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Author: iqradotca

Muslims to Feed Poor in Ramadan

(August 8, 2009) – The Muslim Students Association at the University of Toronto (St. George) is teaming up with Masjid Toronto and the Thaqalayn Muslim Association (UofT) to collect food in the upcoming month of Ramadan to donate to Daily Bread Food Bank. Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is scheduled to begin on August 22. “While we will end our fasts every night with large meals, together with our families and friends, many in Toronto and throughout the world will go on, hungry and alone,” according to the MSA poster. Donors will be able to drop off non-perishable food items at various locations on campus, as well as Masjid Toronto at Dundas and Chestnut Streets. Meanwhile, MuslimServ has launched it annual Ramadan Chicken Campaign to collect donations to purchase halal chicken that will be delivered to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank. MuslimServ is a Canadian Registered Charity engaged in service based projects such as feeding the poor. “We are geared up and ready for Ramadan Chicken campaign,” according to the MuslimServ web site. “We will deliver halal chicken to the Food Bank on weekly basis, so that it is consumed during the month of Ramadan.” Last year, the charity delivered 14,000 lbs of halal chicken to the Food Bank. Further information on MuslimServ’s Ramadan Chicken Campaign can be found at:...

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‘Aren’t you hot in that?’ is not just a question

By Heba Alshareef (August 7, 2009) – “Is that seat taken?” a woman asked, eyeing the empty spot on the bench where I was sitting with my daughter. “Be my guest,” I said, smiling. We were at Marineland, and Amina, my 3-year-old daughter, and I were sheltering in the shade while my husband and older children went to play. The woman and I sat in silence, her daughter in a stroller, mine beside me on the bench. Was it a strained silence? I don’t think so. I wear the hijab. It’s all black, but it does show the circle of my face. Sometimes, Muslim women wonder how people perceive them, what the hijab tells others – but I’ve been wearing it long enough to feel comfortable. They will see me how they want to see me. My bench companion’s toddler woke up and complained, “I’m hungry.” Her mother had much to offer. “Do you want crackers and cheese, Susie? Cookies? I have the rest of your sandwich.” “Blueberries,” Susie said and her mother brought out a pint of washed blueberries. The woman turned to us. “Would you like some?” she asked. She couldn’t have known how uncomfortable that offer made me. I had come to Marineland unprepared for such a long afternoon – without snacks, without even enough cash to buy snacks. Now Amina was left to the mercy...

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What Makes being Muslim in Canada Great?

(August 4, 2009) – Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are what makes being a Muslim in Canada great, according to youths who attended a gathering today at the Islamic Institute of Toronto. The young Muslims are taking part in a 2-day program being held at the east Toronto institution with the theme, ‘Faith in Action.’ The participants were asked to respond to three questions as part of an interactive forum in an effort to encourage active dialogue on what it means to be young, Muslim and Canadian. “It is important for us to become engaged in reflection and dialogue on what being a young Canadian Muslim entails,” Muneeb Nasir, the workshop coordinator, told the participants as he asked them to discuss the questions in groups. When asked to list the things that make being a Muslim in Canada great and why is it important that they not lose them, the group of mostly senior high school and university students, promptly responded by listing many of the fundamental freedoms in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They felt that the freedom to choose and to worship were rights that were important for them to practice their faith and which they would not like to loose. When asked to identify some of the challenges facing young Muslims, parental pressure, navigating between their religion and culture, and keeping away from ‘temptations’...

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‘Arts, Culture and Religion – Friends or Foe?’

(August 3, 2009) – MuslimFest 2009 held an Open Discussion Forum on the role of Arts and Culture in a Muslim’s life during the festival that took place at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga this past weekend. The question up for discussion was ‘Arts, Culture and Religion – Friends or Foe?’ “The goal of the forum was to foster understanding and promote dialogue on this important topic,” said Afaun Mandol, an organizer of MuslimFest. A small group of attendees took time out from the numerous events at the festival to join the forum which was skillfully moderated by educator, Michael Cassidy. Cassidy began the forum by suggesting to the participants that the gathering should be an open circle for discussion instead of the traditional format of presentations followed by questions and answers “The Forum should be a symbolic place within a gathering – a place to centre the experience and perception within each of us and a place to listen to our own questions” he said. The participants actively engaged with the question and expressed the opinion that the ‘Friend or Foe’ description was far too simplistic – artistic and cultural expressions can be either a friend or foe depending on the intention and ethics behind the activity or product. “We need to ask ourselves about the meaning of art, the objectives invested in it and what it...

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Tariq Ramadan appointed to Islamic Studies Chair at Oxford

(August 1, 2009) A scholar of international standing has been appointed to a new Islamic Studies Chair at Oxford, enabling more research and teaching on core Middle East issues as well as improved links between the university and the Middle East. Tariq Ramadan, Research Fellow (General) at St Antony’s College, has been appointed the His Highness Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Contemporary Islamic Studies beginning on 1 September 2009. He is currently Visiting Professor (holding the chair: Identity and Citizenship) at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and the Lokahi Foundation (London). As the post holder, he will be a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. The role is associated with St Antony’s College, where the Middle East Centre is based. Dr Ramadan’s role is supported by a benefaction from the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The role includes a programme of activities and a secondment at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. Dr Ramadan is an internationally recognised scholar and was named by Time magazine as one of a hundred innovators of the 21st Century for his work on creating an independent European Islam. He was a member of a British government task force, which defined policies to root out Islamic extremism in Britain. Tariq Ramadan said: ‘I am very happy and honoured to...

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