My Blog

September 30, 2020

PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Few weeks ago, there was a horrific barbaric attack on a woman in Pakistan. The woman was driving from the city of Lahore to Gujranwala with her children when the incident took place. Her car ran out of fuel on a deserted highway and she called for help. While she was waiting, two men allegedly […]

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September 29, 2020

Meeting Peter Thiel

In March 2016, I was surprised and honored to be invited by Peter Thiel to speak to his staff over lunch.

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July 3, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (8)….THE FAN CLUB

Senor OCD is being promoted to Senior OCD tomorrow (it’s his 65th birthday) and I want to try and be nice to him. To be fair, he needs to be vindicated from all the gossip against him. I mean, if not now when he’s ageing (not so gracefully), then when? He has decided that he […]

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June 27, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (7) – The Cleaning Lady

This week was our 43rd. wedding anniversary..tau blog tau banta hai na? (have to write a blog, right?) because we still haven’t killed each other. Since the last few episodes, a lot of time has passed but global events had become so serious that even thinking of writing anything humorous felt like ‘cancel culture’ – […]

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April 19, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (6)… LOSING IS HARD!

Ohkay, there was a bit of a lull as things looked like they were getting serious and I didn’t want to be the one to be labelled silly or frivolous.

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April 10, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (5) – RANDOM THOUGHTS

Ohkay….things are settling down, but not OCD. After his below-the-belt remark about the ‘broom’, I tried to ‘socially distance’ myself and pout. Neither worked. Because I need his brain for my writing and his brawn for the housework. Besides pouting is not my thing. It only suits people with rosy chubby cheeks who have mastered […]

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April 8, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (4) – THE REBUTTAL

(Full Disclosure: produced exactly as directed and dictated by OCD) People are dying & the world in in a crisis. COVID 19, 5G (Haanhji) or Deep State Conspiracy – whatever it is, its here and we have to dutifully follow the directives (easy for me as I’m used to following directions). We have two choices: […]

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April 3, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (3)…THE TO-DO-DO-LISTS

Every evening for the past two weeks OCD announces, “we have a LOT to do tomorrow so let’s make a To-Do List”. Like a good submissive wife (yeah right – in your dreams baby) I grab a pad and paper (remember we have these all over the house in case of emergency) and sit down. […]

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March 29, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (2)…a day in the life of..

7am: Wow slept in. Its late. Must jump out of bed…ouch that hurt the back. Ok slowly wash up and say prayers. Read the usual one page of Quran making marking in pencil stuff that needs more reflection or discussion. Realize hubbly is catching up fast so decide to fast forward a few extra pages. […]

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March 26, 2020

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA

Remember the blackout in 2003? I was at work downtown and then stuck on the roadside because there was no public transit. My two loving and dedicated sons meanwhile took over. One handled the phone and the other who worked in a bank, handled the finances (ATM’s had stopped working). Somehow, they managed to find […]

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March 19, 2020

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF…..NO OFFENSE!

COVID 19 has brought the world to its knees. The news, social media and conversation is all about the virus. And rightly so because it seems that at least in my lifetime, we have never experienced anything like this global threat. In my Province of Ontario, an emergency has been declared which means everything except […]

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October 16, 2019

THREE JOKERS AND A TRUMP!

Canadian elections are in less than a week and the cards dealt to Canadians from the political deck are: Three jokers and a Trump! Although these may be the most crucial elections of our times, the one word that describes them is “boring”! It’s no wonder then that most Canadians are more interested in the […]

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July 24, 2019

WOMEN’S MOSQUE OF CANADA….a much needed initiative

I first heard about The Women’s Mosque of Canada in April when there was a news item that a group of women were praying together at a Church in downtown Toronto. The idea intrigued me as a Women’s rights activist and someone who feels that the need for an exclusive sacred space for women is […]

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June 30, 2019

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE (CANADIAN) THINGS….

This July 1 on Canada Day it will be 31 years since we came to Canada. We have lived longer in Canada than any other country including Pakistan which is my land of birth so there is no denying “this is home”. This is also where the heart is and as I think back, these […]

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May 31, 2019

HATE HAS NO PLACE IN CANADA…OR ANYWHERE ELSE!

In a diverse country like Canada where myriads of faiths and culture live together, we work hard at co-existence and keeping communities together. This needs mutual respect and tolerance plus a total condemnation of hate, wherever it’s coming from. There is one day that embarrasses me as a Muslim because it’s all about hate. This […]

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April 23, 2019

HATE FESTS ABOUND ALL AROUND

When I was in school, there was always the one kid who constantly ratted on others and called them names. When challenged, he hid behind the teachers skirt and curried favours from them. He became the teachers ‘pet’ and no one could touch him. Would you be surprised, if one day, found alone that kid […]

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March 26, 2019

THE ‘FEISTY’ BARONESS AND THE ISLAMISTS

It was a great honor for Canada to welcome Baroness Caroline Cox of the UK House of Lords last week. How to describe this indomitable person? A headline of The Daily Telegraph reads: “The feisty baroness defending ‘voiceless’ Muslim women: Baroness Cox of Queensbury is fighting to stop sharia ‘seeping’ into enforcing divorce settlements.” Cox […]

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March 11, 2019

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN JERUSALEM

March is when we celebrate women. Although March 8 is International Women’s Day, activities take place throughout the month. Some people question as to why we need a “Women Day”? Well we need this to create awareness that women are still not recognized for their complete human rights in many parts of the world. It’s […]

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July 15, 2018

UNVEILING INFINITY

Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. Dalai Lama “Let yourself be empty so you can learn”. These are the wise words with which Sri Sri Ravishanker started his 3-day program called “Unveiling Infinity” at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and which I was fortunate to attend thanks to a good friend. I […]

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May 25, 2018

VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF ISLAM – AGAIN!

On May 24, 2018 a violent mob of over 500 hate-filled extremists attacked and demolished a Mosque in the City of Sialkot in Pakistan. The Mosque belonged to the minority Ahmadi community. Ahmadis make a tiny minority of the Muslim-majority Pakistan and are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics. Pakistan declared Ahmadis […]

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April 23, 2018

TERROR IN TORONTO!

Breaking News: Monday April 23, 2018 On this most beautiful sunny day after four months, Torontonians were out on the streets to enjoy the weather, when terror struck in the most horrific way. At Yonge and Finch Avenue which is a beautiful, peaceful and diverse area in Toronto where mothers take their kids for walks, […]

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April 13, 2018

“I KNOW MY FATHER (ABBA) THROUGH STORIES…..

(My brother’s daughter Maliha lost her young husband many years ago. Her daughter Mariam wrote the following essay for her University admission. I found this so compelling that I want to share. ) “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad […]

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March 15, 2018

WHITE PRIVILEGE – SERIOUSLY?

The buzz word; stuff that op-eds are made of; twitter chatter ad-nauseam; a depressing amount of balderdash and on and on. Have we nothing better to focus on? Now I have to invoke my brown, Muslim woman, South Asian heritage privilege to say “give me a break”! This generalizing of white people as though they […]

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March 8, 2018

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH 2018

On this International Women’s Day I wish to salute the following: • Yazidi women who truly know the meaning of struggle against the injustices of the world • The women of Syria who are struggling to survive against all odds • The brave women of Iran who by throwing off their head covers in protest […]

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February 11, 2018

REPORT ON A TRIP TO MINNEAPOLIS

On January 23, I went on the trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to meet with some State Representatives and activists. Between 2008 and 2013, about 40 young men left Minneapolis to join al-Shabaab, the militant, radical Islamist insurgent group at war in Somalia, between approximately 2008 and 2013. Since then, 11 people from the Twin Cities […]

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January 31, 2018

CANADIAN AWARD TO CANADIAN ACTIVIST

On January 29, 2017 an event was hosted by Muslims Facing Tomorrow to celebrate Raheel Raza receiving the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Senate of Canada in recognition “valuable service to Canada”. Senator Linda Frum made the presentation. Barbara Kay, journalist and author par excellence delivered […]

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January 14, 2018

POOR ZAINAB – A TINY PAWN IN A LARGER POLITICAL GAME IN PAKISTAN

The horrific tragedy of Zainab Ansari, an eight year old girl who was raped and murdered in Kasur, Pakistan has the attention of the whole world. It’s heart-breaking and gut wrenching to read the news and see her parents sorrow. Ten other girls have been sexually assaulted in a similar way in Kasur, while law […]

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December 31, 2017

2017 ROUNDUP

2017 was a ‘bumper’ year for travel and media. Overall I gave approximately 300 media interviews and took over 50 flights. January • Travelled to Israel where I attended workshops, conferences and had meetings with various individuals including one-on-one with The Clarion Project. February • Was invited for a one-hour interview on the Mark Steyn […]

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December 24, 2017

CARNAGE AT CHRISTMAS

It was the fifth year of Mohammad’s Prophethood and his followers were being ruthlessly persecuted by his enemies. Prophet Mohammad advised a small group of Muslims to leave Mecca and take refuge in Abyssinia, where he knew the Christian King known as Negus, was just and fair. The group of Muslims under the leadership of […]

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November 1, 2017

NEW YORK ATTACK

Once again evil has struck New York City. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and those injured. Facts are quite straight forward: • Its cowardly • It will happen again • This is part of the “war on the West” declared by the Jihadists • There are no ‘lone wolves’ […]

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October 29, 2017

MEETING GEORGE W. BUSH FOR LUNCH – an eye-opener

Islamic history is something we do not debate or discuss. We accept it as handed down to us. So we have villains who have been made into heroes and heroes who remain unidentified. Case in point, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was a ruthless and merciless ruler who had no qualms about assassinating his brothers or imprisoning […]

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October 4, 2017

TO SILENCE ME…PLEASE STAND AT THE END OF THE QUEUE!

