MAC’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

October 3rd, 2023

On the occasion of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) pauses to reflect upon the importance of this day and the crucial conversations we, as a nation, must continuously foster.

This year, as part of our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, we directed all Imams in MAC’s mosques to dedicate their Friday Prayer sermons on September 29th to discuss the importance of recognizing the history and ongoing impacts of residential schools. We believe it is vital for Canadian Muslims to understand and respond to this shared history.

The Qur’an reminds us: 

{ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ شُهَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ ٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًۭا فَٱللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعْدِلُوا۟ ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُۥٓا۟ أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا۟
فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًۭا }

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” (Qur’an, 4:135). 

Guided by this, MAC has been dedicated to create educational initiatives over recent years. By developing school curriculum and institutional guidance, we express our commitment to uncover the truth, work towards justice, and stand against oppression, in the way Allah SWT has decreed.

This year, we reiterated to our students and community members that:

  1. We must consistently and proactively stand against oppression and injustice, aligning our actions with the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
  2. Teachers are encouraged to organize lessons, activities, and reflections aimed at deepening the understanding of the history and ongoing impacts of residential schools.
  3. Reconciliation is an ongoing journey, extending beyond Orange Shirt Day.
  4. Our empathy and concern in the face of injustice should drive our actions.
  5. We encourage creating bridges by inviting Indigenous communities, especially Muslim Indigenous individuals, to share their narratives and become active members within the broader Muslim community.
  6. The path to reconciliation requires mutual respect, as highlighted by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Moreover, MAC continues to urge the community to support Indigenous-led initiatives, attend memorial events, educate others about the residential school system, and hold elected representatives accountable in advancing the reconciliation process.

In the past, we have voiced the importance of challenging systemic oppression and the need to actively support the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We remain steadfast in this position.

As we move forward, the lessons from the past inform our present, ensuring that the path towards reconciliation is pursued with intention, sincerity, and dedication. MAC remains committed to standing in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, continuously praying for their healing and striving for a more just and unified Canada.

More resources on how our community took part this past Friday:

MAC NIS Islamic School (Niagara, ON)

Rose City Islamic Centre (Windsor, ON)

MAC Islamic School (Calgary, AB)

Olive Grove School (Mississauga, ON)

MAC Islamic School (Edmonton, AB)

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