Nazem Kadri, a Muslim Canadian of Lebanese origin, is getting a lot of attention as one of the newest players to join the Toronto Maple Leafs:
A father’s dream of the NHL is unlikely for any Canadian kid, but even more so for Nazem Kadri. The centre will be only the second Muslim to play in the NHL when he suits up for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him with the seventh pick in Friday’s draft.
Canada’s increasing diversity hasn’t been quickly reflected in the nation’s favourite sport. […]
He will play for the iconic Leafs in a multicultural city that has 250,000 Muslims. “It’s nice for my community to be recognized as a pro hockey player,” Mr. Kadri said. “There’s a lot of stereotypes about Lebanese, like they don’t set foot on ice, but here I am.
“Being a role model is an important thing for me. Hopefully, these kids can look at me and use me as a role model. A lot of Muslim kids are going to start playing hockey because they see someone like them be successful in that area.” (Read more)
Alia Hogben writes about this history of Muslim communities in the Toronto area:
Within the fast-growing Canadian Muslim population, few people seem interested in the history of Canadian Muslims. Who were the handful of Muslims in the early days who tried to create a community in Toronto?
In the 1940 and ’50s, about 100 Albanian families were the majority of Muslims, with some Yugoslav/ Bosnians and some foreign students at the universities. The Albanians had their own registered society, but in the late 1950s, decided to start the Muslim Society of Toronto.
They met in each other’s homes or in one of the restaurants owned by a member, but they had no gathering place.
In 1958, my husband Murray Hogben moved to Toronto from Ottawa and immediately set out to find some Muslims.
He met a few wonderful families of Indian and Pakistani origin as well as the Albanians and Yugoslavs/Bosnians.
When I arrived in Toronto in 1959, I was welcomed by these Muslims and we quickly became active in the community. (Read more)
A coalition of Muslim clerics and organisations is attempting to start an interfaith dialogue with Christians:
Can Muslims and Christians work together to bring peace to the world?
That’s the question raised by A Common Word Between Us and You, a project supported by almost 300 Muslim clerics, scholars and intellectuals and more than 450 Islamic organizations.
The project has issued a letter to Christians around the world, inviting them to find common ground so that the two great religions can work towards peace. […]
The initiative takes its name from a verse in the Quran, which says: “O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)
It goes on to quote the Prophet Muhammad, who said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”
It also invokes the Bible, quoting the words of Jesus in the book of Mark after he was asked to name the greatest commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” he says. “This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Read more)
Abousfian Abdelrazik has finally returned to Canada after being exiled in Sudan for several years:
An exhausted but joyful Abousfian Abdelrazik had just a few words for a noisy, happy welcome-home crowd in his home city just before one a.m. Sunday.
“I am very happy to come back home and to be in this lovely city,” he told more than 50 supporters who, accompanied by a brass band, gathered downtown to greet him.
His return followed six years in exile, alleged torture at the hands of Sudanese authorities, several thwarted attempts to return earlier and almost exactly 14 months stranded in exile at the Canadian embassy in Khartoum.
“It is your support that (was able to) make this happen now,” Abdelrazik declared, wearing an open-collared shirt and a broad smile. He gave credit to “fellow Canadians and Montrealers, everywhere” for the ultimate success of what sympathizers had dubbed the “Fly-home project.”
“Thank you so much,” he added, “for everything.” (Read more)