Dear community members, leaders and organizations:
We pray this opening message finds you in the best of spirits and that you, too, are excited to celebrate Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) in your homes, schools, communities and places of worship.
As you know, IHMC is an exemplary effort: a progressive, inclusive vision of dedicated and innovative pioneers in Canada, which was proclaimed by the Canadian Parliament in 2007. To wit, Canada remains the only western nation that has federally declared and devoted a singular month to the celebration of Islamic civilizations and the achievements of its Muslim citizens: past, present and future.
Since 2007, many cities — and the province of Manitoba — have affirmed October as Islamic History Month. If your city or province has not yet proclaimed October as an official IHMC month of recognition, please call your Mayor or Premier’s office and request that they do so. If you require assistance in respect of such, please contact us, too. It is incumbent on Muslim-Canadians, most especially, to assume the lead in publicly and prolifically celebrating our diverse community’s accomplishments to local, regional and global platforms with great pride, gratitude and robust energy!
This year, IHMC’s theme is entitled, “CELEBRATING DIVERSITY | HONOURING RECONCILIATION.” Indeed, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation (or Canada’s 150th Birthday), which, this past July 1st, was exalted with nationwide sprees of celebratory pride regarding Canada’s multicultural make-up. And while IHMC honours and lauds Canada’s mosaic of ethnic diversity, we must remain assiduous in our service of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC’s) Calls to Action in respect of Indigenous Peoples:
As Muslims, we must work towards establishing and maintaining relationships with our Indigenous relatives through our awareness and honouring of the past — this, whilst harmoniously progressing forward in the spirit of understanding via our related histories and contemporary struggles, and, at length, by way of bridge-building actions, which support social justice and reparation-movements for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
IHMC, as ever, aims to educate all peoples in respect of the challenges Canadian-Muslims today confront regarding Islamophobia — both individually and systemically realized — and the impact that Islamophobia is having on Canada’s social cohesion.
There are several accessible resources and information pieces available to you on the IHMC website, which will ensure that you have the best IHMC ever (InshaAllah!). We invite you to consider the following broad guidelines when planning your IHMC celebrations:
• We encourage all community members to engage, organize and plan events that recognize, educate and celebrate the rich heritage of Muslims in Canada and around the world.
• Our goal is to collaborate, in a nationwide effort, the fostering of positive education and shared information within Canada regarding the numerous, important and beneficial contributions of Muslims to human civilization.
• We highly encourage you to showcase your Muslim “celebrities” in various fields who have made a mark in Canada.
• Please make use of our 2017 event poster and social media graphics in support of your individual events! What’s more, please inform us of your IHMC 2017 activities, which we will publicize on our website and Facebook page.
We thank you for your support and participation!
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All our best!