Toronto - Following the massacre in Quebec last month, which left six Muslim men dead and five others injured, Muslim youth across Canada launched a new initiative aimed at educating neighbors and community members about being a Muslim in Canada.
Toronto – Following the massacre in Quebec last month, which left six Muslim men dead and five others injured, Muslim youth across Canada launched a new initiative aimed at educating neighbors and community members about being a Muslim in Canada.
The best ideas are often the simplest ones and so was born the idea of going door-to-door across the country to counter the misinformation about Islam that has been increasingly disseminated in every corner of the country.
For young Muslims like Barrie, Ontario’s Qasid Chaudry, the Quebec massacre was a galvanizing moment. “There’s a lot of misconceptions people have been getting about Islam. We’re trying to give people the idea that ISIS is not Islam. It is a religion of peace.”
Chaudry was born in Canada and says he feels the response he and his fellow Muslim youth have encountered so far from their communities has been “really good.” Knocking on doors and handing out flyers might seem like a basic approach to some but for youth like Chaudry, they are seeing the impact of that personal touch firsthand.
“It’s amazing because a lot of times people are afraid Islamophobia is becoming a really big problem. It makes us feel that people don’t fear Islam, they fear these extremist groups.” Chaudry himself experiences nothing but harmony between his Canadian values and his Muslim values and he’s eager to express that to anyone willing to listen.
Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada, Safwan Chaudry, views Canadians meeting ordinary Muslims as critical in building bridges of understanding. “It’s an opportunity for Canadians to ask some questions about their faith, to challenge them, to know what exactly about their Canadian identity is important to them and how they reconcile that with being a Muslim.”
He also sees the door-to-door initiative as the perfect opportunity to showcase the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association to fight Islamic State radicalization efforts in Canada. With Islamophobia and anti-Semitism on the rise in North America, Chaudry wants to be at the forefront of the fight against it’s spread.