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October is Islamic Heritage Month in Alberta

October is Islamic Heritage Month in Alberta. The local Muslim community came together to kick off the observation on October 1, 2022.

The event, headlined by Mayor Sandy Bowman was held at Markaz ul Islam, the Islamic Centre of Fort McMurray in Dickinsfield, and featured an official proclamation for the occasion.

Naseem Abdo, lead organizer for the event was pleased with the turnout. He shared the importance of Islamic Heritage Month.

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“It is essential in combatting hate and Islamophobia.  Education is the most powerful tool to combat hate.”

Mayor Sandy Bowman agreed.

“Islamic Heritage Month gives us all an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the rich Islamic history and culture that exists in our region, and I encourage community members to do that this October and throughout the year,” Mayor Bowman commented.

“There is no doubt we are strengthened by our diversity, and also by the many positive contributions the local Muslim community has made in making our home a great place to live. I was honoured to again visit with community members at Markaz ul Islam and make this proclamation, because I think it’s important that we do what we can to continue to build an inclusive, welcoming region for everyone. It is always a warm welcome there and I am thankful for the friendships and relationships we’ve been able to grow together,” he shared.

Alberta proclaimed the first Islamic Heritage Month in 2018. Fort McMurray’s first observation was last year, which saw a great response.

“We had a great turnout from community leaders from a variety of sectors. They found it very beneficial and informative, and many engagements/sessions happened after the event,” he continued.

This year, once again, Markaz ul Islam is hosting Islamic information sessions for the community and invites those interested to learn more.

“The sessions feature a Mosque tour and information explaining Islamophobia in Canada, history of Muslims in Fort McMurray and basic information about Islam to have a better understanding fostering inclusion, diversity and to combat hate and Islamophobia,” added Abdo, who has been in McMurray for 33 years.

Also on the agenda, a video and poster competition in collaboration with the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Different age groups from the community are invited to make a poster or two-minute video about combating hate and Islamophobia. There will be prizes for all age categories. Deadline for submissions is October 16, 2022.

For more information: contact@markazulislam.com.

About the author

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Kiran Malik-Khan

Kiran is a national award-winning communications specialist, freelance journalist, and social media consultant. She loves telling community stories, and is a strong advocate for inclusion, diversity, women’s rights, and multiculturalism. Got story ideas? Contact her via Twitter: @KiranMK0822.

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