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing” Certain quarters on the Left, probably under a lot of $$$$ influences, are suggesting that I’m anti-Muslim. These organizations are not even Muslim themselves so how dare they question my faith, my relations with fellow Muslims who are my family and friends and my right to […]

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October 1, 2017

TESTIMONY ON M-103

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage 42nd. Parliament, Wednesday Sept 27, 2017 – M 103 Raheel Raza, President Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow Madame Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to address this Committee. My name is Raheel Raza and I am President of The Council for Muslims Facing […]

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September 24, 2017

Free Raif Badawi: Plea at UN Human Rights Council

President Donald Trump in his address to the UN General assembly in New York last week critiqued some of those countries holding positions in the human rights council that offer no human rights for their own citizens. I tend to agree with him as I have seen during my trips to the UNHRC in the […]

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June 29, 2017

O CANADA – HOW I LOVE YOU, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS……

Last week an American radio show host asked me curiously how come I chose Canada as my home. Without blinking an eyelash I said to him “I came to Canada on a visit 30 years ago and it was love at first sight. That love affair still continues and I’m proud to be Canadian.” It […]

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June 25, 2017

COMMEMORATING EID AL FITR

It is with a heavy heart that we commemorate Eid al Fitr. This has been a tragic month of Ramazan with senseless bloodshed of innocents. Let’s not forget that the explicit purpose of the month of fasting is to reflect, feel for the less fortunate and ask forgiveness for our errors. I pray as we […]

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May 25, 2017

MANCHESTER – HOW DO WE GRIEVE WITH YOU?

The recent horrific and murderous terrorist attack at Manchester Arena hits close to the heart as I am a mother and grandmother. Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the attack, according to David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service in UK. There is […]

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May 20, 2017

HEY WORD & THOUGHT POLICE – CATCH ME IF YOU CAN! Raheel Raza

As a writer I was member of The Writers Union of Canada for some years and used to regularly receive their magazine Write. In my early years as a journalist it was a handy tool to help with the “Canadian experience”. So it was with shock that I read the controversy surrounding Hal Niedzviecki, Write’s […]

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May 14, 2017

RENEWING OUR FAITH IN HUMANITY

“We all face death in the end. But on the way beware to never hurt a human heart’ Rumi We live in times when the world faces many challenges. Politicians are selling their souls for votes, leaders and lying for popularity and we are being brainwashed to trust no one. Therefore we sometimes feel that […]

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March 28, 2017

A MEETING OF MODERN MUSLIM MINDS

Sunday March 26 was a wet, dark and cold day in Toronto. But inside the boardroom of Hilton Garden Inn, there was warmth, light and critical thinking. This is because Muslims and non-Muslims came together for a one day summit to speak about issues that face all of us. The event was hosted by Muslims […]

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March 17, 2017

M-103 won’t build a more united Canada. It will turn Canadians against each other (National Post, Feb 22, 17)

On Dec. 5, 2016, Canadian MP Iqra Khalid proposed Motion 103 (a motion against Islamophobia) and began her statement in parliament by saying, “Mr. Speaker, I am a young, brown, Muslim, Canadian woman …” I find it curious that she begins by identifying herself first as brown, then Muslim and lastly as a Canadian. To my understanding, a Canadian […]

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January 4, 2017

LEARN FROM YESTERDAY, LIVE FOR TODAY AND HOPE FOR TOMORROW – Albert Einstein

WRAP UP OF 2016 – AND WHAT A YEAR IT WAS! 2016 was the year for travel. I travelled to 36 events and conferences through the year. January started with a visit to Sweden where we screened Honor Diaries in the Swedish Parliament and paid tribute to the victims of honor killings. To say that […]

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October 21, 2016

SUPPORTING THE RIGHTS OF ALL WOMEN TO BE EQUAL AND FREE – A REPORT FROM A TRIP TO HOUSE OF LORDS, UK

“We cannot continue with the present situation in which so many women are suffering in ways that would make the heroines of the suffragette movement turn in their graves.”- Baroness Cox Last week I was invited to The House of Lords in UK by Baroness Caroline Cox to speak about Honor Based Violence and Sharia […]

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October 12, 2016

IS THIS ABOUT THE REAL ISLAMIC HERITAGE OR A WHITE WASH?

October has been officially declared as Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario after a Private Member’s Bill was tabled but now has been unanimously passed by Legislature. Ontario Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Islamic Heritage Month is an opportunity to eliminate Islamo-phobia and for Canada to celebrate and learn about the history of Islamic culture. […]

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October 11, 2016

A TOUR OF EUROPE

(On September 25, I travelled with a group hosted by The Middle East Forum on a fact-finding mission to Europe. There were 33 attendees from Australia, UK, Canada and USA (academics, activists and ordinary citizens) and we spent two days each in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm. In each City we had a local guide, met […]

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October 9, 2016

BANGLADESH WAKES UP TO JIHADIST IDEOLOGY By Raheel Raza

In the wake of repeated terror attacks against bloggers and activists in Bangladesh, a fatwa by 1,01,524 Islamic scholars and clerics was issued this June. http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/over-1-lakh-bangladesh-clerics-issue-fatwa-against-extremism-2861497 This comes at a time in the history of Bangladesh when there are discussions taking place about making it a secular country. While there are many activists working within […]

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July 30, 2016

THE PARLIAMENT OF WORLD RELIGIONS – PATHWAYS TO PEACE THE WISDOM OF LISTENING, THE POWER OF COMMITMENT

(In anticipation of Toronto being considered as a possible venue for PWR in either 2017 or 2018, here is my personal experience from 2004) THE PARLIAMENT OF WORLD RELIGIONS – PATHWAYS TO PEACE THE WISDOM OF LISTENING, THE POWER OF COMMITMENT Barcelona July 7 – 13, 2004 By Raheel Raza “There will be no peace […]

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July 18, 2016

THERE IS NO HONOR IN MURDER

Huffington Post Blog – July 18, 2016 Qandeel Baloch, was a 26-year-old social media celebrity who had boldly decided to live “outside the box.” The box in this case being the parameters laid out by the majority of men in Pakistan dictating how much freedom a woman can have in their staunchly patriarchal society. She […]

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July 4, 2016

TO MY FELLOW MUSLIMS – SHOULD WE CELEBRATE OR COMMEMORATE?

During these last few days at the end of Ramzan, I contemplated sending out Eid Greetings as I always do. And it is during these odd nights in the last ten days of Ramzan that we as Muslims are supposed to reflect and see ourselves in the spiritual mirror. So I reflected on what greetings […]

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June 20, 2016

WHY IS THE GENOCIDE AGAINST THE YAZIDIS BEING IGNORED?

Last year our organization, The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow hosted a rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto to protest the massacre of Arab Christians and especially the Yazidis in the Middle East by ISIS. We had sent the event invitation to hundreds of people including Churches and members of Parliament. To their credit, the […]

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May 11, 2016

“HARDTALKING” MY WAY FROM EUROPE, UK TO PAKISTAN AND BACK

Europe has been in the news recently especially with the movement of migrants. I got a feel of this on my recent visits to Holland, Sweden and UK. There are huge problems facing this Continent and Europeans, both Muslim and non-Muslim are largely in denial about the issues. This was reflected in my conversations with […]

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January 24, 2016

WHY JANUARY 21 IS EMBEDDED IN MY HEART AND SOUL

January 21 which is my birthday will never be the same for me ever again. In 2016 on this date which is always a celebration, I found myself in Stockholm, Sweden for a series of conferences and seminars. I was invited by an organization called GAPF which is essentially a commemoration for the memory of […]

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January 1, 2016

AND THIS IS HOW IT WAS IN 2015…..

