Muslims Remember: Muslims Hold Remembrance Day Service in TorontoWritten by Chelby Daigle
Royal Canadian Military College Chaplain, Captain (Imam) Ryan Carter, and Ontario Regional Chaplain for Correctional Services Canada, Imam Michael Taylor, worked together to organize a special Muslim Remembrance Day Service on November 6th, to commemorate the service of Muslims in the Canadian military in times of peace and conflict.
The event was held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 22 in Toronto.
The event was attended by some local Muslim men and women currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, including a cadet, members of their families, provincial political representatives, and local community organizers.
The Muslim Remembrance Day service followed the format of a traditional Remembrance Day ceremony, with Muslim symbols and readings from the Qur’an included.
According to Imam Michael Taylor, Captain (Padre) Ryan Carter’s reflection highlighted the contribution of Muslims in the previous World Wars and the fact that Muslims in the present continue to contribute to the Canadian Armed Forces and thus like all Canadians, are part of the historical narrative of Remembrance Day. Captain Carter emphasized the human element of loss and why commemorating the fallen must be a collective ritual which transcends religious differences and thus bonds Canadians together as a nation.
Capt. Ryan Carter, originally from Toronto, graduated from Hartford Seminary's Masters Program in Muslim-Christian Relations. Capt. Carter began working as a Chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2012, posted first to Edmonton and then the Royal Military College of Canada in 2015. As a chaplain, he offers spiritual, moral, and ethical support to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. As a Muslim Imam, he also offers religious support to Muslim members of the Canadian Armed Forces and runs jummah prayer services for those attending the RMCC.
Local Muslims currently serving or aspiring to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces were honored at the ceremony, including Master Corporal Melissa Rawlyk with the Second Irish Regiment based in Sudbury, and Master Corporal Noufel Ouali. Last year, M. Cpl. Ouali was honoured with the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) for 12 years of service to the Canadian Armed Forces. One of the youngest participants was Cadet Cpl. Mujahid Shaikh who is a member of a Toronto Cadet corps and plans to join the Canadian Armed Forces when he is older.
Also honored at the service was Captain (Imam) Suleyman Demiray, who in 2003 became the first Muslim Chaplain in the history of the Canadian Armed Forces. During his time as a chaplain, he served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006. He is currently posted to Bordon, Ontario on the Canadian Armed Forces base there.
Imam Taylor hopes that this Remembrance Day event becomes an annual event in Muslim communities across Canada.
- Master Corporal Noufel Ouali Master Corporal Noufel Ouali
- Captain (Padre) Ryan Carter, Muslim Chaplain with the Royal Canadian Military College Captain (Padre) Ryan Carter, Muslim Chaplain with the Royal Canadian Military College
- Cadet Corporal Mujahid Shaikh Cadet Corporal Mujahid Shaikh
- Imam Michael Taylor Imam Michael Taylor
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