WATERLOO REGION – The Kitchener-Waterloo Muslim Women’s Coalition has organized a series of events to celebrate Islamic History Month.
From virtual lectures by guest speakers to a calligraphy demonstration, the local advocacy group hopes to not only educate people, but also celebrate the rich history of Muslims in Canada.
âIslamic History Month is a way to bring attention and focus those voices,â said Mifrah Abid of the Kitchener-Waterloo Muslim Women’s Coalition. “This is also the time for Muslims to reassert themselves, to be who we are shamelessly.”
Mifrah Abid has said so often, people see Muslims as “another” or a stranger in this country.
âNot many people know that Muslims have been here for at least 170 years,â she said.
Abid said this raises the question of why Muslims continue to be marginalized and why so few know the history of Muslims in Canada.
She hopes residents of the Waterloo region will take the time to attend some of this month’s events to learn more about their Muslim neighbors.
Abid said the current political climate makes it more important than ever to talk about the experiences of Muslims in Canada and to talk about Islamophobia.
âPeople think that Islamophobia only exists when someone is murdered, but it is a lived experience. These are daily micro-attacks, âsaid Abid.
“If we don’t talk about it now, when will we?” ”
Islamic History Month was designated by the federal government in 2007.
The Coalition of Muslim Women KW is a local non-profit organization that works to build bridges between the Muslim and non-Muslim community, as well as providing programs to Muslims and other racialized people in the region.
Islamic History Month events
- The UN / COVERINGS photo exhibit at the Schneider Haus Museum in Kitchener opens October 8. She features photos of headgear of Mennonite and Muslim women and asks why Muslim headwear elicits different reactions from those worn by Mennonite women.
- Learn more about Islamic calligraphy during an in-person demonstration at the Kitchener Public Library Central Branch Lounge on October 15 between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Learn about the history of Muslims in Canada at a virtual luncheon hosted by the Waterloo Public Library on October 22
- Find out how Islam and Muslims are portrayed in the media from the perspective of a Muslim journalist at a virtual luncheon hosted by the Kitchener Public Library on October 28
The Muslim Women of Cambridge have created an exhibit on the history and traditions of Islam at the Queen’s Square branch of the Idea Exchange in Cambridge city center. It will be visible until October 15.
For a full schedule of events, visit the Coalition of Muslim Women KW Facebook page.