Usually at the end of the year I pen my thoughts about travels and excitement, journeys to the center of my soul etc. However this year (2015) has been more serious than previous years – the tipping point was reached. These are the highlights and low lights of the year for me presented straight from […]

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December 17, 2015

POISONING THE WELL FROM WHICH OUR YOUTH DRINK

Since it was discovered that Tashfeen Malik (one of the alleged terrorists in the San Bernardino shootings) studied with Farhat Hashmi at the Al-Huda Institute, all eyes are on Mississauga, Canada where Ms. Hashmi also runs a branch of her school. I first heard about Ms. Hashmi and the Al-Huda Institute on one of my […]

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December 5, 2015

MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT – for a better future for humanity – Dec 4. 2015

There is a buzz on social media today about a new Muslim Reform Movement, and many of you are wondering what this is all about. Here is some background. The Paris terrorism attacks seemed to be the last straw for many Muslims like us who abhor violence in the name of our faith. So we […]

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October 24, 2015

JOURNEYS TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL – DE-MYSTIFYING MUHARRAM

I was born in a Sunni Hanafi family from Pakistan. We were taught to observe the pillars of Islam but with no compulsion. My childhood memories of Muharram are those of my mother and grandmother listening to majalis on the radio (this was the fifties & sixties and yes we only had radios then) and […]

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October 15, 2015

THE ISLAMIC NEW YEAR 1437 – OCTOBER 2015

Today is the first day of the month of Moharram which is the start of the Islamic New year 1437 according to the lunar calendar. Unlike many cultures, most Muslims don’t celebrate the New Year. Rather we remember the sacrifice of Imam Hussain in the plains of Karbala. If we, as both Muslims and non-Muslims […]

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October 8, 2015

Geneva – Human Rights Council Thirtieth session September 21, 2015

Report by: Raheel Raza, President Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow I am attending the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As a representative for The Center for Inquiry, I gave an oral statement on the murders of bloggers and supporters of free speech in Bangladesh. My statement can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/MuslimsFacingTomorrow?fref=ts […]

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September 6, 2015

ASSAD AND THE IRANIAN REGIME – GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

We know who the real perpetrators are. We know they are implicit in the murder of Aylan Kurdi. Let the world wake up and instead of playing a blame-game, bring the real culprits to justice.

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April 25, 2015

MY JOURNEYS WITH HONOR DIARIES – Part 1 (February to April 2015)

There has been so much happening on my journey with Honor Diaries to various locations throughout North America, that a bit late in the day I decided I need to document some of the interesting elements of my journey for record. The amazing thing about HD is that while most documentaries have a shelf life […]

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March 17, 2015

WHEN HONOR DIARIES BECOMES A REALITY IN WOMEN’S LIVES

It’s no secret that I believe passionately in the message of Honor Diaries (www.honordairies.com) and I know that even after a year the message is very relevant to women worldwide. But when it personally impacts someone’s life, then I know we are on the right track to have broken the bounds of silence. At almost […]

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March 16, 2015

INDIA’S DAUGHTER – a strong message about a patriarchal mindset!

I was invited to the US premiere of India’s Daughter on March 9, 2015. The event was held at Baruch College in New York and I was so moved that I’m compelled to write this. But before I went for the screening, there was news that the documentary has been banned in India. BBC decided […]

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January 2, 2015

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many […]

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December 17, 2014

THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES TO WAKE US UP!

Following the ruthless massacre of innocent children and their teachers at a School in Peshawar, Pakistan I posted my facebook profile picture saying “We are Sorry”. I mean it. We are sorry as individuals, organizations, communities and a nation for having let down our future generations. These students were the brightest light of our country […]

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November 22, 2014

DEFYING EXTREMISM: GENDERED RESPONSES TO RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE

November 20 – 21, 2014 Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, San Diego http://www.sandiego.edu/peacestudies I was honoured to be part of this conference for a panel titled “Started From my Living Room: community based models for anti-radicalization and reformation”. Before coming to this conference, I had no idea what it entailed and upon […]

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October 27, 2014

MOHARRAM – The Islamic New Year and what it should mean for Muslims.

“My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain (A.S.), the great saint.” Mahatma Gandhi Tonight starts the advent of the Islamic New Year 1436 for Muslims. Dating from the time that the messenger of Islam, […]

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October 25, 2014

CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

Copied below (in their entirety) are two articles published after the Ottawa tragedy which give us very clear insight into the mindset of two leaders of local Islamic Organizations who also preach from the pulpit to large congregations. The first press release is from The North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF) who holds a charitable status […]

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October 22, 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL CANADIANS – Canada is under attack!

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL CANADIANS – Please forward this to CSIS, RCMP, your elected representatives and officials. From Raheel Raza Canada is under attack. Since 9/11 and perhaps even before that, some of us Muslims have been insisting that Canada is not safe from terrorist attacks and that it’s just a matter of time. […]

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October 8, 2014

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT – A visit to The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

This past weekend I was in Winnipeg for a conference hosted by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WomeninAfghanistan) and on Sunday they had arranged for a visit to The Canadian Museum For Human Rights. I had read about the controversy surrounding the opening last month, but decided that I want to see for myself […]

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October 6, 2014

“THE PRICE OF HONOR” A FILM BY NEENA NEJAD AND XOEL PAMOS

Being an activist for Women’s Rights and a recent participant in the award-winning documentary Honor Diaries, anything related to the issue of honor based violence is compelling. So when I heard about the film The Price of Honor, I was intrigued, especially because the two sisters, about whom the film is made, were mentioned in […]

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September 16, 2014

MFT RALLY IN SUPPORT OF MINORITIES

In Support for minority Christian and other minority religious communities in the Middle East and the Muslim world Muslims Facing Tomorrow calls for Public Rally on the UN International Day for Peace on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Queen’s Park, Toronto, from 2 – 4 pm ~ Please join us ~ Muslims Facings Tomorrow (MFT) […]

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July 28, 2014

HONOURING GIRLS

HONOURING GIRLS…. It was a great honour to be invited to attend The Girl Summit in UK which was hosted by the UK Government and United Nations Children’s Fund. www.girlsummitpledge.com But before I got there, I had to get a badge. Having experienced government bureaucracy in other countries, it was a pleasant surprise to reach […]

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July 17, 2014

HONORING RAMADAN’S MESSAGE By Ajit Jain

Honoring Ramadan’s message A group of Muslims from Canada invited people from all faiths to come together and celebrate Ramadan, reports AJIT JAIN By Ajit Jain TheIndianDiaspora.com Jul 14, 2014 Toronto: At this time in the world when there is so much strife, a group of Muslim brothers and sisters took the initiative of inviting […]

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July 4, 2014

RECONFIRMING THE MESSAGE OF HONOR DIARIES – FINALLY FGM UP FRONT AND CENTER AT THE UNHRC

Reported by Raheel Raza at the UN in Geneva – June 2014 I have been coming to the United Nations Human Rights Council for five years and lamented at the lack of women’ s issues being in the forefront. The documentary “Honor Diaries” which was released in March 2014 highlighted some of the atrocities committed […]

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June 19, 2014

CFI Statement at UNHRC 26

P.O. Box 741 • Amherst, New York 14226-0741 • (716) 636-4869 • Fax (716) 636-1733 www.centerforinquiry.net United Nations Human Rights Council: 26th Session (10th – 27th June 2014) Interactive Dialogue with WG on Discrimination against Women, Tuesday 17th June 2014 Speaker: CfI Representative, Raheel Raza Freedom of Religion and Discrimination against Women Mr President, We […]

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June 16, 2014

Statement made at UNHRC 26th Session June 16, 2014

United Nations Human Rights Council: 26th Session (10th – 27th June 2014) High-level panel discussion on the identification of good practices in combating FGM, Monday 16th June 2014, Speaker: CfI Representative, Raheel Raza FGM: Culture or Religion is no Excuse[1] Female Genital Multilation (FGM) is a practice often upheld by a number of cultural and […]

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May 29, 2014

FROM BRUNEI TO BOKO HARAM – MERELY DEFLECTION – Gatestone Institute

From Brunei to Boko Haram: Merely Deflection by Raheel Raza May 29, 2014 at 5:00 am http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4332/boko-haram-abduction Boko Haram’s members justify their acts in the name of Islam, and Muslim leaders are intimidated into silence. Add to this a hatred for the West and its values, and you have an explosive combination of violence and […]

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May 13, 2014

Raheel Raza’s Jihad

Raheel Raza’s Jihad by David Suissa October 3, 2013 | 11:00 am Raheel Raza. Photo from raheelraza.com If the religion of Islam ever succeeds in eradicating its extremist and violent elements, it will be because of devout Muslim women like Raheel Raza, a long-time human rights activist from Pakistan. I came across Raza’s name on […]

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May 9, 2014

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS

Bring Back Our Girls: That Happened by Libby Lowe on May 9, 2014 in News & Culture     ColumnOn April 14th, approximately 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Islamic extremists. It took about two weeks for most of the world to notice. This was the lead headline on CNN’s U.S. homepage on May 6th: “276 […]

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May 3, 2014

My response to Sheema Khans article in Globe and Mail

(The Globe did not publish my response so here it is for all to read) ————————————————————————— Response to: We can end honour killings, but not with films by anti-Muslim zealots by Sheema Khan, Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Wednesday, Apr. 16 2014, Ms. Khan has vaguely alluded to human rights in her article […]

