RCMP asked to help prevent Islamic radicalization

Canada Free Press – June 21, 2012

B’nai Brith Canada has called on the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and the Calgary police to monitor next weekend’s Power of Unity conference organized by the Muslim Council of Calgary, and in particular, the scheduled address by conference headliner Bilal Philips. Philips is an Islamic lecturer who has reportedly expressed anti-Semitic and homophobic views including a call for the murdering of gays. He has been banned from a number of countries due to concerns regarding radicalization of Muslim youth and allegations concerning links to terrorism.

Muslims preparing for annual Eid-e-Milad event across Canada

Calgary Herald – February 11, 2012

Muslims in Calgary will again be celebrating their annual Eide-Milad event, which celebrates the birthday and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Calgary, the program takes place Sunday at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, at Jack Singer Hall, 205 8th Ave. S.E. Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and president of Muslims Against Terrorism, says the guest speakers include: Brig.-Gen. Paul F. Wynnyk; Qari Syed Muhammad Fassiuddini from Karachi, Pakistan; Dr. Munir El Kassen; Senator Grant Mitchell; MP Ralph Goodale; and MP Jim Karygiannis. “This is a program of learning for everyone about the life of (the) Prophet Muhammad,” says Mahmood.

Dinner will be served as part of the program. “Calgary holds one of the largest programs in Canada, where approximately 1,500 to 1,800 people every year (attend),” Mahmood says.

The Supreme Council will hold programs in all major Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, and also in many towns and smaller cities.

Mosque expansion planned in Calgary, Alberta

News Agencies – January 21, 2012

Calgary Muslims have found a place to worship in the downtown. The Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre, in the northeast neighbourhood of Falconridge, will be moving to a new location, at 421 Riverfront Ave. S.E. Iman Syed Soharwardy says the grand opening will take place Jan. 27 on Eid Milad un Nabi. The new location will be the site for five daily prayers, Friday and Eid prayers, youth and children’s Qur’an and Islamic studies classes, adult Qur’an and Islamic studies classes, women-only programs, interfaith dialogue and community events.

University of Alberta campus holds interfaith information sessions

On Islam – November 19, 2011


A University of Alberta center will hold a series of lectures on the relationship between the two main faiths, Christianity and Islam, inside the community. “The interest in Islam has grown enormously,” said David Goa, the director of the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life. The center, at the Augustana campus of the University of Alberta, will hold lectures in Calgary, Camrose and Edmonton.

Calgary Muslim mayor celebrated for his participation

The Globe and Mail – July 5, 2011
The participation of Naheed Nenshi, the Mayor of Calgary, as grand marshal for his city’s Gay Pride celebrations this coming September is depicted in this article as a model of the kind of acceptance that Pride events are meant to exemplify. Particularly in comparison with the city of Toronto’s politically conservative mayor who did not participate in its festivities.
Many will rush to claim this as another first in the historic mayoralty of Mr. Nenshi, the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city. But Mr. Nenshi does not “represent” Muslims any more than any other Muslim does. He does, however, represent Calgarians.

Calgary Board of Education considers Arabic in public schools

Metro Calgary – May 12, 2011

The Calgary Alberta Board of Education is now considering Arabic language studies in city schools. With a growing Arabic-speaking population, a group of parents banded together to petition the CBE for this change and with enough demand the board could move forward.

Like all of CBE’s bilingual programs, 30 per cent to 50 per cent of classes would be taught in Arabic, with the rest being taught in English. A cultural component would also be included. The parents are expected to present their case May 19 at Central Memorial High School. The CBE is expected to make a decision thereafter. Arabic would join four other languages offered by the CBE, including French, Spanish, German and Mandarin.

Muslim mayor of Calgary, Canada gains attention for his vision of the city

News Agencies – February 10, 2011

While the Toronto-based DiverseCity project critiques the lack of ethnic and religious diversity in Canadian politics, Canada’s first Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has received a great deal of attention because of his urban vision of the city. Born in Toronto, raised in Calgary, Nenshi is the son of Ismaili Muslim immigrants from Tanzania. Much has been made of this, but in fact what sets him apart and makes him important is what he says, especially about cities. Nenshi has connected with Calgarians who desire a more urban city, not endless sprawl. His talk about civic engagement and “politics in full sentences” resonated with an electorate tired of the usual left/right squabbling.

Registration for Islamic school in Calgary, Canada draws long line-up

CBC News – January 28, 2011

About a hundred parents waited in line outside the Calgary Islamic School for a chance to enroll their children. The private school — which teaches kindergarten to Grade 11 — has room for about 20 new students next year, officials said.

But since it’s the only school of its kind in Calgary, which has a Muslim population of about 60,000 people, parents line up outside in the cold for a chance to register every year, said principal Moussa Ouarou. He added that the waiting list already has 300 names on it.

The school, which is located at 26th Street and 37 Avenue N.E., teaches the regular provincial curriculum in addition to Arabic language courses, Islamic studies and Qur’an recitation and memorization.

Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi becomes Canada’s first Muslim mayor

News Agencies – October 19, 2010

A grassroots campaign driven by volunteers has delivered Canada its first Muslim mayor – Mr. Nenshi, who scored a staggering win in Calgary’s mayor’s race October 18, 2010. Nenshi defeated two better-funded candidates, including one backed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaign team, and saw his support surge in the final few weeks. The 38-year-old Mr. Nenshi survived a smear campaign and a telephone failure in the crucial final days and hours, before running away with what was to be a close vote. His candidacy was branded the “Purple Revolution,” named for his campaign colour and driven by a broad demographic that included strong youth support. “Today Calgary is a different place than it was yesterday. A better place,” Mr. Nenshi said in a speech to his supporters.Voter turnout was high, with early returns suggesting it could reach 50 per cent, well higher than the 33 per cent turnout in 2007.
Mr. Nenshi’s parents emigrated to Canada from Tanzania when his mother, Nury Nenshi, was pregnant with Naheed. They settled in Toronto before moving to Calgary, where Naheed grew up. He attended Harvard University, and at 22 was hired by McKinsey and Company, one of the world’s top consulting firms. After about eight years at the company, he returned to Calgary to be with his ailing father. He has since worked for the United Nations, started his own business, and became a professor at Mount Royal University.

Calgary Muslim Candidate’s Campaign Office Vandalized

The Calgary Sun – September 12, 2010
Vandals tossed a chunk of concrete through the front window of mayoral hopeful Naheed Nenshi’s campaign office early Sunday morning, hours after several of his signs were damaged and stolen throughout the northwest. Stopping short of calling it an attack against his Muslim faith, Nenshi noted the vandalism did come on the anniversary of Sept. 11.
According to spokesman Stephen Carter, volunteers on Nenshi’s campaign team saw a man and a woman in a black truck cutting signs down and taking them on Saturday night while using anti-Muslim slurs. Shards of broken glass littered the floor of Nenshi’s headquarters on 16 Ave. N.E. when workers arrived Sunday morning but he doesn’t think any of his political rivals were behind the attack.