On February 19th, 2022, Edmonton-based community leaders and volunteers gathered to discuss the peace, security, and human rights of global minorities.
By Tazeen Hasan
"Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity."—The Holy Quran (2:104)
Local human rights organizers in Edmonton extended an invitation for community members to learn about the work of Justice for All Canada. Organizations in attendance included:
During the meet-up, Executive Director Taha Ghayyur gave us a brief history of this organization and challenged us to mobilize for the good of our community.
Canadian Muslims have established and evolved initiatives that give them a platform to share information and mobilize for human rights in Canada and around the world. A few examples include Sound Vision, DawaNet, Adam’s World (a Muslim version of Sesame Street), and Canadian Muslim News, a media project allowing Muslims to take charge of narratives involving the Muslim world and beyond.
About Justice For All Canada
Justice for All Canada focuses on conducting advocacy and empowerment for global minorities (primarily Muslims) around the world. The organization began in the United States 30 years prior as a response to the growing troubles and eventual catastrophic genocide in Bosnia. Justice For All (US head office) soon became recognized by the UN as a valuable advisor to them. This represented the first time Muslims in the west came together for human rights.
This organization played a key role in getting the international community to recognize rape as a war crime during the Bosnian war.
Justice for All started its chapter office in Canada in 2012.
Fascism in India
In March 2002, Justice for All sounded the alarm on organized anti-Muslim pogroms occurring in Gujarat, India, under the local leadership of Narendra Modi. Fourteen years later, Modi assumed power and has nationalized the agenda that seeks to eliminate religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. Leaders in current positions of power have gone on record stating that their goal is to kill “2 million Muslims with the hope that the remaining 198 million will flee India”.
Justice for All Canada has had success with respect to putting human rights issues on the front burner of Parliament. Canada was the first country to declare the treatment of the Rohingya in Burma as genocide, dedicating over $300 million in aid to supporting the refugee situation.
Canada stood with The Gambia when it took Burmese leadership to the international court of justice for their mistreatment of not only of Rohingya Muslims, but the Karen and Chin peoples, and Christian minority groups.
Justice For All Canada continues their advocacy work on 6 campaigns:
The Quranic passage Chapter 2, Verse 104 that supports this work reads: "Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity."
We are invited to change for good through our hands, our tongue and our heart. The lowest level is our heart – where we “feel bad” but do no more than that.
Change starts with ourselves.
All Prophets reflect a prophetic mission: To honour the clear signs in the book (Quran) and keep the balance (e.g. in our ecosystem and our relationships) so that people will uphold justice.
Angela Davis said, “In a racist society like ours, it is not enough to be silent and non-racist – we need to be Anti-Racist!”
We need to pray for the oppressed, for there is no barrier between the person who is oppressed and God. We are all ambassadors of peace and justice. This is echoed in Christian Gospel Epistles as well, where God empowers us to be ambassadors of reconciliation.
During our brunch meeting, here are the four things that Taha invited us to do:
The closing prayer invited God to accept our work, help us to be united and help us to be strong for the sake of God.
Dr. Nahla shared with us one way she checks in with herself around the work of caring about each other in our world:
In Islam, it is said that saving a soul is like saving the world.
In Islam, the reference to soul means the whole person.
May it be so!
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