Canada is set to celebrate Islamic History Month throughout October with a special focus on the resilience and achievements of Black Muslims.
“Being part of the community which has been affected by the impact of racism on the Black community, Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) Board believes it is important to address anti-Black racism within our own community,” Shahina Siddiqui, Chair of Islamic History Month Canada, told AboutIslam.net.
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“It is also our responsibility to reinforce Black History Month as part of Islamic History Month Canada this year since anti-Black discrimination is systemic. Islam commands us to stand up for justice and to care about the oppressed so we chose this theme to reflect our commitment to justice, peace and human dignity.”
Throughout the country, communities are organizing events with an interfaith focus on anti-black racism, library and art galleries will be featuring posters, documentaries and displays about Black Muslims and their achievements and contributions.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Islamic History Month lectures and presentations have moved online.
Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick will be presenting four online sessions on “The Black Muslim Experience: From Makkah to the Americas” and Ustādh Mustafa Briggs will be teaching a webinar on “Africans in Asia: The Forgotten Legacy.”
On October 1st, 2020, the City of Kingston will illuminate City Hall in green from 6:30 pm until 7 am in commemoration of the launch of Islamic History Month in this Ontario city.
Addressing Anti-Black Racism
According to Shahina Siddiqui, this year’s Islamic History Month provides an opportunity for Canadian Muslims to engage in conversations about anti-Black racism in the community and society.
“This is an opportunity to have a national conversation within the Muslim community about racism in general and anti-Black racism in particular, both within our community and in the larger society,” said Siddiqui.
“In this regard, the plan is to present 2 sessions – one session will feature Black Muslim youth from across the country to talk about their experiences and how to support other Black youth.”
“A second session, once again with a national focus, will be a panel discussion with activists and Imams discussing racism within our masjids and organizations and how to eliminate it in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
“Our vision is to make Islamic History Month a nationally driven project that future generations will carry on and inspire fellow Canadians by sharing history, cultures, traditions and core values of Islam and celebrate Muslim civilization and its contributions both from the past and present,” added Shahina Siddiqui.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.