Original address: http://www.isnacanada.com/Convention/Toronto/33/speakers.html (dead link)
ISNA Canada 33rd Convention was organized in Ottawa on May 18-20, 2007.
Charles Enman (Ottawa Citizen – May 19, 2007): ‘Fully Muslim and fully Canadian’; A conference here this weekend looks at how people of the Islamic faith cope with stresses on their identity
BC Muslims: 33rd Annual ISNA Canada Convention
Muhammad Iqbal AL-NADVI
Mohamed Rida BESHIR
Imam Zijad DELIC
Bernie M. FARBER
Sheikh Zia Ullah KHAN
Sheikh Ahmed KUTTY
Fr. Dr. Bill RYAN
Sheikh Hamid SLIMI
Sheikh Idris TAWFIQ
Tyseer Aboulnasr is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ottawa. As a volunteer, she coordinates the Canadian Muslim Network efforts to create an environment of collaboration amongst Muslim organizations across Canada to address issues of interest to Canadian Muslims. Dr Aboulnasr is a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Ottawa-Carleton YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Education) and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. She was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa 1998-2004. Dr Aboulnasr is active in several community initiatives including the RCMP national security community advisory group and Potlucks for Peace, an Arab Jewish dialogue group.
Kaleem Akhtar, is currently the Executive Director of Human Concern International (HCI) and has been associated with this organization for nearly two decades. His most recent international involvement was as a representative from Canada at the Asia-Pacific Summit on Peace in Seoul, Korea which brought together a distinguished group of leaders from the Asia-Pacific nations, as well as from other nations around the world. It included representatives from more than 70 nations. He is a strong proponent of peace, justice, harmony, equality and prosperity. Mr. Akhtar pursued Bachelor’s degree in Economics, he holds a diploma in Administration from McGill University, and a National Certificate in Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector Management from the University of Ottawa. He has been serving on many Boards and Committees involved the local community, and in the international development arena. He is married with two grown-up children and a little grand-daughter. www.humanconcern.org
Like so many of my fellow Canadians, I came to Canada at a young age, and right from that time, I knew this country was my home. From that early time in my life, I decided to access as many career and educational opportunities that I could. To this end, I graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 as well as a Masters in Business administration (MBA) from York University. In January 2006, I was elected to my inaugural term as Member of Parliament. Representing the riding of Mississauga-Erindale is something I take seriously. During my first year, I was pleased to work as a member of the Government Operations and Expenditures Committee as well as to serve as the Associate Critic for Social Development as part of the Official Opposition. I am currently the Critic for Citizenship and Immigration and a member of the Committee for Citizenship and Immigration. I will use all of my professional and educational experience to continue to carry out my role as MP responsibly, thoughtfully and effectively. www.omaralghabra.ca
Muhammad Iqbal Al-Nadvi
Muhammad Iqbal Al-Nadvi holds a PhD in Islamic Shariah (law), with specialization in Jurisprudence (Fiqh). He has taught Islamic Shar’iah and Jurisprudence subject in King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, for six years and dealt with various subjects such as principles of jurisprudence (Usool Al-Fiqh), Islamic Culture, Islamic Political Thought, Islamic movements and Fiqh of Organization. He also has M.A. in Islamic law. Ummal Qura University, Makkah, KSA, 1983. He is licensed in Shariah from Islamic university, Madina, Saudi Arabia in 1978. He is currently the Imam of Masjid Al-Falah in Toronto, Canada, which serves as ICNA headquarters in Canada. www.icna.org
Muhammad Alshareef was born in 1975 and raised in Canada. In his youth, he memorized the Quran and later graduated with an Islamic Law degree from the Islamic University of Madinah, class of 1999. He is the founder of AlMaghrib Institute through which he teaches university-level seminars on Islam. AlMaghrib Institute seminars have been conducted across the USA and Canada, as well as in Australia.