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April 2, 2014

CANADA EMBRACES HONOR DIARIES

Honor Diaries is a brilliant award-winning documentary which deals with the plight of women in Muslim Majority societies who face honor based violence in the form of honor killings, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriages. The documentary features nine women who speak from the heart and address the problems head-on focusing on the rise of […]

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March 22, 2014

HONOR DIARIES – MORE THAN A FILM, A MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE

Award winning documentary Honor Diaries www.honordiaries.com had its global launch in March. Honor Diaries was screened in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, New York and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Its Toronto screening is on March 30, 2014 at Colossus Woodbridge ,Famous Players Cineplex, 3555 Highway 7 West at Hwy 400, Vaughan, ON L4L […]

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March 14, 2014

THE HONOR DIARIES ROAD SHOW

THE HONOR DIARIES ROAD SHOW – not just a movie but a movement! I started in Washington at the National Press Club http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/npc-newsmaker-program-amidst-growing-concern-over-honor-violence-in-europe-congresswoman-ngos-women-take-on-issue-in-washington-248873151.html where there was a press conference on Tuesday 11 March at 12:30pm. It was well attended. We showed a 10min clip from the documentary Honor Diaries and then took Q & A. […]

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March 12, 2014

HONOR DIARIES PREMIERE IN TORONTO MARCH 30, 2014

The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow in collaboration with Speakers Action Group and Act! For Canada announce the Toronto launch and screening of the award-winning documentary HONOR DIARIES www.HonorDiaries.com Sunday 30th March 2014 – 10:00 am @ Colossus Woodbridge, Famous Players Cineplex 3555 Highway 7 West at Hwy 400, Vaughan, ON L4L 6B1 Cost of […]

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March 7, 2014

International Women’s Day: The Human Rights Disaster In Our Backyard

By Raheel Raza – International Business Times on March 07 2014 12:50 PM If 200,000 teenage boys in America were at risk of genital mutilation, people would no doubt take notice. So why is it, that with 150,000 to 200,000 American women and girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) – and perhaps 1,500 […]

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February 27, 2014

Letter to Editor – Globe and Mail

6 February 2014 Editor Globe and Mail Re: Omer Aziz, “Why Stephen Harper owes Canadian Muslims an apology,” 5 February 2014 Fellow Muslim Omer Aziz errs in his defence of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) against prime ministerial accusations of radical-Islamic connections.Mr. Aziz feels only twisted logic could connect the NCCM to hardliners.He […]

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December 7, 2013

Thoughts on a visit to Istanbul, Turkey

NO COMPULSION HERE……YET!   By Raheel Raza This Thanksgiving we took a much overdue trip to Istanbul, Turkey and I feel compelled to write about what I saw. It was interesting to try and convince my grandsons that the “Turkey” we were visiting was not the same turkey they were consuming! We had chosen a place […]

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November 22, 2013

IN MEMORIUM FOR MY FATHER

“ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE….” By Raheel Raza My father was unique and I loved him dearly.  He was a gentle, kind and sensitive man who could do no wrong in my eyes.  I am the youngest of three children and although I spent the least time with him, he was a friend and […]

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November 14, 2013

A SINGLE TEAR FOR TRANSCENDENCE..

Notes from a ninth of Muharram lecture by Dr Hasnain Walji on the topic of : “​CAN MUSLIMS RE-CLAIM THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS A CIVILIZING FORCE?“ A single tear for transcendence… •    Concept of time – Al Asr – how to use and not abuse time which is NOW, not yesterday not tomorrow but today […]

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November 14, 2013

KARBALA AND THE END OF THE TRUE ISLAM

Karbala and the End of the True Islam Ismail Butera Every year, on the tenth of the Islamic month of Muharam, the first month of that lunar calendar, there is a commemoration throughout the Muslim ummah. On this day, it is believed that Moses led his people out of Egypt. Some say that the Ark […]

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October 28, 2013

Raheel Raza of ‘Honor Diaries’ at the Chicago International Film Festival

Interview: Raheel Raza of ‘Honor Diaries’ at the Chicago International Film FestivalSubmitted by PatrickMcD [1] on October 15, 2013 – 3:05pm CHICAGO – The issue of women’s rights in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and elsewhere is often overshadowed by the other back-and-forth circumstances in relationship to Western countries. The documentary “Honor Diaries” is […]

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October 14, 2013

HONOR DIARIES HAS ITS WORLD PREMIERE TO A FULL HOUSE

Paula Kweskin’s “Honor Diaries” had its world premiere as part of the Docufest documentary film competition at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival. The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring the Producer, one of the activists in the film and a Police detective who has worked on honor killings. On International Women’s Day […]

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September 25, 2013

COME AND SHARE THE GRIEF OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS

In the End, you will remember not the words of your enemies, but the silence of your friends.…Martin Luther King Wednesday September 25, 2013 Canadian Pakistani Christians United Worship Service – Re: Bomb blast in a Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. 7 p.m. at St. Andrews Presbyterian 44 Church St E Brampton, ON L6V 1G3 Pastor […]

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September 13, 2013

SLAVERY IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Center for Inquiry Joint Statement with British Humanist Association and International Humanist and Ethical Union UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 24th Session 9 – 27 September 2013 Speaker: Raheel Raza: CFI Representative, 16 Sept 2013 Slavery in the Islamic World  Mr President  Slavery is alive and kicking in the Islamic world. We heard this morning at […]

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September 13, 2013

Raheel Raza’s presentation at the UNHRC in Geneva (Seminar)

A Brief Survey of Human Rights Abuses in Mauritania, With Particular Emphasis on Abuses of Women and Girls  1.      Context: Development Levels in Mauritania  Mauritania is a poor country and this is reflected in many of its statistics. It comes 159th out of 187 in the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2012, and its evolution […]

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September 13, 2013

Human Rights in Mauritania

INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION, ANTI-SLAVERY ASSOCIATION IRA – MAURITANIE, CENTER FOR INQUIRY  In the context of the 24th session of the Human Rights Council  We cordially invite members of national delegations and NGOs to a seminar on Friday 13th September 2013 – 11:00 to 13:00 Palais des Nations: Gate 40 – Room XXIV  Speakers: […]

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August 12, 2013

ON THE VARIETIES OF SHIRQ By Shahnaz Aijazuddin

(An excerpt from her book Lost From View) I saw Mecca for the first time in 1977. We were driven there from Jeddah by a Pakistani bank official, with his wife and three young daughters. Jeddah at that time was in a state of transition and development, so that it made no impression other than […]

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August 3, 2013

NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE CONCERT – SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

Please Join Us! SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 The National Day of Service Concert “Paying it Forward” Presented by The ACTV Foundation (The Alliance of Canadian Terror Victims) September 11, 2013 @ 8:00pm The Bluma Appel Theatre The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts 27 Front Street East, Toronto  Canadians performing for Canadians. The Inaugural National Day […]

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July 23, 2013

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY? Raheel Raza

  As a public speaker, I’m used to critique, sometimes hostility and opposition to my point of view because the word ‘public’ means that I have to accept and acknowledge all kinds of feedback being in the public forum. That’s good. I’m used to ‘friendly fire’ – friends telling me how to better conduct myself […]

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July 12, 2013

BUSINESSMEN AND THE SWINGING ’60s By Farooq Hassan

Monday, July 08, 2013  Karachi, east of the Suez and west of Bangkok, was the most swinging city in the 1960s. Dubai didn’t exist and Singapore was a colonial backwater, while Beirut was the only city with any comparable class. In those days, business entertainment and lifestyles were fun, relaxed and hedonistic. (1) Golf: Playing […]

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June 10, 2013

Looking for an authentic Muslim woman’s voice?

