Sikander was the public face of Kingston’s Muslim community during the Shafia family murder trial in late 2011 and a designated spokesperson for the Canadian Muslim community’s Call to Action Against Domestic Violence.
He is normally available for comment on news stories, to help with background and understanding Canadian Muslim issues, and for writing columns and op-eds. As a journalist, Sikander understands the importance of deadlines, word limits and soundbites.
Although Sikander grew up in Montreal and attended Edgewater Elementary School in Pincourt, Quebec, until age 11 (Grade 6), a sizable chunk of Sikander’s adolescence was spent at Al-Rashid Islamic Institute, a Muslim seminary in Cornwall, Ontario. He spent four years memorizing the entire Qur’an in Arabic, followed by a six-year classical study of Islam. Subjects included classical Arabic, jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, exegesis of the Qur’an and classical collections of the recorded teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), among other subjects. Sikander graduated in 2004 as the first to have completed the entire program at the Institute without going overseas for the final year of study, which was customary until then.
Sikander is a member of the Canadian Council of Imams and represented the Council at Parliamentary committee hearings on Physician-Assisted Dying in 2016. He is also a member of the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau.
For two years in a row, Sikander was selected to be a human book for the annual CBC Ottawa Human Library.
In September of 2004, Sikander began journalism studies at Concordia University in Montreal. During his first semester, he applied for and was selected as one of 18 nationwide winners of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Fresh Voice contest. Sikander produced a radio piece on life at Al-Rashid Islamic Institute, which aired nationally on CBC Radio’s Sounds Like Canada. During the summer of 2005, Sikander worked as a general assignment reporter at the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper. Sikander spent summer 2007 at Montreal’s the Gazette newspaper.