As the Somali community holds fundraisers in cities like Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary this weekend to raise funds for the victims and their families, others are asking why their fellow Muslims and Canadians seem silent despite the magnitude of this terrorist attack.
A group of Bangladeshi Canadian women living in Ottawa came together in 2015 to raise funds for maternal and newborn health in Bangladesh. They have started holding annual Bangladeshi cultural celebrations in Ottawa in order to raise funds and awareness about the health issues facing poor mothers in Bangladesh. The group, called Cure for Women and Children works in collaboration with Human Concern International. Their most recent event was their second annual Sheether Mela on October 15, 2017 held at SNMC mosque in Ottawa.
Dr. Habib Khoury is a Palestinian Canadian practicing dentistry at Centrum Dental Care in Kanata. In 2015, he came up with the idea of finding an innovative way to raise funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)’s Community Mental Health Program which supports Palestinians, particularly children, who are coping with mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He spearheaded the annual Ottawa Run for Palestine, now in its third year.
It takes place this Sunday, September 24. This year the run has a new route from Ottawa City Hall to Dows Lake. a 2K Family Walk and a 5K and 10K professional run. The run is followed by a Family BBQ with multiple activities for children, as well as cultural activities such as Dabke.
This year, the Ottawa Run for Palestine is also fundraising for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)'s youth mental health program.
Muslim Link connected with Dr. Khoury to learn more about why the run is partnering with CHEO this year.
In light of the current humanitarian crisis and violence being experienced by the Rohingya community in Myanmar/Burma and Bangladesh, Muslim Link is sharing the stories of Rohingya refugees who have made a home in Canada.
Yasmine Ullah is a Rohingya refugee living in Vancouver, BC. She is part of a Rohingya women-led initiative, spearheaded by her mother, who are crowfunding on LaunchGood to help support Rohingya community members who are staying in Burma amid the current violence.
Yasmine has been speaking publicly about the plight of the Rohingya, including the dire situation faced by her own family members currently in Burma, at local mosques and to mainstream media such as CBC.
Muslim Canadians are rallying across the country to support the Rohingya in Myanmar/Burma and Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh.
On September 13th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar. "The Prime Minister conveyed his deep concerns over the situation in Rakhine State for Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities. He stressed the particular importance of the State Counsellor as a moral and political leader. The Prime Minister also emphasised the urgent need for Myanmar's military and civilian leaders to take a strong stand in ending the violence, promoting the protection of civilians and promoting unimpeded access for the UN and international humanitarian actors. The Prime Minister and the State Counsellor discussed the need to defend and protect the rights of all minorities. The Prime Minister offered Canada’s support to help build a peaceful and stable society in Myanmar that is respectful of the rights of all ethnic minorities. The State Counsellor expressed appreciation for Canada’s contribution to humanitarian efforts."