How can women’s rights advance if the mainstream idea of an authentic Muslim woman’s voice is strictly confined to the oppressed?   What is an authentic Muslim voice?   Raheel Raza On 10 June 2013 07:30 A few days ago I received a call from a producer at BBC World Service asking if I knew […]

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May 23, 2013

A Woman’s Voice at the Mosque

by Raheel Raza May 23, 2013 at 3:00 am Most of all, we have to use reason and logic and broaden the use of ijtihad – individual reasoning in religious affairs. In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Toronto and Montreal saw arrests of two Muslims charged with terror related activities. There’s been some hand-wringing […]

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May 10, 2013

PONDERING PAKISTANI POLITICS By Raheel Raza

As Pakistanis are hunkering down for an election in which for the first time in 65 years, one elected government will hand over power to another elected government, I’ve been watching from afar and thinking about what we’ve seen unfold in the past year. Sometimes those of us who are physically at a distance can […]

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May 6, 2013

BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES OF FEAR AND SILENCE: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Muslim Majority Countries

BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES OF FEAR AND SILENCE: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Muslim Majority Countries Los Angeles – May 5, 2013 I am in LA upon the invitation of Women’s Voices Now, an organization whose mission is to empower all women living in Muslim-majority socities by promoting their free expression, thereby giving voice to […]

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April 1, 2013

Report on the activities of the IHEU Geneva representatives to the UN Human Rights Council January 2012 – March 2013

Report on the activities of the IHEU Geneva representatives to the UN Human Rights Council January 2012 – March 2013 Highlights The team now represent not only IHEU but Center for Inquiry and the British Humanist Association Increased size and effectiveness of the team and the promise of some real continuity Greater number of issues […]

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March 15, 2013

Human rights imperiled in Pakistan

Raheel Raza, Special to QMI AGENCY First posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 09:02 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 09:12 PM EDT A Hindu boy stands near his mother and family who are living under a bridge in Karachi, Pakistan January 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain) GENEVA, Switzerland — Here at the 22nd session […]

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February 26, 2013

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February 9, 2013

IS SHARIA IMMUTABLE? By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer

IT is believed by millions of Muslims across the world that Sharia laws are immutable and represent divine will. This is based on serious misunderstanding. Sharia is not and cannot be immutable. Recently I was invited to the Jaipur Literary Festival to be part of a panel discussion on the book Heaven on Earth by […]

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January 26, 2013

MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW 2013 EVENTS

Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow is pleased to announce programming for the first half of 2013. These programs are open to all and we are happy to partner with organizations in sync with our mandate. For partnerships please contact info@muslimsfacingtomorrow.com We encourage membership with MFT at the yearly rate of $25.00 per person. You may […]

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January 23, 2013

DR. KHALED ABOU EL FADL – Listed among 50 smartest people of faith http://www.thebestschools.org/blog/2013/01/06/50-smartest-people-faith/

    Calling for Islamic reformation Scholar is critical of fellow Muslims Status of women needs examination RAHEEL RAZA SPECIAL TO THE STAR – 23 November 2002 Khaled Abou El Fadl, often called “defender of the faith,” has become one of the most powerful and controversial voices of moderate Islam in North America. A regular […]

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January 8, 2013

RAHEEL’S 2012 LOG

RAHEEL’S LOG 2012 JANUARY Granos Club speaker Speaker at Oakville women’s group Speaker at Lakeridge Health Rawal TV on youth and Islam Multifaith peace prayer in Hamilton Speaker for International Women’s day Event at Sufi Dergah SUN TV interview and CBC FEBRUARY Full day workshop for Emmanuel College in Woodstock TVO panel on Pakistan Multifaith […]

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January 7, 2013

From Citizenship to Culture: Seeing Muslims through a Different Lens

From Citizenship to Culture: Seeing Muslims through a Different Lens With Raheel Raza  Tuesdays, January 29 & February 5, 12 & 19, 2013 7:00-9:00 pm at Emmanuel College, Toronto This four-part series uses film to take audiences on a journey from the early days of Islam, Muslim philosophers in history, the Sufi experience and onto […]

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January 4, 2013

THE JOY OF EXTENDED GREETINGS (not the kind you leave on your telephone while going on vacation!) Raheel Raza

This morning as I came down in the elevator, I greeted an older gentleman (guess who’s calling who older but that’s relative!) who lives in my building. I said an automatic “good morning” and he turned around, beamed a beautiful smile and said “may your day be wonderful, may your dreams come true, may you […]

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November 23, 2012

REMEMBERING MY FRIEND AND SOULMATE

  PROLOGUE Antra, I know you expect me to write something on the first anniversary of your death.   I always wrote to you first and complained that you never write.  And you always said “that’s because you’re a writer and you love to write.  So stop whining and make sure you write me a nice […]

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November 22, 2012

HATE MONGERING – NAMF STYLE

Friends – please see below excerpts from a disturbing message that has been written by a so-called Canadian Imam self-described as: Sheharyar Shaikh is the former President of North American Muslim Foundation.  He is currently the Imam of Masjid Qurtabah. He specializes in Quranic exegesis with contemporary Islamic thought and modernity This article has been […]

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November 18, 2012

UNDERSTANDING HUMAN NATURE AND NATURAL RELIGION

Gems of wisdom (my humble understanding) from lectures by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina on: Understanding human nature and natural religion – Imam Husyan’s struggle against false Muslim identity Sura Rum is the summation of the entire message of Islam Religion can’t be imposed because by nature human beings are resistant to imposition from the outside – […]

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November 15, 2012

THE MUSLIM NEW YEAR – A TIME FOR REFLECTION By Raheel Raza

” Today, Muslims look upon the incident at Karbala as an example of good over evil; of justice over injustice; of truth over falsehood and of bravery over cowardice. ”                                                               While most cultures and religions ring in their new year with feasts, celebrations and parties, the Islamic new year brings with it deep contemplation and […]

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November 13, 2012

SCHOLAR AND PEACEMAKER (Toronto Star article) By Raheel Raza

(This is an interview with Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina which I did many years ago. Since Dr. Sachedina is giving lectures for Muharram 1434 at Taj Banquet Hall, I thought it would be  nice to revisit the story of this special person who has been both a mentor and educator for my family and I personally […]

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November 7, 2012

THE UN-GENTEEL ART OF ENJOYING AND EATING DESI FRUIT – Raheel Raza

Tonight as I cutting up a fruit salad for tomorrow’s lunches, I found myself laughing (at our age we tend to either cry or laugh at any given time!) But this was pure amusement. I found the pomegranate came with instructions on how to cut it and take out the seeds. Wow! This is technology. […]

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November 4, 2012

REMEMBERING RUMI – AND MEETING COMMUNITY

 Raheel Raza Nov 4, 2012 Last night Rumi was remembered with love, respect, wisdom, sacred music, whirling, poetry, laughter and tears. It was a sublime event presented by The Inner Garden and conducted by a group of dedicated Rumi-lovers. The venue, Eastminster United Church on Danforth, was the ideal place with an ambience that was […]

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October 30, 2012

The Real Islamophobia by Sam Westrop

October 29, 2012 at 4:30 am “Islamophobia” is not, as claimed by some critics, just a concept invented by Islamist organizations to distract from their own fundamentalism; it is is a form of prejudice, exacerbated by governments, university faculties, the media and even interfaith groups. The greatest threat to moderate Islam and its assimilation with […]

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October 16, 2012

REVIEW OF MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW LAUNCH

Fighting To Be Heard October 16, 2012 by expatlogue The description of the past cannot be the prescription for the future I attended the launch of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow at the invitation of Raheel Raza, journalist, author, public speaker and activist. She founded MFT to amplify the moderate Muslim voice at a time […]

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October 13, 2012

JOURNEYS TO THE CENTRE OF MY SOUL

DIVERSITY, TRANSFORMATION AND HOPE – WINNIPEG OCTOBER 11, 2012 What a joy, to travel the way of the heart. ~ Mevlana Rumi A month ago I was invited by the Centre for Christian Studies to their 130th Anniversary celebrations in Winnipeg. The theme of the evening was Diversity, Transformation and Hope. I was to substitute […]

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October 13, 2012

IS RENAISSANCE POSSIBLE IN ISLAMIC WORLD TODAY?

Asghar Ali Engineer  (Islam and Modern Age, October 2012)  Institute of Islamic Studies, Mumbai Why have I put a question mark? Is there doubt about it? Yes, very much. It would be too simplistic to assume  that potential for such a change already exist and it is only a push that is needed  to bring […]

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October 7, 2012

ALL THIS SINGING, JUST ONE SONG

 By Raheel Raza for New Age Islam 7 Oct 2012 On a beautifully clear, full moon night a few Sundays ago, an incredible event took place at the Harbour front Theatre in Toronto. An Israeli born musician alternately played the acoustic guitar and a Bansuri (flute) accompanied by two gypsy folksingers who played the Harmonium, […]

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September 25, 2012

The truth about Islam By Expatlogue http://t.co/eLRuevMp

September 25, 2012 by expatlogue English: A green version of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Allah-eser2.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There was once a time when muslims were just another demographic in a vast and varied world. Those days have taken on the sepia tinge of memory. The global consciousness is now saturated with daily headlines and images of righteous muslim […]

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September 22, 2012

Media Must Take Lead in Dismantling the Falsehood that Anti-Muslim Film Was a Jewish Project By Rabbi Abraham Cooper Simon Wiesenthal Center

Published in Pakistan Link, Friday September 21, 2012  “Innocence of Muslims” is a poorly produced anti-Islam film that has been used to fuel protests and violence on American diplomatic postings in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, leaving our ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, dead. Protests and violence have now spread to […]

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September 16, 2012

Xenophobia and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of Deliberate Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

Full Text of the Oral Statement by Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam Uniited Nations Human Rights Council, 21st session, Geneva – 10 — 28 September 2012 Agenda item 3: Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. On behalf of: World Environment and Resources Council (WERC) 14 September […]

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September 14, 2012

Center for Inquiry Joint statement with International Humanist and Ethical union UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 21st Session 10 – 28 September 2012 Speaker: CFI Representative, Raheel Raza, Friday 14 September 2012 Agenda Item 2/3: Reports on Somalia and Northern Mali Islamic Extremism and the OIC

 Madam President The reports on Somalia [A/HRC/21/36] and Northern Mali [A/HRC/21/64] highlight a far wider problem that we are also witnessing in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia: the excesses of those dedicated to violent, extremist interpretations of Islam. The destruction of Sufi shrines and the imposition of strict sharia in northern Mali; […]

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September 9, 2012

LAUNCH OF MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW

Silence is the mother of truth.  ~Benjamin Disraeli Between the ugly, thunderous & violent roar of the radical extremists and the wishy washy whimper of the majority, lies THE SILENT VOICE. Come and hear this voice at the launch of The Council For Muslims Facing Tomorrow  www.muslimsfacingtomorrow.com Our Mission: Whereas in the contemporary world the […]

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August 31, 2012

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY!

