Syrian Canadian Sara Takieddin crowdfunded on LaunchGood.comin order to pay off the debts she accumulated while struggling with mental illness and financial distress as an immigrant to Canada after her marriage ended badly.
The family of Soleiman Faqiri have launched a petition address to Premier Doug Ford and Michael Tibbolo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services seeking justice after Soleiman was beaten to death by staff at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay, Ontario. Soleiman was in custody after he was charged with assault, these charges were later dropped.
Yusuf Faqiri has been speaking out as part of the Justice for Soli Campaign over the last year trying to get answers about this brother's death and demanding accounablity on the part of those responsible for it.
Eritrean Canadian researcher Munira Abdulwasi is running a series of talks focused on raising awareness about mental health issues.
Munira Abdulwasi is a PhD candidate studying Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. Her research interests include marginalized individuals living with chronic disease and the health needs of Canadian Aboriginal veterans. She was awarded funding through the York University Agents of Change competition to implement a Health Promotion Series at TARIC Islamic Centre in Toronto.
Muslim Link interviewed Munira about her work with TARIC and why she feels mosques can be sites of health promotion on a variety of topics, particularly mental health.
On December 4th 2016 Soleiman Faqiri was temporarily housed at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay Ontario while awaiting a bed at the Ontario Shores Centres for mental health. Eleven days following that, on December 15 2016, Soleiman was killed by guards after they had applied force on him. The Corners report showed that Soleiman has sustained 50 injuries on his body; a significant number of which were due to blunt impact trauma.
The following is a statement from the Justice for Soli coalition after learning that the Kawartha Lakes Police Service will not be pressing charges against those responsible for the death of Soleiman Faqiri.
Readers should know that this is the second time that a Muslim coping with schizophrenia has died after spending time in the Lindsay Detention Centre. The first was Somali refugee Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan, who died in a Peterborough Hospital. Hassan was under indefinite immigrantion detention at Lindsay. Fellow immigration detention inmates went on hunger strike to demand an inquest into his death.
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.
Fatimah Jackson-Best is a healthcare researcher, advocate and academic. While studying for her PhD in public health science at the University of Toronto, she relocated from the city of her birth to the island where she traces half of her heritage: Barbados. Her PhD research project focuses on Afro-Caribbean women's maternal health; however, her interests also include the health of Muslim communities.