This is the response of Samiya Ahmed, a Toronto-based Somali Canadian community activist, who is highly involved in a variety of Muslim community spaces, including spaces that do not have much Black Muslim presence.
She co-presented the workshop “On Being Black and Muslim: Hard Truths and Healing” at this year’s Being ME-Muslimah Empowered Toronto Conference in May 2017.
Farhia Ahmed is co-chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, a mother of four, a productivity junky and lover of coffee. Here she reflects on the death on Abdirahman Abdi and its impact on Ottawa over the past year.
When I was diagnosed with my mental illness, it almost felt like a death sentence. Like the real me was dying. I kept thinking, ‘does this mean I’m crazy?’ In my community - the Muslim community - depression was an ill that -- well, it was not an illness. The myth is that such deep sadness can be a result of past wrongdoing, or maybe the patient of depression had not been praying enough, contributing to the community enough, not working hard enough, always never good enough - adding to the anxiety of a person with such a disorder. We are told that we were lazy, somehow less and ungrateful for the blessings we had.
Captain (Padre) Imam Ryan Carter is a chaplain with the Royal Canadian Military College, based in Kingston, Ontario. Here he reflects on the significane of Black History Month to him as a Black Muslim Canadian.
The University of Ottawa Muslim Students Association (UOMSA) organized an interfaith session on campus on January 31st to share concerns about the Trump travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries, including Somalia, and the shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that left six people dead.
Somali Canadian Filsan Nour, the UOMSA Events Officer, shared her thoughts on recent events. This is her edited speech.
Farhia Ahmed, co-chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, spoke on December 10th, Human Rights Day, at the IDRF Dignity Tour in Ottawa. Muslim Link has gained permission to publish her speech today, in acknowledgement that it has been six months since the death of Abdirahman Abdi on July 24th, 2016.
Muslim Link received a message from a Bosnian Canadian reminding us that July 11 marks the 21st anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, when over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, mostly men and boys, were killed in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. In 2004, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia determined that the massacre was a genocide, a ruling that was upheld by the International Court of Justice in 2007.
Syrian Hadi Wess currently studies psychology at the University of Ottawa, where he is also the Vice-President-Social for the university’s Student Federation (SFUO).
He helped to organize a vigil on June 13th honouring the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. SFUO condemned homophobia, transphobia but also Islamophobia at the vigil, where the tragedy was framed as a hate crime against the LGBTQ community as opposed to a terrorist attack.
Muslim Link received this letter to the editor from Hailey DeJong in Ottawa. Hailey wears niqab (face veil) and wanted to find a way to thank the OC Transpo bus driver who stood up to a fellow passenger who was harassing Hailey by making Islamophobic remarks.