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.

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.

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.