(October 20, 2014) – October is Islamic History Month in Canada (IHMC) and community groups across Toronto are showcasing Muslim contributions to the world.
“Bridge-building with understanding is one of the goals of IHMC,” states the IHMC website. “More importantly, at a time when Muslim are being perceived as the ‘other’, it’s a time dedicated to showcasing Muslims’ contributions to humanity many may not be aware of.”
In the Greater Toronto Area, exhibitions, lectures, documentary screenings have been organized in community centers, libraries, religious institutions and other public facilities.
At the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) in Scarborough, a number of events to celebrate IHMC are being held with a focus on the history of the Muslim presence in Canada.
“I invite you to join me and our special guests, Dr. Kathy Bullock and Dr. Zijad Delic, as we provide you with a glimpse into the rich history and the contemporary reality of Islam in Canada, and the world,” said Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick, Coordinator of Daw’ah and Outreach at the Islamic Institute and a well-known historian.
Last Friday evening, the Islamic Institute inaugurated its IHMC programming with a screening of ‘Mosque One’, a short documentary of Toronto’s first mosque.
“The presence of Muslims in this part of the world is not new,” Dr. Abdullah Hakim told the audience at the screening. “There are a lot of stories of Islam and Muslims in this country.”
Dr. Kathy Bullock, President of the Tessellate Institute, which produced the documentary, told the gathering that Canadian Muslims should learn from the experiences of early immigrants to the country.
“We should learn from their experiences,” said Dr. Bullock. “We need to know their stories as it will help us to know our history and their contributions and help us combat the Islamophobia we are facing today.”
Various chapters of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in the Greater Toronto Area have also organized lectures and displays to celebrate IHMC.
In Mississauga, an Islamic Heritage Exhibition was put on by the organization last Saturday at the Clarkson Community Centre and a similar exhibition was held in Scarborough at the Agincourt Mall.
Later that evening, ICNA’s Scarborough Chapter held a seminar on the contributions of Islamic Civilization to the world with guest speakers, Imam Yusuf Badat and Muneeb Nasir.
In its eighth year, IHMC has been proclaimed in more than half-a-dozen cities across Canada.
The inauguration of IHMC took place on October 25, 2007 when Canada’s Federal parliament officially declared October as Islamic History Month in Canada.
Cities such as Kingston and Burnaby have annually proclaimed IHMC since the inauguration.
“Islamic History Month Canada provides a time to focus on celebrating and educating the Muslim and non-Muslim community on the rich history, heritage and culture of Canadian Muslims and Muslims around the world,” states IHMC website.
For further information on IHMC and upcoming events visit: www.ihmcanada.com