The Canadian federal elections are coming up, and between climate change, funding for autism services, the SNC-Lavalin controversy, brownface, blackface and the true face of racism, there has been a lot up for debate on the definition of a good leader, and ultimately, what represents a true Canadian.
Shireen Ahmed is a writer, public speaker and Sports Activist focusing on Muslim women in Sports. She is an athlete, advocate, community organizer, and works with Youth of Colour on empowerment projects and is an avid sports coach and mentor. She is a regular contributor to Muslimah Media Watch, a Global Sports Correspondent for Safe World For Women and works on the Muslim Women in Sports website.
Aaida “Mombasa” Mamuji is an amateur boxer who, while studying for her PhD at the University of Ottawa, began a program training Muslim women at the Final Round Boxing Club. Now that she’s left Ottawa for an exciting position at York University, she is happy to see the program continuing with a new trainer, and former participants as coordinators. Muslim Link interviewed Mamuji about what she feels the program has achieved over the last four years.
Weightlifter Kulsoom Abdullah was on the brink of qualifying for the American Open tournament last year when she was eliminated. It was not her training regimen, muscle strength or weight that kept her from competing. It was her clothes.
After qualifying for a national tournament, the computer engineer with a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech and a black belt in taekwondo was told she could not compete because the modest athletic attire she wears might be dangerous or give her an unfair advantage because the long-sleeved garment would prevent judges from seeing if her elbows were locked.
With help from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ms. Abdullah waged a personal crusade with both the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Weighlifting to push reform of the uniform law. As a result, on July 15, 2011, Ms. Abdullah became the first Muslim woman to compete in America's most prestigious weightlifting competition -- the USA National Weightlifting Championships -- while wearing clothing that covered her legs, arms and head.