Like other communities of diverse faiths, Muslim Canadian have made great contributions to Canadian society. However, focus tends to fall on the association of Muslims with terrorists rather than Muslims as positive community builders and contributors. To turnaround this narrative, a group of Muslim Canadian professionals in Toronto organized the Muslim Awards for Excellence (MAX) Gala on March 24th at the Ritz Carleton to spotlight the achievements of Muslims in Canada.
On February 17th, the Ottawa Hijab Solidarity Day was held at City Hall. The City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) partnered with the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), and the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres to hold the event.
The sponsorship group Refugee SOS were once strangers but they came together with one goal, reuniting a family torn apart by war. They are fundraising to reunite Zarah, a Syrian refugee to Canada, with her sister, who is still a refugee in the Middle East. Both sisters are single mothers. Muslim Link interviewed the group about why they chose to sponsor Zarah’s sister.
Muslim Link had the opportunity to interview Mohammed Al Rayyan and his wife Dima Siam, who is facing deportation to Syria. A petition was launched on March 8th, International Women’s Day, demanding that the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, John McCallum, grant Dima permanent residency. Dima hopes that members of Ottawa's Muslim community would consider supporting her cause and signing the petition.
Healing, Hope and Art is a two part project that provides art therapy for Muslim students and an anti-Islamophobia awareness campaign aimed at engaging the general public. The campaign uses artwork created by students at the therapy sessions. Muslim Link spoke to Farrah Marfatia, Principal of Maingate Islamic Academy in Mississauga, about the project.
Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO) was recently honoured for their work with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CAS). MFSO has partnered with CAS to address the needs of Muslim children in foster care in the city. Muslim Link interviewed Pakistani Canadian Shawana Shah, MFSO’s CAS Multicultural Liaison Worker, about MFSO’s work and what is needed to better support Muslim children who come into care.