By Habeeb Alli
What does freedom feel like?
After reading an article by Faiz Andrew, in the Presbyterian Record, sitting in the Chapel in one of the Institutions that I serve as Chaplain, I realised that my tears are more for the welcome Canadians have shown the Syrian refugees despite of growing Islamophobia.
I also realise my jubilation is in seeing the Prime Minister stand in a mosque that was a victim of hate and reopened its doors this weekend. This speaks to the truth that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian!
Four years ago, Chaplains under the Islam Care charity started the One Love dinner as a community event to create awareness about the importance of Chaplaincy services in the prison system of Canada, when it was threatened.
Today, we have much to celebrate by the success of men and women, making their lives better through the chaplaincy and educational services provided by Corrections Canada.
As a mandate of the Charter we continue to ensure spiritual care and religious accommodation are not mere words but that the institutional polices and activities impact the lives of the wide diversity of inmates.
This year we are hosting our 4th Annual Gala at Elite Banquet Hall 1850 Albion Rd Toronto on Sat Jan 30th at 6.00 pm.
We will honor the work of those who continue to fight against radicalism by awarding our Keynote Shahina Siddiqui, whose book and workshops have impacted many individuals and institutions globally. This is the Tayyibah Taylor Award- a deceased notable female Chaplain and Editor.
This year we also award our past inmate turned Chaplain, Ibrahim Downey, for spending his last 25 years showing youths incarcerated that there is a better way out. This is the Ghulam Sajan Award, a deceased Human rights activist.
Lastly, this year we honor the many men and women serving our inmates with appreciation and awards, like the Malcolm X award going towards Michael Taylor, whose work as counsellor have impacted many youths in the Interfaith communities across Ontario.
Invited guests include Hon MP Rob Oliphant whose work on inclusivity is well known.
It’s an evening of celebration, awards and entertainment.
For more information contact the Co-Chairs of www.onelovegala.com
Habeeb Alli firstname.lastname@example.org 416 823 1738
Rashid Taylor Michael@rashidtaylor.com