in 1992, he left Libya to study at a branch of Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) because he was "very eager to study sharia." After graduating, he went on to teach Islamic Studies at Khalifa bin Zayed Air College.
Currently, Dr. Scott Flower from the University of Melbourne in Australia is looking for Canadian converts to Islam to particpate in his study of the Canadian Muslim Convert experience. His Canadian-based research collaborator Megan Ryder Burbidge contacted Muslim Link so we could promote the study within our networks. We wanted to know more about the study's objectives and funding first. Here is what we learned.