Your Excellency, Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
We are members of the Muslim Community of Canada. We are writing to you about the case of Professor Homa Hoodfar, an Iranian-Muslim Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. She travelled to Iran in early 2016 to visit family and conduct scholarly research but on June 6, 2016 she was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Currently, she is being held incommunicado and without charge in Evin prison in Tehran.
We are writing to urge you to intervene on her behalf and to secure her immediate release.
Dr. Hoodfar has written extensively, influentially and respectfully about Muslim societies. She is a specialist in gender issues, with a focus on family law, reproductive rights, and the role of women in politics, as well as the intersections of gender with development and public health.
We are at a loss to understand why she has been arrested. At this moment in world politics when the words “Islam” and “Muslim” are regrettably associated on the global stage with violence, repression and intolerance, Professor Hoodfar’s arrest only serves to further these negative associations. It provides further ammunition to Islamophobic groups that seek to tarnish the reputation and image of Islam and Muslim societies.
Securing the release of Professor Hoodfar – and other Iranian political prisoners – would be a concrete manifestation to the world of the Islamic principles of compassion, forgiveness and generosity. We strongly urge you to take this step.
Ahmad Kutty, Resident Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto
Alia Hogben, Executive Director of Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Ayesha Chaudhry, University of British Columbia
Azeezah Kanji, Noor Cultural Centre
Dr. Adnan Qayyum, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Ahmet Fuat Sahin, Founder International Development and Relief Foundation
Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam, Dalhousie University
Dr. Amila Buturovic, York University
Dr. Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University
Dr. Brenda Anderson, University of Regina
Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Huron University College
Dr. Jamal Badawi, Professor Emeritus, St. Mary’s University
Dr. Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University
Dr. Julie Macfarlane, University of Windsor
Dr. Karim H. Karim, Carleton Center for the Study of Islam, Carleton University
Dr. Kathy Bullock, University of Toronto
Dr. Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto
Dr. Murray Hogben, History Professor and Senior Staff, Camp Deen.
Dr. Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo, Vice Dean School of Law, Jindal Global University, Delhi, India
Dr. Rula Abisaab, McGill University
Dr. Rumee Ahmed, University of British Columbia
Dr. Sajida Alvi, McGill University
Dr. Shabir Ally, Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International
Dr. Soroush Dabbagh, University of Toronto
Dr. Wael M R Haddara, Schulich School of Medicine, Western University
Faisal Kutty. General Counsel, Canadian-Muslim Civil Liberties Association
Fathima Cader, Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law
Hameed Shaikh, Past President, Council of Muslim Communities of Canada
Hanny Hassan, Past President of the Council of Muslim Communities of Canada
Huma Ahmed, president of Mississauga chapter of Canadian Council for Muslim Women
Imam Syed B. Soharwardy, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada
Kerry K. Gearin, Family & Child Protection Lawyer
Maria Salman, Canadian Muslim Women in Law
Monia Mazigh, National Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Morteza Hashemi, Vali-e Asr Islamic Center
Rahat Kurd, Past executive member, Queen’s University Muslim Student Association (QUMSA)
Samira Kanji, President of Noor Cultural Centre
Talia Joundi, McGill University
Yasmin Ratansi, Member of Parliament for Don Valley East
Zahra Rajabi, Islamic Community of Afghans
This letter is also available in Farsi