Sexual abuse, pornography, birth control — for many Muslim parents, the thought of discussing sensitive subjects such as these with their children makes them very uncomfortable.
But it shouldn’t, according to Sameera Qureshi, a Calgary-based occupational therapist. She recently held a workshop called “The Talk: How to Educate Your Children about Islamic Sexual Health” for the first time in Edmonton. The session was held in collaboration with Tarjuma, a local group that creates gatherings to facilitate the growth of community, Islamic literacy and emotional wellness.
In response to the conversations emerging from opinion pieces we have published on the new Ontario Sex Ed curriculum, Muslim Link is starting a series of interviews with several members of North America’s Muslim communities on sexual education. We’ll be exploring the challenges Muslim Canadians, especially Muslim youth, are facing in relation to sexual health education and morality.
Sobia Faisal-Ali, a PhD researcher who conducted a survey of 403 North American Muslims between the ages of 17 to 35 exploring issues of sexual health education and experiences, shares her findings with us.
"Have your children tested for STDs," said a Muslim family doctor during a health session at a Toronto mosque a few years ago. Her message was that unbeknownst to the audience, many of their children were sexually active from an early age.
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.