Muslim speaker urges education

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By Fatima Najm

At a time when many Muslims and minorities around the world are dealing with racial backlash following the attacks on the United States, Dr. Mohammed Almasry is promoting peaceful community action.

At a seminar held Friday afternoon, Almasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), spoke about how to communicate with the public and media at his seminar “No Time to Hide” in Oakham House last Friday.

Almasry said the purpose of the seminar was to show “how to be a better Muslim and better citizen at the same time.” He added that activism is a part of the Islamic faith. “If an issue affects you in society you must be involved in it.”

During the two-hour workshop, he talked about several peaceful methods Muslims can use to make their voices heard including educating people about the issue, writing letters to the media, building alliances with non-government groups who hold similar interests, holding peace rallies, meeting with MPs and attending interfaith conferences.

In an exercise during the seminar, the audience split into groups and participants developed a strategy to convince the Canadian government to oppose American military initiatives against Afghanistan.

Almasry, a professor or Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, has held similar seminars at other universities in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The CIC has set up two bank accounts at the Bank of Nova Scotia to help victims in the United States and to repair places of worship that have been vandalised since the attacks two weeks ago.

Money for victims can be deposited into account no. 001660024015 and for repairs at account no. 001660255114.

Collections are also being held at mosques across the city.

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