I'm originally from a very small coastal town in rural Nova Scotia, about a two and a half hour drive from Halifax. The population of that town is only about 1000 people. In that part of Canada, there is very little diversity and immigration and my town was almost 100 percent White and Christian. I lived in that community for most of my life.
“People spend a lot of time [planning for] the wedding; what kind of dress, what kind of food, what kind of decorations and so forth, but you know, life really begins after marriage,” explained Jawad Jafry, director of the film series Marriage Success aimed at providing Muslim Canadians with a much needed resource to cope with the challenges and opportunities that marriage brings. Co-produced by Toronto-based Imam Hamid Slimi, the films can be found on the innovative marriagesuccess.ca website.
Transplant: Patient and Donors Stories took place on April 1st to mark the beginning of Ontario’s Organ Donation Month. During this month, the Trillium Gift of Life Network, (a non-profit agency of the Government of Ontario) responsible for facilitating organ and tissue donation and transplantation across Ontario, tries to raise public awareness about the urgent need for people to register to be organ donors. The event was spearheaded by Erica Bregman, a volunteer with the Trillium Gift of Life Network and supported by the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), whose VP, Maher Jebara, hosted the event. Several religious leaders such as Reverend Anthony Bailey, Imam Mohamad Jebara, and Rabbi Reuben Bulka, as well as leaders within Ottawa’s Sikh community, spoke out in order to dispel myths that might exist within their respective faith communities that organ donation is not religiously permitted. But those in attendance were most moved by the presentations of organ donors and transplant recipients like Somali-Canadian Hiba Yusuf.
Being a mom can often be a daunting task, and even more so when confronted with the challenges of raising children Islamically in the West. A group of Muslim moms rose to the task of creating a website where other Muslim mothers (especially Canadian Muslim moms) can come for support and information. The site also offers special information for new-comers to Canada. The site's contributors range across the Greater Toronto Area and from other cities in Canada. Here is a brief interview we conducted with the project manager of MuslimMoms.ca Erum Zehra, a website consultant by profession.
Back in Grade 5, I recall leafing through my new social studies textbook on the first week of school. My teacher at the time explained that that year, we would be learning about Canada and the history of the Canadian government. As I flipped through the pages, an image caught my eye. It was the floor plan of the House of Commons. Someone raised their hand to ask where the Prime Minister sat and our teacher pointed us to the legend describing which labels on the plan were which on the floor: Prime Minister, the Opposition, the Speaker, clerks...
Canadian Islam: Belonging & Loyalty, written by Imam Zijad Delic, is a discussion about the identity of Muslims in Canada. It is a book that could not be more relevant than it is today with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and the cases of Canadian recruits who have made national and international headlines.
The book aims to establish Muslims as a natural part of Canadian society—something that Canadian non-Muslims, as well as some Muslims, have trouble believing.
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs graduate student Abdullah Abdi reflects on the need for the Canadian government to take a leading role in the development of Somalia. Originally written for thepanelonline.