On Friday, Canadian mosques commemorated the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day with Imams asking their congregation to reflect on the historic legacy and present-day consequences of residential schools.
“This National Day of Truth and Reconciliation should be a day when we start learning about them, knowing about them, listening to them, their stories, their narratives and reading their books,” said Dr. Zijad Delic, Imam of Ottawa’s SNMC Mosque. “The acknowledgement of the suffering of the peoples of the land is an important milestone in the process of Reconciliation.”
“There is no reconciliation, trust and harmony without truth, justice and forgiveness.”
On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Canadians commemorated the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours lost Indigenous children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities.
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived residential schools and remembers those who did not.
“I delivered the Friday sermon today to reflect with the community upon the suffering of the indigenous people,” said Imam Abdallah Yousri of Halifax’s Ummah Masjid and Community Center. “Thousands upon thousands of the true owners of this land that we live on today lost their lives and lost their loved ones in these so-called residential schools.”
“Today, we pause to reflect upon the damage of colonialism, today we pause and share the truth with our people, today we call upon the government to take action and stop the suffering of the indigenous community which is still happening in other forms,” added Imam Yousri.
“Before COVID-19, I was honoured to participate in a 3-day retreat with Indiginous leaders. I am committed to continue working, supporting and building bridges between our communities.”
In an online message to the congregation of Masjid Toronto, Imam Dr. Wael Shehab said, "I reaffirm our commitment to support the Indigenous people until they achieve healing, justice and peace with Truth and Reconciliation:'To the Indigenous people, we stand in solidarity with you. The discovery of hundreds-upon-hundreds of graves of innocent children — stolen from their families, abused, tortured and starved -- has brought so much grief and pain to our communities across the country. Our pledge to you as Relatives: We will stand firm and work tirelessly with you to bring healing, justice and peace with Truth and Reconciliation.'"