MESSAGE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Asalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

InshaAllah each of you, your families and community are well and in good health. As we navigate the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC continues to find ways to engage and lead the community in the most integral ways. Our schools across the country are continuing to bring meaningful learning opportunities to our students. Our mosques continue to operate according to local COVID stipulations. We are also working to support our communities through continued local partnerships.

This January 29th sadly marked the fourth anniversary since the treacherous Quebec Mosque shooting massacre occurred in 2017. As a Muslim community, this is still a vivid tragedy and many of us are still processing the trauma of this incident.  Leading up to January 29th,  MAC took leadership to ask that our government fulfill the ongoing request to mark Jan. 29th as a national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia. I have personally written to the Prime Minister to thank him for his response to our coordinated joint letter with 75 organizations from BC all the way to Nova Scotia asking our him to honour the victims of the Quebec Mosque Shooting. With the grace of Allah, the Prime Minister announced on January 28th the designation of January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.

This is a very significant designation as Canadians are declaring a commitment to stand in solidarity to ensure that Canada is a country that will not tolerate hate-based behaviours. The lives of Azzedine Soufiane, Abdelkrim Hassane, Mohamedou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry, Aboubaker Thabti, and Khaled Belkacemi, who were brutally gunned down after their evening prayers; the 19 others who were injured; and the families of all these individuals have been impacted forever. We as a community must continue to remember, pray and take action to eradicate Islamophobia in our communities.

This past month, over 40 youth workers across 13 cities in Canada attended an online annual training and planning event to discuss youth challenges and pathways to resilience.  Amidst the challenges of COVID, our youth programming across the country has been focussed on providing avenues for youth to be heard, validated, engaged, and opportunities to build a comprehensive understanding of Islam and a strong Muslim identity.

With February marking Black History Month in Canada, we will focus on celebrating and learning from the history of Black Muslim contributors to Canadian society.  Our programs will also engage discussions on how to practically activate action through these inspirational stories. 

Finally, I close by encouraging you to consider making a donation.  Through these challenging times, we continue to work to strengthen our community and provide programming.  While some of our institutions are unable to provide services at full capacity, we are striving to continue to provide alternative options.  Your generous donations will help us to continue to do this, inshaAllah.

Jazakum Allahu Khair,

Sharaf Sharafeldin
Executive Director
Muslim Association of Canada

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