While he continues to teach, Muhammad Alshareef now devotes much of his time to recruiting, training and advising other students of knowledge in becoming AlMaghrib Institute instructors. Being a true visionary with exceptional talents in motivating others, Muhammad Alshareef has also founded EmanRush Audio and Khutbah.com, and actively keeps in touch with the online community at the AlMaghrib Forums. Currently Muhammad Alshareef lives with his family in Ottawa, Canada. www.almaghrib.org
Salah Basalamah est à la fois originaire du Yémen et de la Palestine. Il est cependant né et a grandi à Genève, en Suisse, dont il est citoyen. Il a fait ses études supérieures en France, aux Etats-Unis et au Canada (Montréal) où il a obtenu un doctorat en théorie de la traduction. Il a été pendant trois ans chargé de cours au 2ème cycle en Études internationales et en traduction à l’Université de Montréal. Il est maintenant depuis deux ans professeur adjoint à l’École de traduction et d’interprétation à l’Université d’Ottawa.
Il a publié plusieurs articles dans des revues académiques et contribue dans de nombreux colloques et forums de dialogue aussi bien dans ses domaines de spécialisation que sur des questions contemporaines relatives aux musulmans d’Occident. Sur le plan de son engagement associatif, il est depuis plus de vingt ans un étroit collaborateur de Tariq Ramadan. Salah Basalamah est co-fondateur du réseau Présence Musulmane, un cadre associatif à partir duquel il participe à plusieurs activités locales de dialogue et de réflexion à la fois intra- et extra-communautaires. www.presencemusulmane.org
Mohamed Rida Beshir
Mohamed Rida Beshir came to North America in 1973. With his wife, they authored several bestselling parenting, marriage, and family books in North America – among them, “Meeting the Challenge of Parenting in the West, an Islamic Perspective,” “Muslim Teens, Today’s Worry, Tomorrow’s Hope, a Practical Islamic Parenting Guide,” “Blissful Marriage,” and “Parenting Skills based on Qur’an and Sunnah,” as well as other parenting books in Arabic. He is teaching two courses on the subject of “Parenting in North America” with the Islamic American University. He is a regular contributors to the Family Section of several magazines, including “The American Muslim,” “Islamic Horizons,” “The Message,” and “America’s Muslim Family”. He is the recipient of the City of Ottawa Certificate of Appreciation for the year 2003 in the field of Education. He has traveled extensively, presenting workshops to various Muslim communities all over the world.”
Born in Ottawa in 1982, Noha Beshir graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Software Engineering in 2004, and has been working in IT for the Federal Government ever since. As the third of four daughters to Drs. Ekram and Mohamed Rida Beshir, Noha grew up in and around mosques, community events, camps, and other Islamic activities, but was also involved with the wider Canadian community through her participation in sports, choirs, and school plays. A member of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), Noha is mostly involved in the Ottawa Chapter’s MAC-Youth work and activities. Her interests are politics, religion, social justice, media, sports, and the arts, and she posts her thoughts on all of these topics on her blog at http://meetmyshadow.blogspot.com
Katherine Bullock completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of Toronto, in 1999. She has taught a course on the “Politics of Islam” at the University of Toronto for the last several years. She is the Editor of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. Her books include Muslim Women Activists in North America: Speaking for Ourselves (University of Texas Press, 2005) and Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil: Challenging Historical and Modern Stereotypes (IIIT Press, 2003). She has also published articles on Muslim women and the media, and Islam and political theory. She is a community activist and lectures frequently, both to Muslim and non-Muslim groups. Currently, she is Vice President of The Association of Muslim Social Scientists (North America). She has worked for the Islamic Society of North America as a media spokesperson and is a founding member of the Federation of Muslim Women, and Beacon, a group dedicated to supporting new Muslims. Originally from Australia, she now lives in Mississauga, Canada, with her husband and children. She embraced Islam in 1994. www.amss.net
Maliha Chishti is a Lecturer at George Brown College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto researching the politics of critical multivocality in post-war reconstruction. She is the former Director of the Hague Appeal for Peace, United Nations office where she coordinated the Global Campaign for Peace Education, and developed the first peace and disarmament education pilot project for the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs in four war-affected countries. While in New York, Maliha helped to initiate the historic Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She has worked as an anti-AIDS education prevention officer in Malawi (Central Africa) and most recently conceptualized and supervised a post-conflict capacity-building training program for over 90 Afghan women organizations across Afghanistan. Ms. Chishti has given numerous public lectures and panel presentations, and has been featured in the documentary Beyond the Frame alongside Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva and other scholar-activists. She is on the Executive Board of the International Association of Muslim Social Scientists. Maliha has been given the distinct honor as a “Great Minds Alumni” by the University of Toronto.
