Farhia Ahmed, co-chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, spoke on December 10th, Human Rights Day, at the IDRF Dignity Tour in Ottawa. Muslim Link has gained permission to publish her speech today, in acknowledgement that it has been six months since the death of Abdirahman Abdi on July 24th, 2016.
This is the Canadian Somali Mothers’ Association’s official statement regarding the vicious killing of Abdirahman Abdi by Ottawa Police Officers on Sunday, July 24 th , 2016, and the impact of the killing on the Ottawa Black Community.
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatulaahi wa Barakatuhu To our valued Somali Community of Ottawa,
On this most difficult time in our community, the Ottawa Police Service would like to express our sincere condolences first to Abdirahman Abdi’s family ( inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon) and to the entire Somali Community in Ottawa.
There has been an increase in hate related incidents in Ottawa reported this October, particularly targeting Muslim women wearing hijab or niqab. The Ottawa Police Service has reached out to the Muslim community and the mainstream media to encourage reporting of these incidents.
After years of working in community development and youth engagement across Ottawa, Hamid Mousa has been working with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) since 2008. Currently the OPS Community Development Coordinator, Mousa, a Palestinian Canadian, began as a refugee to this country.
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.
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.
I was particularly pleased that a Muslim youth, Afnan Khan, was given the lead on organizing the panel and moderating the discussion. Muslim organizations need to give more space to younger Muslims to organize and lead sessions that have to do with issues youth are facing.