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Author: iqradotca

Together We Can Improve The Image Of Canadian Muslims

By Zijad Delic (July 15, 2009) – The good news is that the image of Muslims and Islam is improving in Canada. But the challenge now is to encourage more effort toward positive change from Canadian Muslims themselves! It is time we made a serious commitment to urgent tasks from within ourselves and from within our communities. Why? Because public perceptions and understandings about us will not change — nor will our collective image — until Canadian Muslims realize that fundamental changes are needed in how we operate and manage our affairs in Canada. Only then can we exert enough influence on perceived realities to permanently reverse the prevailing negative opinions about our culture and faith. The foregoing statement might seem stern and intimidating, but it is in fact supported from the core source of Islamic intellectual tradition – the Qur’an. God Almighty, the Creator of humanity, explained the notion of change for communities and societies in these words: “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Qur’an 13:11) Today’s article therefore discusses some urgent actions needed in order for Canadian Muslims to improve current societal perceptions and consequently establish a respectful place in Canada and abroad, despite the turbulent conditions of the world we live in. In short, I will address some ways in which we can start the...

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Writers Expo Slated for MuslimFest

(July 14, 2009) – MuslimFest has announced that this year’s festival will include a Writers Expo. MuslimFest, the largest Canadian Muslim summer festival, will open Saturday, August 1, at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ontario and will showcase Islamic art, music, film and culture. “For the first time in Canada you will witness Muslim writers from various genres and media at one place,” MuslimFest announced on its website. “Through this pioneering expo we will celebrate the art of writing, as well as, the writers in the Muslim community in North America.” The Writers Expo, is being held on Saturday, August 1, 2009, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The list of authors, journalists, free-lance writers, and bloggers who are expected to attend include Abdul Aziz Khan, Ashmead Ali, Asna / Gauher Chaudhry, Ayub A. Hamid, Bayan Khatib, Farheen Khan, Habeeb Alli, Hamid Slimi, Heba Alshareef, Huda Khattab, Jasmine Zine, Katherine Bullock, Muneeb Nasir, Nabeel Akbar, Nasiruddin Al-Khattab, Rukhsana Khan, Saleem Bidroui, and Wahida Chishti Valiante. This year’s festival will include a comedy show, The Muslim Funnymentalists, featuring ‘An African American Actor, a Confused Arab, a Jewish Rabbi, an Iranian Video Blogger, and 2 crazy South Asians,’ according to the show’s website. Further information on the 2-day event can be found at the MuslimFest website...

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A hate crime or simply a crime?

(July 13, 2009) – An Egyptian Muslim woman was killed in a German courtroom by a man convicted of insulting her religion. The brutal killing of the pregnant Marwa Al Sherbini, 32, raised a lot of questions about the rise of right wing fanatics in Europe. Al Sherbini was stabbed 18 times by a German man of Russian descent, formally identified only as Axel W, last week as she was about to give evidence against him as he appealled against his conviction for calling her a “terrorist” for her wearing the headscarf (hijab). While the German authorities focus on court security, we ask, what about the underlying problem – the motivation behind the attack. Al Jazeera’s Inside story discusses the motivation behind the killing of Marwa al-Sherbini. Inside Story discusses with guests: Maleiha Malik, a professor of law at King’s college London, and author of “Anti Muslim prejudice: past and present”; Sulaiman Wilms, a media spokes person for European Muslim council and editor of the German language newspaper and Douglas Murray, a director of the centre for social cohesion, and author of “Neoconservatism: why we need...

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Ethnic clashes in Urumqi, China

(July 12, 2009) – On Sunday, July 5th in Urumqi, the capital of China’s western Xinjiang region, thousands of minority ethnic Uighur residents marched, demanding a government investigation into an earlier incident – a brawl between Han Chinese and Uighurs in a toy factory in Shaoguan that ended with at least two Uighur deaths. Sometime during the July 5th protest the situation became very violent – (See the Big Picture at...

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Who will “make the world a better place” now?

By Steve Utterwulghe and Abou El Mahassine Fassi-Fihri (July 11, 2009) – In the hours following Michael Jackson’s death, people around the globe shared common pain, resuscitated old vinyl records stored in their basements and stayed up later than usual watching 1980s VHS or Youtube videos of Thriller and Billy Jean. Michael Jackson was adored by a wide spectrum of global society across racial, religious and generational divides. And as news of the circumstances of his death frenetically emerges, tributes are being paid in Los Angeles, Seoul, Algiers, Mumbai and even Tehran, if discreetly. Now that the media have saturated their publics with coverage of Michael Jackson’s death, one needs to reflect on and appreciate the unifying values that Michael Jackson’s music managed to generate over his forty five years in the public arena, and acknowledge the potential that music in general can have in facilitating dialogue between individuals and nations. Music, and arts and culture in general, know no borders and have unified people for centuries. Music touches the soul and the heart in a very profound way. Michael Jackson, through his talent, has done his part in a very powerful fashion. Michael Jackson’s lyrics and beat have had a transformative effect on their global audience, especially in America where they managed to transcend the black and white music divide. In one of his songs, Black or White,...

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