Imam Zijad Delic
Imam Dr. Zijad Delic is a formally trained Imam in Bosnia and received his B.A (Hons) in Islamic Studies and Arabic language from International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He holds a Masters from University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA and a PhD from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to his formal academic endeavors and a long-standing personal interest in emerging issues of the Canadian and global Muslim communities, Dr. Delic has invested much of his career energy in researching how Muslims can integrate more successfully into the Canadian context. He envisions the building of a new Canadian Muslim culture with an even greater collective potential for making positive social, cultural and professional contributions to the national fabric of the country while remaining faithful to the formative principles of Islam. His energy and versatility on behalf of BC Muslims has earned Dr. Zijad Delic the compliment of being called “The People’s Imam.” He resides in Ottawa with his family and works for Canadian Islamic Congress as National Executive Director. www.canadianislamiccongress.com
Au Québec depuis 1991, Abdelaziz Djaout (Aziz) est originaire d’Algérie où il a fait des études en sciences commerciales à l’École supérieure de commerce d’Alger. Il détient un MBA en marketing de l’Université Laval et travaille pour le Mouvement coopératif Desjardins à titre de conseiller en vigie d’affaires, planification stratégique et mise en marché. Il prépare actuellement un doctorat en sociologie à l’UQAM. Proche du tissu associatif musulman du Québec, Aziz est le correspondant canadien du site francophone d’information sur l’islam, Oumma.com, et chroniqueur pour Le Rappel, une publication bimensuelle du comité jeunesse de l’Association Musulmane Canadienne (Mac Youth). www.islamonline.net
Bernie M. Farber
Bernie M. Farber is recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts on anti-Semitism, anti-racism and human rights, Bernie M. Farber is the Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Jewish Congress, the lead advocacy organization for Canada’s Jewish communities. He has written extensively and lectured around the world on issues of human rights, inter-religious communication and civil discourse. Mr. Farber is a member of numerous boards and committees dealing with public policy matters. He appears frequently in local and international media and is recognized by the media, the legal establishment and government for his expertise on hate crime and white supremacy.
Dr. Muneer Fareed is currently the Secretary General for ISNA, the Islamic Society of North Amercia. Previously, Dr. Fareed was an associate professor of Islamic studies in the Department of Near Eastern and Asian Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.
Dr. Fareed’s fields of interest include Qur’anic Studies, Islamic Legal Reform, and Islam in the Modern World. He has to his credit several journal articles, a monograph entitled Legal Reform in the Muslim World, and translations of classics of the Islamic world, including the Síra Nabawiyya of Ibn Kathir, The Muqaddima of Ibn Saláh, and ‘l-Itqán fi ‘Ulúm ‘l-Qur’an of Suyúti.
He obtained his diploma in Arabic Language and Literature from King Abdul Aziz University, Mecca, the Ijáza in Classical Islamic Studies from Dár al-`Ulúm, Deoband, and his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since his arrival in the United States in 1989 he has served the Muslim community in various capacities, including imam and scholar-in-residence for the Muslim community in Metropolitan Detroit
Sister Jean Goulet, csc, is a member of the Sisters of Holy Cross. A native of the Ottawa Valley, her ministry has included teaching in the Ottawa area, parish ministry on Vancouver Island, adult faith development and coordination of pastoral services for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, and Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Sister Jean has a strong commitment to interfaith dialogue through participation in the Muslim/Christian and Jewish Christian dialogues of the Ottawa area, and to interfaith cooperation and collaboration with active membership in the Multifaith Housing Initiative, Women for Peace, the Interfaith Coordinating Committee for Pastoral Care in Secondary Schools, and the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Sister serves her religious community on the leadership team and facilitates a distance learning course for Saint Francis Xavier University on Foundations of Christian Spirituality.
