There has been an increase in hate related incidents in Ottawa reported this October, particularly targeting Muslim women wearing hijab or niqab. The Ottawa Police Service has reached out to the Muslim community and the mainstream media to encourage reporting of these incidents.
An information session was organized Saturday at the MAC Youth Centre to explain Ontario’s updated Health and Physical Education curriculum to Muslim parents. The revised curriculum will be introduced in public schools starting September 2015.
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.
In this installment of my column, I interview just one local convert about her experiences raising her children as Muslim while having non-Muslim parents. Dr. Aisha Sherazi was born and raised in the UK, and migrated to Canada in 2000. She hails from a Hindu family, and is of Indian origin. She writes freelance editorials in various newspapers and resides in Ottawa, Canada. She now works as a spiritual counsellor for teenagers and teachers at Merivale High School, and conducts workshops across the city on the dangers of stereotyping. She helps represent the Muslim Community of Ottawa on COMPAC for the Ottawa Police Service and sits on the board of the Islamic Social Services Association of Canada. Happily married with two busy children, she also writes poetry and fiction in her spare time
“The media has a way of negatively representing Islam and coming here today really showed me that the Islamic community is far from that,” says Dhanuddara Mohottalage, a young high school graduate of Buddhist faith.
Ms. Mohottalage joined many other non-Muslims to celebrate and learn more about the month of Ramadhan at the 5th Annual Harmony Iftar dinner held at Sala San Marco Banquet Hall on Friday, July 26. The fast-breaking dinner is an annual event that invites Muslims to build a stronger relationship with their friends and neighbours of other faiths by introducing them to the holy month of Ramadhan and correcting any misconceptions they may have about Islam in a friendly relaxed and environment.
With about roughly 300 guests, the hall was a mosaic of Ottawa's diversity.
“Strengthening Relationships with the Muslim Community” is a series of sessions organized by several Muslim organizations in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and the Community Police Action Committee (COMPAC).
The first session took place on Thursday, January 24th 2013 at Masjid Assunnah. Chief of Police Charles Bordeleau summed up the purpose of the series as follows: “It's about us as police officers and members of the police service learning more about the Muslim community but it's also about the Muslim community knowing who we are as police officers and what we do, and what the police service is capable of doing to help you.”