Earlier this year I spent a week travelling across Universities in the UK speaking out against hate on campus which leads to radicalization of youth. From there I decided to go to Pakistan for my annual visit, much against the advice of family and friends who warned me that the situation in Pakistan is troubling. […]

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August 26, 2012

PAKISTAN HAS LOST ITS MORAL AND ETHICAL COMPASS

The saddest aspect of the recent ruthless murder of Pakistani Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab was not so much the viciousness of the killing but the vicious celebration of his death. Taseer was shot dead on January 4, 2011 by Mumtaz Qadri, who was member of the governor’s special security squad. After Qadri, pumped 27 […]

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August 18, 2012

We must speak out against hatred and those who preach it

  A call to arms for moderate Muslims – Published in Toronto Star Apr. 2, 2004. We must speak out against hatred and those who preach it, By Raheel Raza The recent raids in Britain that resulted in the arrests of nine men of Pakistani heritage and the subsequent raid at the home of a […]

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August 18, 2012

I WENT, I SAW, I WEPT – and I still weep today as not much has changed

A VISIT TO THE HOMELAND By Raheel Raza I CAME: – because Karachi was once my City of Joy – because I had not visited for many years due to the turmoil and unrest – because my brother was taken into custody in an extra judicial arrest – because I naively thought there is still […]

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July 26, 2012

Reading the Qur’an by Ziauddin Sardar

As Ramzan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, I am “Reading the Qur’an” by Ziauddin Sardar and below is an excerpt that caught my attention as it is so on the spot. Al-Baqarah : A Middle Community. It’s important in my opinion to emphasize that the Qur’an is not suggesting that Muslims […]

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July 24, 2012

THE SPIRIT OF RAMZAN (published in 2003)

Perhaps this is also a time when Muslims realize that Ramzan prepares them to face trials and tribulations with patience, self control and forbearance – the very spirit of Ramzan.

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July 23, 2012

KHUDA KAY LIYAY – RAMZAN MUBARAK

Ooops I said Ramzan and not Ramadhan. Does that make my roza, sorry rodha unacceptable?

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July 15, 2012

O YOU – THE MEN OF MY NATION (Spoken word at Naureen’s photo exhibit)

O You – the men of my nation who like to stare O you – the men of my nation, are you aware That your unsettling stare Creeps under our skin and give gives us chills.. Your stare isn’t the look of one who cares It’s sharp and abrasive as though women should beware. O […]

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July 14, 2012

CANADIANS CONFUSED BETWEEN GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS AND THE REALLY BAD GUYS!

My four year old grandson loves to play “power rangers” and I’m always the bad guy. However he does know the difference between good guys (most days I’m a ‘rockstar’)bad guys and really bad guys, which is a fine line that many Canadians seem to be very confused about when it comes to Islamism. And […]

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July 13, 2012

EXPOSING THE NAKED EVIL OF SOME PAKISTANI MEN

EXPOSING THE NAKED EVIL OF SOME PAKISTANI MEN When Pakistani born Canadian photographer Naureen Shah sent out an invitation for her photo exhibition (below) she wasn’t surprised that very few males responded. But she WAS surprised and taken aback at the hateful hostility and attacks levelled at her. She has since received a slew of […]

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May 25, 2012

LET JUSTICE PREVAIL – a focus on the women of Malaysia. Leaside Church – World day of prayer – Friday 02 March, 2012

Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills? Kahlil Gibran

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May 4, 2012

Faith, Family, Friends & the many faces of Pakistan

Last week on short notice I took a flying visit to my land of birth – a yearly ritual of sorts. This time I had decided that politics and religion will not be on the agenda and I won’t yearn for what this country used to be many years ago; and it helped. I had […]

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March 26, 2012

SNOWSTAR CONFERENCE – BACK TO HISTORY – FINDING ROUTES IN ROOTS

SnowStar Conference 2012 Back to History: Finding Routes in Roots April 12 – 14 Arden Park, Stratford, Ontario Religious traditions in our time are dealing with many changes in light of contemporary knowledge about the world and history. The contemplation of the future is only realistic when it is serious about the past. SnowStar gathers […]

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March 15, 2012

IHEU Hosts UN Seminar on Religion, Law, Democracy and Human Rights

On 14 March 2012 in conjunction with the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, IHEU hosted a panel discussion on Religion, Law, Democracy and Human Rights. The four panellists examined the extent to which the promotion of religious law is undermining democracy, civil law and human rights around the world. Raheel […]

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March 15, 2012

Plea to the Islamic States to do more to promote religious tolerance

In a joint statement with the Center for Inquiry today (14 March 2012) IHEU representative Raheel Raza, herself a Muslim human rights activist, spoke of the need for the Islamic states to do more to promote religious tolerance at home if are really concerned about hostility towards Muslims in the West. Here is Raheel’s speech […]

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March 7, 2012

COMMENT: Tomorrow we will be killed —Dr Mohammad Taqi

COMMENT: Tomorrow we will be killed —Dr Mohammad Taqi It is up to the Pakistani minorities — the Shia, Ahmediyya, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs — whether they want to continue to ask the enablers of genocide to intercede on their behalf or raise the issue on every international forum possible In his poignant account of the […]

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February 22, 2012

Muslim Women’s Newsletter – Vol. 6 No.58, January 2012. CSSS

Edited by Qutub Jehan Kidwai A STEP FORWARD Dr. Muzna Kapdi tops the Maharashtra State (M.D. – Child Specialist) exam Kondhivre – Sangmeshwar:  Popular Educationist of the country Mr. Mubarak Kapdi’s daughter Dr. Muzna topped the Maharashtra University of Health Science – M.D. (Child Specialist).  It is a matter of pride and a Historic achievement in the […]

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February 7, 2012

“A Sick Notion of Honor”

by Raheel Raza Stonegate Institute [New York] February 6, 2012 http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1981/a-sick-notion-of-honor Send RSS Share: Be the first of your friends to like this. “You have each been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of four members of your family. The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims […]

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February 1, 2012

THE STRUGGLE FOR ISLAM’S SOUL By Ziauddin Sardar

They are acting in the name of my religion; it thus becomes my responsibility critically to examine the tradition that sustains them.

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January 8, 2012

WHAT I DID IN 2011 ROUNDUP – YEAR AT A GLANCE

January Hamilton, ON. Organized annual peace prayer with Quest Centre for Learning February United Kingdom speaking tour addressing radicalization of youth and rise of hate speech on campus • Cambridge Union • House of Commons • Southampton University • Freedom in the City • London School of Economics • University of York • University of […]

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January 2, 2012

LIFTING THE VEIL OFF THE NIQAB DEBATE – a candid report and some feedback on a niqab panel held in Toronto.

Two weeks ago, a Muslim community Centre organized a panel discussion about the niqab. This is how it was advertised “In the wake of last year’s Bill C-94 in Quebec (which would have withheld certain public services from women wearing the niqab) and this month’s announcement banning the niqab during Canadian citizenship oath-taking by the […]

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December 23, 2011

WHY I WILL ALWAYS BE A MERRY MUSLIM – http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Raza+will+always+merry+Muslim/5900718/story.html

WHY I WILL ALWAYS BE A MERRY MUSLIM! By Raheel Raza December is a poignant month for us as this is when my family landed in Canada 22 years ago. Christmas lights and the ambience of the season made our adjustment very cheerful, despite the challenges of the freezing weather and being new settlers. However […]

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October 17, 2011

Multiculturalism: if the Aussies ‘get it’, why don’t we?