Jennifer Green is the senior writer for faith and ethics at the Ottawa Citizen. She has won two National Newspaper Awards, a fellowship at Brandeis University, and is a finalist for this year’s Cornell and the Templeton awards for religion reporting. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children. www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/index.html
Wael Haddara currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Muslim Association of Canada and is active in a number of other Islamic organizations including CAIR-CAN and local Muslim organizations in London, Ontario. He practices medicine in London, is married and blessed with three children. www.macnet.ca
Yasser Haddara is currently the Chair of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)/Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Division. He has been involved with a number of efforts aimed at young Muslims including Muslim Youth Camp (MYC) in California and American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA). Yasser holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and is presently Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is married and has two boys, Mustafa and Mahmood. www.macnet.ca
Yavar Hameed is a civil liberties lawyer practicing in Ottawa in the firm of Hameed Farrokhzad. Since September 11, 2001 he has represented and advised many members of the Muslim community in interviews convened by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) relating to anti-terrorism investigations. His work spans a diverse range of issues, assisting people in understanding their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in matters of employment law, immigration, criminal law and administrative law. He is an anti-poverty advocate and a proponent for reducing harm for drug users through state sponsored interventions. He regularly guest lectures at Ottawa area high schools and is a sessional lecturer at Carleton University in the Department of Laws. He is currently completing a multilingual information booklet through the Council of Associations Serving South Asians (CASSA) on the impact of racial profiling on the free expression and association of diverse communities in Canada since 9/11.
Close to five years ago, Sophie Harkat was an excited newlywed looking forward to a life together with her husband Mohamed. When Mohamed was scooped up and detained under a Security Certificate Sophie’s life changed in dramatic ways. Through speaking out and rallying support for her husband’s case Sophie was able to secure Mohamed’s release on bail and then participate in a landmark case at the Supreme Court which found the security certificate process unconstitutional. Sophie is now one of Canada’s most prominent human rights campaigners. Her story is one that will inspire anyone who believes in truth, justice and the ability of grassroots political action to succeed. The past couple of years Sophie has dedicated her time and energy to her husband’s case because he is her biggest source of inspiration and motivation. She promises to fight until justice prevails and that her husband’s name is cleared. For the past nine months Sophie has been under house arrest with her husband. His bail is the strictest one in Canadian history. http://zerra.net/freemohamed/news.php
Stephen Hazell is the executive director of Sierra Club of Canada. He has directed Sierra Club of Canada’s Mackenzie WILD program and engagement in the regulatory review of the Mackenzie Gas Project since January 2004. For over twenty years, he has led teams, developed consensus and built institutional capacity to foster sustainable development and protect ecosystems. Stephen holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Toronto and a Law degree from Queen’s University. He is the author of Canada v. The Environment, his 1999 book on federal environmental assessment law and policy. http://www.sierraclub.ca/
Altaf Husain is a social worker by training. His unique education background combines a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering with a master’s in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. Br Altaf was the President of his graduating class, recipient of the President’s Award and served as campus Student Leadership Coordinator for two years. After a brief break, he has returned to complete his PhD at Howard University in Washington, DC focusing on refugee and immigrant adaptation. Br. Altaf has over 17 years of experience in the field of student leadership development and training. He served one term as the Vice President for the US and two terms as President of the Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada (MSA National). Currently he serves on the Board of Advisers of MSA National and is a voluntary staff member of COMPASS – MSA National’s state of the art management training program. He is also an executive committee member of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), headed by Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Br. Altaf resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Mona, and their almost 5 year old son Omar and one year old son Ahmed.” www.mana-net.org
Afra Jalabi is currently a weekly columnist for the Saudi daily Al Yaum. She was raised in Syria, Germany and Saudi Arabia before immigrating to Canada. She has a B.A in anthropology and political science from McGill University, a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University; and was a columnist for 4 years for the London based, Al-Jadeedah magazine. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Law and Religion (Hamline University). She has been accepted in the Ph.D program in Islamic Studies at UCLA for the coming fall. Her interests lie in the theory of nonviolence, early Islamic history and texts, Quranic exegesis, and feminist theory. She has lectured about these themes in Canada and the States for the last few years. Jalabi has been also a research assistant and editor for her uncle, Jawdat Said. She also has been to several conferences including one in Rome (June, 2004) on nonviolence and dialogue which included a 3-day workshop with his holiness, the Dalai Lama.
