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
Students gathered at the University of Ottawa on February 13th to pay tribute to the three victims of the Chapel Hill Shooting. Those present were invited to express their thoughts and feelings in relation to the tragedy. This led to reflections of the impact of Islamophobia on the lives of Muslims in Canada, particularly Muslim students.
As it snowed on the evening of February 11th, students gathered in front of the Human Rights Monument in downtown Ottawa to recognize the victims of the Chapel Hill Shooting in the US. Syrian American Deah Barakat, 23, his Palestinian American wife Yusor Abu Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Abu Salha, 19, were shot at gunpoint by Craig Stephen Hicks reportedly over a parking dispute, but many allege that the motives run far deeper and that this is a hate crime against Muslims.
On January 30th, a group of West African students and their supporters gathered at the Nigerian High Commission on Metcalfe Street. They were there to pay tribute to the victims of Boko Haram’s latest attack on civilians in the town of Baga and in neighbouring towns in Northern Nigeria in early January. Despite the cold, they set flowers out in front of the Commission in memory of those who had died.
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.