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Fostering Fear: Examining The Roots of Anti-Muslim Discourse

On Saturday, October 26, three leading speakers will come together to talk about Islamophobia in Canada. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation at the Sheraton Centre Toronto – tickets available at http://fosteringfear.eventbrite.ca. (student rates available).

Nathan Lean, author of The Islamophobia Industry: How the right manufactures fear of Muslims, will be joined by Doug Saunders, Globe & Mail columnist and author of The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants threaten the West, and Jonathan Kay, editor and author at the National Post. All three are well respected authors that nevertheless hold differing perspectives, which should make for a genuinely stimulating conversation.

Fostering Fear: Examining The Roots of Anti-Muslim Discourse will take place at the annual dinner of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (formerly CAIR-CAN) and is co-sponsored by the Tessellate Institute, North American Spiritual Revival (NASR), DawaNet, and the Noor Cultural Centre.

To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite: http://fosteringfear.eventbrite.ca/
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Tessellate Institute sponsored Dr Ingrid Mattson lecture at Emmanuel College. Jan 2013.
Read about it at this link:

Emmanuel College launches new Muslim abultion facility and prayer room

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Giving Ourselves a Voice

Over the course of two chilly weekends in January, twelve young Muslims took part in a workshop conducted by filmmaker Jawad Jafry and a team of professionals to learn about the art of documentary filmmaking. By the end, they had produced short films presenting the stories of two Muslimahs in Canada.

This project was made possible through the kind support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Islamic Institute of Toronto and the Ansar Cooperative Housing Corporation. Sponsors include Compass Books, the Noor Cultural Centre, and Fair Share Marketing.

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Neglected Voices: Stories of Canadian Muslim Youth and Identity

Muslim youth are often at the forefront of international public debate, analysis and scrutiny. What is often missing from these discourses are the voices of young Muslims themselves. Neglected Voices presents 4 short films about Muslim youth who are at risk of being marginalized, representing different ethnic groups that face divergent challenges in Canadian society.

These short “point of view” style films help young Muslims explain, in their own words, what it is like to be a Canadian growing up in the prevailing culture of Islamophobia and negative stereotypes.

One of the videos (launched at the Olive Tree Foundation gala in June 2011)

Films produced by the Tessellate Institute & Olive Tree Foundation, presented by the University of Toronto Students’ Union

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Canadian Muslim Youth and Political Participation: A Willingness To Engage

Canadian Muslim youth are highly engaged in volunteering in their local communities, and are open to being more involved in the political process, according to our newest study.

“Canadian Muslim Youth and Political Participation: A Willingness To Engage,” funded by the Olive Tree Foundation, and co-sponsored by Muslim, Education, Training and Outreach Service (MENTORS), is co-authored by Drs Katherine Bullock and Paul Nesbitt-Larking. The report is a pilot study, based on in-depth interviews with 20 Muslim youth, aged fifteen to twenty-four, male and female, in the GTA and London, Ontario.

It was released at the Olive Tree Foundation’s gala dinner at the Novotel Hotel, in North York, Toronto, on Sunday June 26, 2011.

The report finds that Canadian Muslim youth fit the same broad patterns of political participation as other Canadian youth – mostly not involved in formal politics, but highly engaged in informal politics, civic engagement and volunteerism.

“The interviews revealed that in spite of a media narrative that focuses on Muslim youth as alienated from Canada, our interviewees feel a deep and positive attachment toward Canada and are willing and interested in engaging in the political community,” says Nesbitt-Larking. “It is important for government and community leadership, the media, and citizens to acknowledge, affirm, celebrate, and foster such attachment, as it will set in place a virtuous cycle of encounter, opportunity, joint agency, and political achievement among young Muslims as well as between them and the wider political community.”

“The youth’s attachment to Canada is, however, fragile,” adds Bullock, “as many feel that with security certificates, the treatment of Omar Khadr by the federal government, and worries over racial profiling, that Muslims are being treated as second-class citizens in their own country.”

Bullock and Nesbitt-Larking hope the study will improve our understanding of the positive contributions Canadian Muslim youth make to Canada. They urge governments and community leaders to capitalise on Muslim youth’s willingness to engage with outreach programmes designed to involve them in the political process.

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Oral History Project of Toronto’s First Mosque

From 1961 to 1968, the first mosque in Toronto was a little building on Dundas Street W. The Dundas Street mosque was a prayer hall and community centre in which social activities, major religious celebrations, and schooling took place. Today its existence is largely unknown. Mosque One: Oral Histories of Toronto’s First Mosque is a TTI oral history project that allows those connected to the mosque to tell their stories.

The importance of the project is that it helps anchor Muslim civic engagement in the history of Canada’s social fabric, demonstrating that Muslims are not newcomers to Canada unfamiliar to Canadian values of civic engagement.

The project was made possible with a grant from The Olive Tree Foundation, and co-sponsored by The International Development and Relief Foundation. We are extremely grateful for their support, as this project would not have been possible without them.

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