By Amira Elghawaby | Hill Times
April 25, 2016
OTTAWA—Is it time for a blanket condemnation of all future terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam, occurring anywhere in the world, to be featured on the front page of every Muslim organization’s website? Or perhaps, every Muslim should permanently pin an expression of horror and an accompanying plea of solidarity on their social media accounts.
Don’t misunderstand: the horror, the pain, the solidarity—all of it is real and authentic.
But so is the frustration at the expectation that when criminals ...
How politicians and media refer to the terrorist group may actually help in countering its destructive narratives
By: Amira Elghawaby
Toronto Star | February 23, 2016
Last June, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on the country’s largest broadcaster to stop calling ISIS the “Islamic State” and to instead use the term ISIL (an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
“I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it’s not an Islamic state; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime,” said Cameron in an interview on ...
By AMIRA ELGHAWABY | The Hill Times
February 15, 2016
OTTAWA — Copies of Hitler’s manifesto, available for the first time in Germany since the fall of the Nazis, sold out in under a week. While historians insist that its popularity is solely attributed to it being a historical document, it nonetheless reminds us that the types of odious views expressed in Mein Kampf still find quarter in our societies today.
Jewish communities know all too well what it is like to be a target of supremacist ideology. Swastikas are often the public manifestations of this hate, ...
By Amira Elghawaby
January / February, 2016 | Alberta Views Magazine
For the past decade, the former Prime Minister, along with some federal ministers and elected officials, would at times speak negatively about Muslims and Islam. Given the global and national fears around violent extremist threats, it isn’t surprising that politicians would need to discuss concerns about those who subscribe to delusional interpretations of the faith. But it often seemed that some politicians failed to appreciate the impact of their words.
In 2010, the RCMP produced a report ...
By Amira Elghawaby
The Globe and Mail | January 8, 2016
Sharing vacation stories makes returning to the humdrum of life more bearable, especially for school-age children who eagerly retell their family's holiday adventures.
But how does a child explain to his classmates that he was delayed reaching a hockey game because his name appears on a mysterious list which even his parents are powerless to affect?
Recently, 6-year-old Syed Adam Ahmed and his family's unbelievable story garnered headlines. The young boy, travelling with his father on what should be an ...
The federal government should immediately partner with Canadian Muslim communities to fashion an effective strategy to combat extremist narratives.
By AMIRA ELGHAWABY
The Hill Times | November 23, 2015
A radio show host in Saskatoon tweets out an anti-Muslim message and is immediately taken to task by his own wife. He later deletes the tweet, but not before it was seen by many.
He is not the only one to express views that would be considered racist were they targeting any other group. Some people have even acted out on these views: firebombing a mosque, ...
Muslim communities are working to fight homegrown terrorism. But that’s hard to do in a climate of distrust
By Abbas Kassam | The Toronto Star
Last week, evil struck. There were vicious attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad. I grieve with the families and friends of the victims and hope the perpetrators are brought to justice. Violent extremism is universally condemned; terror is never the answer and the loss of one innocent life is equal to that of all of humanity.
We cannot let such horrific violence achieve its goal of striking fear into our communities and ...
By Amira Elghawaby
The Globe and Mail | October 22, 2015
Women in headscarves are smiling everywhere. They are in the subway station in Montreal with brightly coloured headgear and cell phones to match. They are at a rally in Ottawa, up close with the prime-minister-designate as they snap selfies that will trend on Twitter. They are walking with their heads held just a little higher, returning smiles offered by random passersby.
What a difference a day makes. The same women who were expressing feelings of fear and discomfort just walking to a mall, or to school, ...
By Amira Elghawaby
October 8, 2015 | TVO
It’s every kid’s worst nightmare. You’re on the playground, minding your own business, and someone suddenly yells at you: “Look at that kid! What’s wrong with that kid?”
Suddenly, everyone in the playground is staring at you.
That’s how Canadian Muslim women are feeling these days. All of a sudden, everyone’s looking at us, with a mix of fear, anger and misunderstanding. Some are even turning to acts of hate.
In the past two weeks alone, a pregnant woman was attacked by teenagers in Montreal who ...
By Amira Elghawaby and Bernie Farber
The Globe and Mail | September 5, 2015
The image of Alan Kurdi’s small body on a Turkish beach has become a heart-wrenching symbol of the human catastrophe that continues to claim innocent lives and shatter any illusions that what happens in war-torn, crumbling nations remains hidden in war-torn, crumbling nations.
We know very little about Alan other than that Canadian relatives were trying to find a way to bring him and his family to Canada. We don’t know, for example, whether he was a member of a minority religious sect in ...