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MCCNCR ready to invite Muslim organizations to join after choosing its Board of directors
ORIGINAL ADDRESS: http://www.muslimlink.ca/downloads/08jun.pdf
Author: Muhammed Zaman
Source: Muslim Link, June 2008, p. 1
ORIGINAL TITLE: Ottawa’s unity council moves forward
Fourteen local Muslim groups are plowing ahead with plans to work together for the sake of a stronger community.
The Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region was started last year by retired judge Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan. It marks the first time in the region that both Shia and Sunni Muslim groups, as well as other local Muslim professional groups, are joining hands in the hopes of unifying their communities.
“We have deliberated for fourteen months very carefully, we have produced our bylaws and we have elected our board,” said Mr. Khan at a council meeting held on May 14. “Our next step will be to invite other Muslim organizations [to join].”
Organizations from outside the city are interested, too. The Kingston Muslim community has expressed their desire to join because they feel closer to Ottawa, noted Mr. Khan at the meeting. However, he said the council would not attempt to become a national organization until it succeeds locally.
Reflecting the emphasis on local concerns, council discussed training a spokesperson who would speak on behalf of the city’s Muslims in order to prevent mixed messages which could alienate or confuse people.
Another plan was to appoint an events co-coordinator who would make sure that planned events among various group do not overlap.
Most in attendance expressed widespread support for workshops to train Muslims on how to write letters. However, one idea did not receive the same type of encouragement.
“We want to have a newsletter whether it will be a digital newsletter or a web page for every Muslim in this city,” Mr. Khan began.
But many community members, emphasizing the fact that it would only create competition with other Muslim media, opposed this idea. Instead, they suggested supporting and contributing to existing organizations, including the Muslim Link.
Creating a newsletter was not the only point of contention. Observers also expressed concern that the council was putting too much on their plate, too quickly. Community members reminded the council several times to focus on one program, succeed in it, and move on to other projects.
Mr. Khan agreed, adding that there is indeed no rush.
“We have two basic objectives: to serve the Muslim community by working together, and to work with Canadians of other backgrounds to build a better Canada by fighting racism and bigotry. We’re going step by step.”
Muslim Coordinating Council: Board members
President: Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan (Ottawa Muslim Association)
Vice-president: Jaffar Hashmi (Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Association)
Secretary: Ferrukh Faruqui (Canadian Council of Muslim Women – Ottawa chapter)
Joint-secretary: Abdelkarim Ouedhrefi (Muslim Assocation of Canada – Ottawa chapter)
Treasurer: Hasna Farah (Professional Muslim Network)
Joint-treasurer: Ihsanullah Sandhu (Omar Masjid)