Ausma Khan is the Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, a bi-monthly publication distributed throughout North America. A long-time community activist and writer, she views Muslim Girl as an opportunity to re-shape the conversation about Muslim women and girls in North America. She holds law degrees from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law from Osgoode Hall, where her research specialization was humanitarian intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as business law at York University. She currently lives in Chicago. www.muslimgirlmagazine.com
Khan Sheema Khan is a mother of three young children. She is currently a consultant in Intellectual Property law and a monthly columnist for the Globe and Mail. She is the founder of CAIR-CAN, and served as its chair from 200-2005. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard, and a number of patents in drug delivery technology. www.theglobeandmail.com
Sh. Zia Ullah Khan
Founder and Chair of Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Host of radio program “Salam Halifax” which is geared towards communicating Islam to others, with a variety of topics. Khateeb of the Dalhousie University Muslim Students Association for the last 15 years. Speaker on various Islamic topics throughout North America and England. www.cidonline.org
He obtained his BA in Theology from Seljuk University, Konya, Turkey, his MA in the history of Philosophy and Logic from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from McGill University. He taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels various courses on Islam and Religious Traditions in general and Islamic philosophy and mysticism in particular, in the Faculty of Theology, Seljuk University, Konya, as well as in the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has so far published many articles that appeared in various academic journals, as well as two books. His third book has been completed. He has also participated in many international conferences and seminars in his field. Currently, he is teaching in the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, and in the Department of Political Science, Concordia University.
Sh. Ahmed Kutty
Ahmad Kutty is a senior lecturer and the resident Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto. Born in India, he was educated at the Islamiyyah College in Kerala and was awarded ijazah as an Alim and Faqih after eleven years of study in the traditional Islamic Sciences. He pursued further studies at the Faculty of Usul ad-Deen at the Islamic University of Madinah. He went on to obtain a Masters in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto and to complete Doctoral studies at McGill University, specializing in Islamic theology and Shari’ah thought. For over two decades previously, he served as the Imam and Director of the Jami Mosque in Toronto and the Islamic Foundation of Toronto. At the Islamic Institute of Toronto, his courses include Islamic Theology, Jurisprudence, Usul al-Fiqh, Tasawwuf, Sciences of Hadith, Development of the Schools of Jurisprudence, The Lives and Contributions of the Four Imams and Islamic Intellectual History. His rulings can be read on islamonline.net and islam.ca. He is married and has four children. www.islam.ca
: Faisal Kutty is a Toronto-based writer and co-founder of the law firm of Kutty, Syed & Mohamed (www.ksmlaw.ca). He currently serves as general counsel for the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association (CMCLA) and as vice-chair and legal counsel to the Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. His dissertation explores the impact of anti-terror laws and policies on the rule of law. For more than fifteen years, he has spoken and written extensively on the impact of anti-terror laws on immigrant communities. His articles have appeared in various national and international publications including the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Al Ahram Weekly, Arab News, Indian Express, etc. He is a regular contributor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Lawyers Weekly. He is currently acting as counsel to CAIR-CAN and the CMCLA at the Iacobucci and the Air India Inquiries, both of which are looking at issues surrounding national security. www.faisalkutty.com
Ingrid Mattson is Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Islamic Chaplaincy at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT. In 2006 Dr Mattson was elected President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); she previously served two terms as Vice-President. Dr. Mattson was born in Canada, where she studied Philosophy and Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (B.A. ’87). From 1987-1988 she lived in Pakistan where she worked with Afghan refugee women. Dr. Mattson earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. Dr. Mattson has written articles exploring the relationship between Islamic law and society, as well as gender and leadership issues in contemporary Muslim communities. Her forthcoming book, The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Societies is being published by Blackwell Press. www.isna.net