Multiculturalism: if the Aussies ‘get it’, why don’t we? When a government is not politically correct and multiculturalism is allowed to mature naturally with all its ups and downs, and not thrust down people’s throats or used as a political tool, people will just learn to get along. Raheel Raza Written by Raheel Raza on […]

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September 2, 2011

WHO IS A PROGRESSIVE MUSLIM? By Asghar Ali Engineer

In the AMAN (Asian Muslim Action Network) assembly which took place in Pattani, Thailand in the last week of February 2011 a discussion took place as to who is a progressive Muslim and what are its characteristics. I was asked to throw light on this subject. I am presenting here what I spoke there. I […]

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August 25, 2011

FORUM FOR LEARNING SEPTEMBER EVENT

Serving humanity: promoting diversity TORONTO TA LKS 2011 presents EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT JESUS, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK – presented by two brilliant scholars Date: Sunday 18 September 2011 at 2:30 pm Venue: Northern District Library, Room 200 – second floor, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON M4R 1B9 (Plenty of parking […]

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August 9, 2011

SPEECH AT TDSB RALLY AGAINST PRAYER IN SCHOOL AUG 8, 2011 BY RAHEEL RAZA

My fellow Canadians, Good evening. I am a Canadian Muslim, free to speak without fear, to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, and free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for […]

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August 4, 2011

PLURALISM AND ISLAM BY DR. ASGHAR ALI ENGINEER

PROBLEMS OF PLURALISM Asghar Ali Engineer (Islam and Modern Age, August 2011) When Islam emerged on the scene in early seventh century, Arabs were divided among different tribes but nevertheless spoke one language Arabic and more or less followed one religion (though had different traditions) i.e. worshipping different idols placed inside Ka’ba and some idols […]

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August 1, 2011

LETTER TO PAKISTANI MEDIA

Since about one year, many Muslims of Pakistani heritage living in Canada have been experiencing a strange phenomenon. Tele-marketers call at all times of the day and night to sell us a package to teach us Qur’an. On the surface this seems harmless but there are some real concerns coming to the surface. I sent […]

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August 1, 2011

Reflections on Ramadan in Troubled Times, 1432 A.H. by Stephen Schwartz

Islam Sight [Malappuram, Kerala, India] August 1, 2011 The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has arrived – a time for religious commitment, penance, reflection, service to our communities, and joy among all Muslims. During the holy month, Qur’an was revealed to our beloved prophet, Muhammad sallallahualeyhisalaam. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast during the daylight hours, […]

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July 17, 2011

Berkeley-CAIR Islamophobia Report: ‘No There, There’

Berkeley-CAIR Islamophobia Report: ‘No There, There’ by Stephen Schwartz American Thinker July 17, 2011 http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1839/berkeley-cair-islamophobia-report-no-there-there Send RSS Share: Facebook Twitter Google +1 Be the first of your friends to like this. Gertrude Stein, the controversial modernist author, spent part of her childhood in Oakland, California, a city on the southern border of Berkeley, home of […]

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July 8, 2011

TO PRAY OR NOT TO PRAY – IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS By Raheel Raza

http://www.propagandistmag.com/2011/07/08/pray-or-not-pray About ten years ago, there was a controversy about whether The Lord’s Prayer should be recited in schools across Ontario and I recall writing a column in favour of allowing prayer, saying that any prayer is better than no prayer as I naively thought a simple prayer could cause no controversy. Eventually a decision […]

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July 5, 2011

TUNISIAN SCHOLAR CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF SHARIA LAW

TUNISIAN SCHOLAR CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF SHARIA LAW by Raheel Raza on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:30pm The Tunisian academic and Islamic scholar Mohamed Talbi has called for the “cancellation of Sharia law” at a conference this weekend in Tunis. “We have to annul Islamic Sharia because it states that it must kill the […]

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July 1, 2011

HAPPY CANADA DAY

RENEWING MY VOWS WITH YOU ON CANADA DAY Raheel Raza On Canada Day (July 1) hundreds of new Canadians take their oath of citizenship like my family did 23 years ago. So this date has always held a special place in my heart and it’s significant that I’m celebrating my son’s wedding reception on this […]

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June 29, 2011

MUSLIMS MUST PROTECT ARAB CHRISTIANS

Muslims Must Protect Arab Christians By Kamal Nawash and Pierre Maroun The last 10 years have not been easy for Arab Christians. Numerous events, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq has inspired the belief that the “Christian West” has declared war on Muslims of the Middle East. Many Muslims see military operations against Muslim majority […]

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June 29, 2011

FACING TOMORROW CONFERENCE

A Pakistani Muslim woman attends a conference in Israel, and loves what she sees Raheel Raza relates her personal thoughts from the Israeli Presidential Conference 2011, in Jerusalem Raheel Raza Tuesday 28 June 2011 10:40:00 Comment Print President Peres addresses the conference in 2008President Peres addresses the conference in 2008 I have been on a […]

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June 17, 2011

AND THERE WAS THIS AND THIS ON THE HIZB UT TAHRIR PIECE

http://www.spittoon.org/archives/9887 Dear Mrs Raza I’d like to say that I totally agree with what you’ve written about Hizb ut-Tahrir on your blog. Here in Britain I and many other Muslims have experienced HT’s extremism, bigotry and intolerance. Unfortunately, not many Muslims have realised what a liability they are. Hence, I would like to ask you […]

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June 15, 2011

RUDE RESPONSE TO MY ARTICLE ON HIZB UT TAHRIR

(The following is a response from some coward who does not even want to give his name but wants to make all sorts of judgements. The last line is very revealing in terms of threat – just shows the psyche of the person and the group he is defending. I REST MY CASE) Text of […]

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June 13, 2011

COMING SOON TO YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD – A CALIPHATE & SHARIA LAW!

www.thecommentator.com “As Western Governments including the Australian Government work hard to frustrate the uprising and maintain their stranglehold over the Muslim world, we must work even harder for the liberation and return to Islam”. If you think this reads like the raving of a religious fanatic in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, think again. The […]

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June 3, 2011

Muslim women are at the crossroads – between freedom and oppression

Women’s rights is one of the key aspects in the fight back against Islamism – but are they being empowered enough? www.thecommentator.com Raheel Raza Thursday 02 June 2011 12:36:00 A UN Arab Human Development Report called ‘Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World’ points out that “an Arab renaissance cannot and will not […]

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June 3, 2011

Many are in denial about Pakistan

Many are in denial about Pakistan By Raheel Raza, The Ottawa Citizen May 23, 2011 Sadly, if you pick up a news report anywhere in the world, from Abbottabad to Ajax, today, you will find at least one story dealing with the many problems related to the land of my land of birth, Pakistan. Pakistanis, […]

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March 16, 2011

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY!

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY! By Raheel Raza Last month I spent a week travelling across Universities in the UK speaking out against hate on campus which leads to radicalization of youth. From there I decided to go to Pakistan for my annual visit, much against the advice of family and […]

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March 6, 2011

FEBRUARY COLUMN FOR MISSISSAUGA LIFE MAGAZINE – www.mississaugalife.ca

BEYOND BORDERS – Feb 2011 No Sex Please – We’re South Asian! Ahh romance is in the air – February is the month for Valentine’s Day, roses, chocolates and all those things men often forget. As South Asian immigrants to Canada, it’s easy for us to ignore the sexy, amorous, commercial lure of such a […]

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March 1, 2011

FORUM FOR LEARNING MARCH EVENT

Serving humanity: promoting diversity TORONTO TALKS 2011 presents Confronting the Rise of Wahhabism Stephen Schwartz reveals THE TWO FACES OF ISLAM Date: Saturday March 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm Venue: Northern District Library, Room 200 – second floor, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON M4R 1B9 (Plenty of parking around the area and direct subway […]

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January 23, 2011

JOURNIES TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL – 2011

JOURNIES TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL Victoria BC – January 21, 2011 Two years ago I was a guest speaker at Epiphany Explorations hosted by The First Metropolitan United Church in Victoria BC. Since then they have become sort of extended family and invited me again this year to Epiphany Explorations 2011 – spiritual […]

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January 6, 2011

MISSISSAUGA LIFE MAGAZINE – MONTHLY COLUMN BEYOND BORDERS

BEYOND BORDERS – By Raheel Raza www.mississaugalife.ca Reflecting on 2010 I’m so glad we’re in the New Year although people act as though this is a unique phenomenon that’s never happened before. 2010 included many memorable events for people all over the globe. But I want to take stock of experiences that impacted me and […]

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December 23, 2010

WHY CAN’T CANADIANS SAY “MERRY CHRISTMAS” AT CHRISTMAS?

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM “A VERY MERRY MUSLIM” By Raheel Raza The last time I wrote a column about saying Merry Christmas without feeling guilty was a few years ago and I recall noting in conclusion that I hope I don’t have to write this again because the message is loud and clear. Alas political correctness […]

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December 23, 2010

Patrick Louch begins his message to me by saying “I was led to you..” But all of life is one leading to another

The Masks of God By Patrick Louch, July 23, 2007 Throughout the time of Humankind, peoples of every race, Believed in gods of every kind, Each with a different face.   At the core of each belief is myth, and they point to salvation. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see the diversity […]

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December 16, 2010

Raheel Raza’s visit to Kanata United Church in Ottawa

Raheel Raza, noted author, journalist and interfaith advocate, was welcomed to Kanata United Church (KUC) on November 5 & 6. This event began a two-year interfaith program, ‘Living Together – The Children of Abraham: Jews, Christians and Muslims’. Raheel first met with the youth of KUC and Glen Cairn United Church. They asked her many provocative […]

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December 8, 2010

Is Political Correctness an excuse for avoiding Culturally Sensitive issues?

