Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is using her moment in the international spotlight to bring attention to victims of acid attacks in her country of origin.
On Feb. 26, Ms. Obaid-Chinoy, 33, won best documentary at the Academy Awards ceremony for her film Saving Face, which highlights the plight of thousands of Pakistani women who have survived brutal acid attacks by male relatives or female in-laws.
Dec. 23rd 2011 marked the tenth year anniversary of the "Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference" -- an event which draws thousands of Muslims each year from all over North America and the world to Canada, precisely at the foot of the iconic CN Tower.
Once a small youth initiative, the RIS Conference has now reached massive popularity among North American Muslims and attracted an attendance of approximately 20,000 people making it a sold out event for the first time since its inception in 2001.
Droves of Muslims descended upon the Metro Toronto Convention Center to shop in the Great Bazaar, to reconnect with old friends but most of all, to listen to inspiring lectures given by a panel of internationally recognized Muslim scholars.
Are you a proud Canadian? Are you satisfied with the government? Is there anything you would change?
Remember how we felt when we heard that Jack Layton had passed away? What a loss for Canada! And then a second set of tears flooded our eyes when we read his letter. Throughout Canada, his words resounded; filling our hearts with pride and inspiring us to action.
His message was full of love, hope and optimism: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world,” his letter read.
In early July, Canadians engaged in an online conversation with the aim of increasing their understanding of Muslims, the main non-Christian faith community estimated by government demographers at 1.1 million in 2011 or 3.2 per cent of the total population. It was an initiative of the national daily newspaper, The Globe and Mail, which ran a series of articles on Muslims and invited readers to comment and ask questions.
In particular, readers were curious how Muslims reconcile their lifestyle, which is inspired and informed by a seventh century religion, with the egalitarian values of a modern, secular society. One key subtext was gender relations and the common misperception that Muslim women just get married, have babies and stay home to serve their men.