President-Executive Message – December 2023
End of year message
2023 has been an immensely challenging year for our community and our ummah.
We have faced rising hate and systemic islamophobia. Community members continue to face harassment and discrimination in schools, at work, and public places. Government bureaucracies continue to discriminate against Muslims and Muslim charities.
We have experienced active efforts to limit our religious freedoms when it comes to gender and sexual ethics, and parental rights particularly in public schools. Children and parents are being bullied to actively endorse lifestyles and choices that run counter to their faith. Our kids are being told they don’t belong unless they change their values.
Abroad we have witnessed horrific atrocities and the unfolding of a genocide and human catastrophe of our Palestinians brothers and sisters in Gaza. We have witnessed our government supporting the displacement of more than 2 million people, the starvation of an entire population, the destruction of health care facilities and critical civilian infrastructure, and the incessant killing of children, women and men, with little action or regard.
In response to these abuses, we have remained firm in pursuing justice & the rights of our community. As an organization we took the CRA to the Ontario Superior Court to challenge the regulator on its prejudice and bias towards Muslim charities. We spoke out for parental rights and demanded that the Federal government and the Prime Minister respect the rights of families to peacefully protest. We demanded that the government reaffirm the rights of Canadians to advocate for Palestinian rights.
The above injustices against muslims have made clear the troubling double standard that exists in our Canadian society. Celebrated liberal values of religious freedom, equality, human rights and justice have been revealed to be conditional and not universal at all. Values are easily ignored when convenient, especially when the victims are ‘othered’, or when perceived interests are threatened.
The hypocrisy we see around us is an important reminder of why our society needs our Islamic values today more than ever. The value of justice for all. The value of true religious freedoms, where one person’s rights are not imposed on another. The value of equality among all people, regardless of skin colour or race. The value of recognizing a Creator and the moral code He has established which demands consistent application and not selective application according to interests, alliances and political calculations.
Despite the challenges, I am hopeful that what lies ahead for us is a great opportunity for dawah and societal reform by our community. Just as the great success of our Muslim predecessors came after a very difficult period of persecution, with adherence to our values, continual striving with excellence, sincere intentions and dependence on Allah, we too will inshaAllah enjoy a great renewal of our message here at home.
In light of the above, here are specific actions we can resolve to begin or strengthen as we enter 2024:
- Strengthen our relationship with Allah swt
- Strengthen our bonds within the Muslim community through connecting your heart and your family to the masjid and worshiping together
- Nurture our Ummah values as highlighted by the teaching of Prophet Muhammad SAW, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever“. ” مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى”
- Strengthening our bonds with neighbours through kindness and support, and loving for others what you love for yourself, and present the unapologetic authentic message of Islam “as mercy to all mankind” وما ارسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين.