Established by the Canadian Government in 2007, Islamic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to learn and honour the rich history of Islam and the contributions of Muslims in Canada. It is important to recognize the diversity that exists within the faith of Islam, and the people who practice it including the multitude of people, stories, and cultures that have shaped, and continue to shape Canada.
We enter Islamic Heritage Month this year with heavy hearts and thoughts of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Mahsa Amini was killed while in police custody in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. She was arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaking headscarf rules and died on September 16th. The Iranian Students’ Association of Waterloo (ISAW) established a solidarity protest with #MahsaAmini and Iranian protesters on September 27th in front of the Dana Porter Library. If you or someone you know needs mental support during this time, please reach out to RAISE or one of the other resources from the list below.
We encourage University of Waterloo undergrads to take time this month to explore this non-exhaustive list of the many supports, resources, communities, and educational tools:
Canadian Muslim History
The Long and Forgotten History of Muslims in Canada
“Many people believe the first Muslim people came to Canada in the 1950s, but this is not true. The community’s real history in this country begins 150 years ago.” Read this article to learn about the early and ongoing history of Muslim migration to Canada.
Beyond the Bulletin Podcast
During the summer of 2021, an episode of the Beyond the Bulletin podcast interviewed Amir Al-Azraki, the coordinator of Studies in Islamic and Arab cultures and Professor of Arabic Language, Literature and Culture at Renison University College. In this podcast, Professor Al-Azraki discusses Islamophobia after a motorist deliberately hit and killed several members of a Muslim family. The interview with Professor Al-Azraki begins at about the 9-minute mark in the podcast.
Multi-Faith Rooms & Chaplains at the University of Waterloo
The Student Life Center (SLC) has a Multi-Faith Prayer Room on the third (3rd) Floor. It is located beside the Quiet Study Room.
Open 24/7. No need to book.
Capacity: 120-130 students
Prayers offered: Dhuhr (Noon), Jumu’ah (Friday Prayers)
For a full list of Multi-Faith rooms on campus. Click here: https://uwaterloo.ca/chaplains/multi-faith-prayer-spaces-campus
The University of Waterloo also has Muslim Chaplains. A chaplain is a member of the clergy, a leader in a religious group, or a spiritual mentor. They are here to help you!
Ayse Erenay: Ayse Erenay’s profile
Rania Lawendy: Rania Lawendy’s profile.
WUSA and University of Waterloo Resources
- BIPOC Graduate Student Collective: The BIPOC Graduate Student Collective is a virtual space that aims to center the academic and social experience and needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Graduate Students through various supports.
- Campus Wellness: Visit Campus Wellness for counselling services and resources.
- Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RAISE): RAISE is a student-led WUSA service that addresses racism and xenophobia on campus with initiatives reflective of their three pillars of Education and Advocacy, Peer-to-Peer Support, and Community Building.
- Thaqalayn Muslim Association (TMA): The Thaqalayn Muslim Association works to cater to the needs of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim post-secondary students at the University of Waterloo, and the surrounding region, while representing their collective voices and pursuing their idea
- University of Waterloo Muslim Students’ Association: The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) seeks to create a community that is open and dynamic and caters to the best interests of all Muslims on campus.
- QTPOC KW: QTPOC KW hosts monthly events for people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC with the goal of building and nurturing a more resilient community.
Community and Resources in the Waterloo & Surrounding Region
- Canadian Council of Muslim Women: The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is an organization dedicated to the empowerment, equality and equity of all Muslim women in Canada.
- Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener-Waterloo: The Coalition of Muslim Women KW (CMW) is a non-profit organization that works to empower Muslim women and girls to be leaders and change-makers.
- Muslim Association of Canada: The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) is a Canadian charitable organization and a grassroots social movement that focuses on serving Canadians by educating and motivating Muslims to put their faith into action for the benefit of everyone.
- MAC Waterloo: MAC Waterloo is a local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada.
- Muslim Services in Kitchener-Waterloo: This resource provides a list of various Muslim services in Kitchener-Waterloo, including education, media, social services, groups, organizations, and more.
- Muslim Social Services Kitchener-Waterloo: Muslim Social Services Kitchener-Waterloo is a charitable organization that provides culturally and spiritually sensitive humanitarian and social services to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of the Waterloo Region.
- Muslim Society of Guelph: The Muslim Society of Guelph (MSOG) is a faith-based organization committed to spreading positivity, knowledge, and the message of Islam.
- Muslim Women of Cambridge: Muslim Women of Cambridge (MWC) works to bridge the gap between the Muslim community and the larger community by fostering open communication to better understand each other’s values and beliefs.
- National Council of Canadian Muslims: The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization that protects Canadian human rights and civil liberties, challenges discrimination and Islamophobia, builds mutual understanding, and advocates for the public concerns of Canadian Muslims.
- Project Up for Young Black Muslim Womxn: Project UP is a grassroots initiative in Waterloo that supports young Black-Muslim womxn and girls to unleash their potential through community-building, resource-sharing. and skills development.
- Salaam Canada: Salaam Canada is a volunteer-run national organization dedicated to creating space for people who identify as both Muslim and queer and/or trans.