Hamdi Mohamed is currently the Executive Director of the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre. She has been a strong advocate for social inclusion and access to services for immigrants and refugees both in Canada and internationally for over 15 years. Her own experiences as a refugee have shaped her engagement with the community. Hamdi has been a lecturer on social work and on human rights issues at the School of Social Work and the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University for the past five years and is the author of a number of reports on immigrant and refugee access to community health and social services. Hamdi has a Ph.D. in women’s history from the University of Ottawa. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Ottawa and her Honours degree in Education from the Somali National University. www.ociso.org
Ghulam Mustafa, has shown several art shows in Canada and around the world. His vivid colourful paintings in the Montreal Star garnered wide attention. For several years, Mustafa’s cityscapes graced the front cover of the Montreal Star’s TV guide. His creations have an air of gentleness and a sense of unity. They are personal yet penetrating. He was born in Bihar and graduated from the University od Karachi, Pakistan in 1962. Since 1970, he has settled in Quebec continuing his teaching and painting. His works are represented in many private and public collections in Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. A well known teacher, his classes in Montreal attract both amateur and professional artists. The practical art demonstrations on Techique which he gives are most popular. He paints Canada in its 4 glorious seasons with great devotion, love and sincerity.
Zarqa Nawaz a Muslim Canadian woman of Pakistani origin born in Liverpool and raised in the Toronto area, is a freelance writer, broadcaster, and filmmaker living in Regina, Saskatchewan. Initially planning to go to medical school, after completing a Bachelor of Science degree Nawaz decided to study journalism, completing a second degree at Ryerson University in 1992. She worked with CBC Radio, CBC Newsworld, CBC Television’s The National, and CTV’s Canada AM, and was an associate producer of several CBC Radio programs including Morningside. Her 1992 radio documentary The Changing Rituals of Death won multiple awards at the Ontario Telefest Awards. Stating that she became “bored of journalism”, she took a summer film workshop at the Ontario College of Art & Design and began working as a filmmaker, using comedy to explore the relationships between Muslims and their neighbours in contemporary North America. www.cbc.ca/littlemosque
Karl was born in Quebec City where he embraced Islam about twelve years ago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (magna cum laude) from the University of Ottawa. He also pursued graduate studies in political theory before accepting a position with Health Canada. Karl is fluently bilingual and has a passion for public policy and advocacy. He is now the Executive Director at the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.caircan.ca/
In 1995 David Pepper became the first Director of Community Development & Corporate Communications at the Ottawa Police Service. In January 1999 he also assumed responsibility for leading the Diversity and Race Relations Section and in June 2006 he assumed responsibility for Media Relations. In these capacities he reports directly to the Chief of Police. In 1992/93 he worked with the Ottawa Police to establish the first community-based Hate Crime Unit in Canada. In his professional and personal lives, David has worked at the community and institutional level to mobilize communities around anti-discrimination, public safety, and community development. Currently, one of his passions is working with the Somali community in supporting a very successful youth basketball league in Ottawa. In December 2001 he was honoured through the presentation of the inaugural Good Will Partner Award by Editions Tawhid-Canada and members of the Ottawa Muslim Community. He was elected twice by his peers to serve on the Executive of the Ottawa Police Senior Officers’ Association. www.ottawapolice.ca
Kerry Pither has worked as an organizer and communications and campaign strategist in the social justice movement for sixteen years. She played a coordinating role in the the campaign led by Maher Arar’s wife, Monia Mazigh, for his release from Syrian detention, and then in the campaign for a public inquiry. Once the Arar inquiry was established, Kerry coordinated the work of the eighteen civil liberties, human rights and Arab and Muslim- representing organizations that had intervenor status. She also played a key role in pushing for a second inquiry into Canadian complicity in the overseas detention and torture of three other Canadians — Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin. Most recently Kerry compiled a chronological account of public information in these cases, which she is developing into a book.
