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
Canadian Muslims for Peace organized gatherings in four cities across Ontario on January 31st to demonstrate a committment to peace, community, and civic engagement and to stand firmly against radicalization and violent extremism.
In Ottawa, community members gathered at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights, popularly known as the Human Rights Monument. The Monument has become a rallying point for various groups in Ottawa when they wish to raise awareness about human rights issues in Canada and abroad.
January 27th marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Each year in Ottawa, local survivors of the Holocaust are honoured. This year, the Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Selcuk Unal, spoke at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies at the City of Ottawa along with Mayor Jim Watson, Minister Jason Kenney, and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
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.