By Muneeb Nasir
(TORONTO) – The Canadian Council of Imams celebrated 28 years of service to the community at its third annual dinner held on Monday, May 7 in Mississauga.
“I would like to offer my thanks to Allah for such a memorable occasion and to show our gratitude to our Imams, our masajids and centres, our wider community, its organizations and to the different levels of government present here tonight,” said Dr. Mustafa Khattab, Secretary of the Canadian Council of Imams (CCI), reading a message on behalf of the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Iqbal Al-Nadvi.
“With the marked increase in the CCI’s activities and the growing number of supporters, we are all very gratified that we can join with you to celebrate and appreciate our achievements and work here this evening, and we thank Almighty God for this blessing and sincerely thank all who are supportive of our cause.”
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commended the Council for being a unifying voice for the Canadian Muslim community.
“The Canadian Council of Imams has long been a unifying voice for our Canadian Muslim community across the country, including as an advocacy network and as a centre of support,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “They have, as well, dedicated much of their efforts to the benefit of Canada at large.”
“Their active support for diversity and inclusivity has ensured that the Council has brought together Canadians of all backgrounds.”
The Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, sent a personal message to the gathering in which she spoke of the contributions that Muslims are making to the country.
“I want to commend the Canadian Council of Imams for its long-standing dedication to representing the interests of the Canadian Muslim community, and promoting the message of mutual understanding and respect,” said Premier Wynne in her message. “This message resonates deeply in our province, and helps to define the culture of equity and inclusion that we are building here.”
“I am also delighted to take this opportunity to underscore the great pride our province takes in the significant contributions of Ontario’s Muslim community,” she added. “Muslim Canadians are a valued part of our province’s cherished pluralism, and have distinguished themselves in every sphere of endeavor. In doing so, they have made Ontario an even better place to live.”
The Council presented awards to three recipients for their support and service to the Muslim community.
The Mayor of Brampton, Linda Jeffrey, was recognized for her outreach and outstanding leadership and support for the Muslim community.
Dr. Aliya Khan was recognized for her dedication and countless services to the Canadian Muslim community. Dr. Khan is a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and the founder of the Abrahams Children Together project with a church and synagogue in Oakville.
Kyle Ferguson, the Advisor for Ecclesial and Interfaith Relations at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was recognized for his outreach and friendship to the Council. The Catholic Bishops of Canada have made it a pastoral priority to develop stronger relations with the Muslim communities of Canada, and with the leadership of the Canadian Council of Imams.
The Canadian Council of Imams is a collective leadership of Imams in Canada.
Established in 1990, the Council has been serving the Canadian Muslim communities in different capacities as well as a unifying platform for Canadian Imams and chaplains.