Prof. Rabkin has taught contemporary Jewish history, Soviet history and the history of science at the University of Montreal since 1973. Full Professor at the Department of History since 1987, he has recently developed and taught seminars on Islamic and Judaic attitudes to science and technology Rabkin’s most recent book, and our main topic of discussion, deals with the history of Jewish opposition to Zionism. This book was translated to English in 2006 under the title A Threat from Within: a Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism. It has been nominated for the Governor General Award, the highest literary distinction in Canada.
Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Islamic Studies. He is currently Senior Research Fellow St Antony’s College (Oxford), Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London). He is a Visiting Professor (in charge of the chair : Identity and Citizenship) at Erasmus University (Holland). Through his writings and lectures he has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active both at the academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on social justice and dialogue between civilizations. Tariq Ramadan is currently President of the European think tank: European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels www.tariqramadan.com
Abdul Rashid is the founding member of the Christian-Muslim Dialogue group as well as the founding member of Capital Region Interfaith Council. He has presented Islam and Muslims in the media and to Canadian institutions including: the Ottawa Muslim community, worked for the Ottawa Muslim Association in almost all capacities between 1969 and 1990. He was also member of the Emergency Interfaith Pastoral Team on Call at the Civic Campus. He currently contributes to the Ottawa Citizen’s ask the religious expert. www.canada.com
Fred A. Reed is a journalist and award-winning translator. He has won two previous Governor General’s Literary Awards in translation – for Imagining the Middle East (1992) and Fairy Ring (2001, with David Homel). He is a five-time finalist. He has translated Nikos Kazantzakis (Journey to the Morea) and is the author of Persian Postcards: Iran after Khomeini (1994) and Takeover in Tehran: The Inside Story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy Takeover (2000). He has written for Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, Le Devoir, La Presse and the CBC. Fred A. Reed lives in Montreal. Born in the U.S.A. and a Québec resident since 1963, Fred A. Reed worked at The Gazette, where he was a union leader, before becoming a free-lance journalist with Le Devoir, La Presse, CBC and Radio-Canada. At the same time, he has pursued a career as an author, writing books on Syria, Turkey and Iran, including Conversations in Tehran (with Jean-Daniel Lafond) and as a literary translator. After a lengthy spiritual journey, he became a Muslim in 2004.
Fr. Dr. Bill Ryan
Fr. Dr. Bill Ryan is a Canadian Jesuit priest, born in Renfrew, Ont. He received his BA from Montreal University. He holds a licentiate in theology from St. Albert’s College, Louvain, Belgium; an MA degree in economics from St Louis University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is a former Director of the Social Affairs office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as its General Secretary. He was the founding Director of the Centre of Concern, Wash, DC; a former national superior of the Canadian Jesuits. He served as executive secretary for an international Muslim/Jewish/Christian weeklong seminar in Lisbon in 1977 entitled Changing World Order: Challenge to our Faiths. Among his many publications are Reading the Signs of the Times. The Lab, the Temple and the Market; Expanding the Conversation; and in 2005, he organized an international seminar and co-edited with John Coleman a book entitled Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Impasse, Future Hope. He is presently the Acting Director of the new Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto
Imam Ali Sbeiti
Imam Ali Asbeiti is the Imam of the Montreal Muslim community center (CCMM) and the Director of the east region with Ahlulbayt Islamic Assembly of Canada, which serves the Lebanese Muslim community in different Canadian cities. www.ccmmontreal.com
Leslie Seidle is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Research and Public Policy (IRPP). He was previously Senior Director, National and International Research, at Elections Canada. He has served as Director General, Strategic Policy and Research, Intergovernmental Affairs, in the Privy Council Office, Government of Canada (1996-2002), Research Director (Governance) at IRPP (1992-96) and Senior Research Coordinator for the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing (1990-91). Dr. Seidle is the author of Rethinking the Delivery of Public Services to Citizens (IRPP, 1995) and numerous articles on electoral reform, citizen participation, constitutional reform, public management and political finance. He co-edited Belonging? Diversity, Recognition and Shared Citizenship in Canada (IRPP, 2007) and the comparative volume Reforming Parliamentary Democracy (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003). www.irpp.org
Kashif Shaikh is a Greater Toronto Area Representative of ‘Faith & the Common Good.’ This National Interfaith organization partners with Faith communities across Canada towards spiritual and practical opportunities for becoming Greener. Through the Greening Sacred Spaces program, FCG provides direction and funding for conservation, and becoming better caretakers of the Earth initiatives. He writes articles on Environmental topics, and regularly guest lectures to Islamic, Interfaith, and Church groups. He is currently upgrading his University education with training as an Energy Auditor for Homes and Faith buildings. http://www.faith-commongood.net/
Sh. Hamid Slimi
Hamid Slimi: – is a scholar with specialization in Islamic studies and Law as well as Comparative World Religions. He holds two Masters Degrees with High Honors in both disciplines and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Islamic Law. He currently represents the Muslim community at the Ontario Multi-Faith Council and is very active in the Muslim-Christian Dialogue. Imam Slimi has been serving the Canadian Muslim Community as a teacher, Imam and chaplain since 1997. He was the Resident Imam and lecturer of the Islamic Centre of London as well as the chaplain of the major hospitals and Correction Centers in the city as well as the University of Western Ontario for a period of 4 years. Imam Slimi has authored a few books in Arabic and English specifically in the principles of Jurisprudence (Usul-al-Fiqh) and Islamic matters and wrote a few papers in French mainly in the same areas. His book published in 2001 and 2002 “Terrorism: An Islamic Perspective” has been widely distributed among hundreds of readers in North America and did receive very positive responses and encouragement. Imam Slimi lectures mainly in English, French and Arabic. He can speak and lecture in a few other Latin and Eastern languages. He appears occasionally on different TV shows and writes on National papers once in a while. www.imooftoronto.com
Sh. Idris Tawfiq
: Idris Tawfiq has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Manchester and a degree in Sacred Theology, studied in Italian, from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. For many years a teacher of Religious Studies, he taught in different schools in the United Kingdom and in Egypt. Before embracing Islam, Idris was a Roman Catholic priest. Idris Tawfiq writes and speaks in a very gentle way about Islam, Spirituality and the Arab World. He always points out that he is not an Islamic scholar, but rather has a way of explaining things about Islam in a simple way. He has considerable experience in leading Retreats and In-Service training for both students and teachers. He uses this vast experience of dealing with ordinary people and explaining matters of faith to them to enliven his writing and style of speaking, making them both interesting and easy to understand. He especially tries to explain Islam to those in the West who are not Muslim. www.idristawfiq.com
Jonathan Wouk has been involved with the Palestine-Israel issue for over forty years both formally and informally. He taught Political Science at Dalhousie University and the University of Pittsburgh in the 1970’s and ’80’s. For three years between 1986 to [and] 1991 he was Board President of OCISO [now Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization]. As a hospital chaplain from 1996-2004, Jonathan worked with clergy and lay people of all faith-traditions and with some of the inter-faith groups active in Ottawa. Since retiring he has taught at the Ottawa Lay School of Theology, lectured at religious institutions in the Region, and been active in the Ottawa Arab-Jewish dialogue group “Potlucks for Peace