The Canadian Association of Settlement & Employment Workers hosted a Debate held at Yorkwoods Library Theatre on Monday Dec 6, 2010 THE TOPIC –  IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AN EXCUSE FOR AVOIDING CULTURALLY SENSITIVE ISSUES? I spoke in favor of the motion and the house unanimously agreed! Let me begin by being politically IN-CORRECT otherwise we’ll […]

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October 28, 2010

RUMIFEST IN TORONTO

RUMIFEST  ROCKED –  an overview of a unique event in Toronto, Canada                                                                                                             By Raheel Raza All this singing – just one song. Rumi Toronto – On Saturday October 23, 2010 the first Rumi Fest organized by Nomans Land Promotions took place at the Trinity-St. Paul Center in the heart of Toronto. As a start […]

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October 2, 2010

REPORTS FROM A VISIT TO UNHCR, GENEVA SEPT 2010

REPORT FROM MY VISIT TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA By Raheel Raza I had the privilege of being invited as a member of an NGO to the UN for the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.  With them I attended UN sessions for one week, and made the […]

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September 3, 2010

MOSQUE UNBECOMING?

September 2010 It’s been almost a month since my article was published in the Ottawa Citizen http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html regarding the proposed Mosque at Ground Zero, followed by my trip to New York to attend a meeting of the organizers and the follow up which has been good, bad and ugly. I felt no need to give […]

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August 13, 2010

MISCHIEF IN MANHATTAN

Subject: “Mischief in Manhattan” – Raheel Raza & Tarek Fatah question the need for the Ground-Zero Mosque August 7, 2010 Mischief in Manhattan We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation. It’s an act of “fitna” Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah The Ottawa Citizen Last week, a journalist who […]

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July 15, 2010

BEING PART OF A SACRED RITUAL

At Iona Pacific tonight I attended a celebration of 25 years of the VST Native Ministries Program. This is celebrated with a salmon BBQ and gospel jamboree. Elders and children from various indigenous groups who have been staying here to learn and teach were invited along with visiting faculty. Outside under a white tent on […]

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July 13, 2010

STEPPING STONES ON MY JOURNEY

I am at Vancouver School of Theology where I am privileged to be part of a group that is the first visiting faculty for their interfaith summer school. The location by is by the sea and I can see the sun setting over the water while there is a lone tree where eagles have made […]

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July 11, 2010

ISLAMIC REFORM CONFERENCE IN OXFORD

June 2010 It was a regular day of a regular week in Toronto dealing with irregular issues like the Niqab debate when I received an email Dr. Taj Hargey (Chair of MECO) inviting me to come to their annual conference CRITICAL THINKERS FOR ISLAMIC REFORM – The Way Forward being held in Oxford, U.K. from June 11 to […]

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July 11, 2010

Welcome to my new Blog

This is my first post and hopefully the beginning of some many inspiring conversations. Author of THEIR JIHAD…NOT MY JIHAD (PDF), Raheel Raza is a public speaker, Consultant for Interfaith and Intercultural diversity, documentary film maker, freelance journalist and founder of SAMA’ (Sacred Arts ad Music Alliance). She has recently been appointed to Public Interest Committee. Raza started writing […]

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PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Few weeks ago, there was a horrific barbaric attack on a woman in Pakistan. The woman was driving from the city of Lahore to Gujranwala with her children when the incident took place. Her car ran out of fuel on a deserted highway and she called for help. While she was waiting, two men allegedly […]

Meeting Peter Thiel

In March 2016, I was surprised and honored to be invited by Peter Thiel to speak to his staff over lunch.

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (8)….THE FAN CLUB

Senor OCD is being promoted to Senior OCD tomorrow (it’s his 65th birthday) and I want to try and be nice to him. To be fair, he needs to be vindicated from all the gossip against him. I mean, if not now when he’s ageing (not so gracefully), then when? He has decided that he […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (7) – The Cleaning Lady

This week was our 43rd. wedding anniversary..tau blog tau banta hai na? (have to write a blog, right?) because we still haven’t killed each other. Since the last few episodes, a lot of time has passed but global events had become so serious that even thinking of writing anything humorous felt like ‘cancel culture’ – […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (6)… LOSING IS HARD!

Ohkay, there was a bit of a lull as things looked like they were getting serious and I didn’t want to be the one to be labelled silly or frivolous.

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (5) – RANDOM THOUGHTS

Ohkay….things are settling down, but not OCD. After his below-the-belt remark about the ‘broom’, I tried to ‘socially distance’ myself and pout. Neither worked. Because I need his brain for my writing and his brawn for the housework. Besides pouting is not my thing. It only suits people with rosy chubby cheeks who have mastered […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (4) – THE REBUTTAL

(Full Disclosure: produced exactly as directed and dictated by OCD) People are dying & the world in in a crisis. COVID 19, 5G (Haanhji) or Deep State Conspiracy – whatever it is, its here and we have to dutifully follow the directives (easy for me as I’m used to following directions). We have two choices: […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (3)…THE TO-DO-DO-LISTS

Every evening for the past two weeks OCD announces, “we have a LOT to do tomorrow so let’s make a To-Do List”. Like a good submissive wife (yeah right – in your dreams baby) I grab a pad and paper (remember we have these all over the house in case of emergency) and sit down. […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (2)…a day in the life of..

7am: Wow slept in. Its late. Must jump out of bed…ouch that hurt the back. Ok slowly wash up and say prayers. Read the usual one page of Quran making marking in pencil stuff that needs more reflection or discussion. Realize hubbly is catching up fast so decide to fast forward a few extra pages. […]

REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA

Remember the blackout in 2003? I was at work downtown and then stuck on the roadside because there was no public transit. My two loving and dedicated sons meanwhile took over. One handled the phone and the other who worked in a bank, handled the finances (ATM’s had stopped working). Somehow, they managed to find […]

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF…..NO OFFENSE!

COVID 19 has brought the world to its knees. The news, social media and conversation is all about the virus. And rightly so because it seems that at least in my lifetime, we have never experienced anything like this global threat. In my Province of Ontario, an emergency has been declared which means everything except […]

THREE JOKERS AND A TRUMP!

Canadian elections are in less than a week and the cards dealt to Canadians from the political deck are: Three jokers and a Trump! Although these may be the most crucial elections of our times, the one word that describes them is “boring”! It’s no wonder then that most Canadians are more interested in the […]

WOMEN’S MOSQUE OF CANADA….a much needed initiative

I first heard about The Women’s Mosque of Canada in April when there was a news item that a group of women were praying together at a Church in downtown Toronto. The idea intrigued me as a Women’s rights activist and someone who feels that the need for an exclusive sacred space for women is […]

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE (CANADIAN) THINGS….

This July 1 on Canada Day it will be 31 years since we came to Canada. We have lived longer in Canada than any other country including Pakistan which is my land of birth so there is no denying “this is home”. This is also where the heart is and as I think back, these […]

HATE HAS NO PLACE IN CANADA…OR ANYWHERE ELSE!

In a diverse country like Canada where myriads of faiths and culture live together, we work hard at co-existence and keeping communities together. This needs mutual respect and tolerance plus a total condemnation of hate, wherever it’s coming from. There is one day that embarrasses me as a Muslim because it’s all about hate. This […]

HATE FESTS ABOUND ALL AROUND

When I was in school, there was always the one kid who constantly ratted on others and called them names. When challenged, he hid behind the teachers skirt and curried favours from them. He became the teachers ‘pet’ and no one could touch him. Would you be surprised, if one day, found alone that kid […]

THE ‘FEISTY’ BARONESS AND THE ISLAMISTS

It was a great honor for Canada to welcome Baroness Caroline Cox of the UK House of Lords last week. How to describe this indomitable person? A headline of The Daily Telegraph reads: “The feisty baroness defending ‘voiceless’ Muslim women: Baroness Cox of Queensbury is fighting to stop sharia ‘seeping’ into enforcing divorce settlements.” Cox […]

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN JERUSALEM

March is when we celebrate women. Although March 8 is International Women’s Day, activities take place throughout the month. Some people question as to why we need a “Women Day”? Well we need this to create awareness that women are still not recognized for their complete human rights in many parts of the world. It’s […]

UNVEILING INFINITY

Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. Dalai Lama “Let yourself be empty so you can learn”. These are the wise words with which Sri Sri Ravishanker started his 3-day program called “Unveiling Infinity” at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and which I was fortunate to attend thanks to a good friend. I […]

VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF ISLAM – AGAIN!

On May 24, 2018 a violent mob of over 500 hate-filled extremists attacked and demolished a Mosque in the City of Sialkot in Pakistan. The Mosque belonged to the minority Ahmadi community. Ahmadis make a tiny minority of the Muslim-majority Pakistan and are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics. Pakistan declared Ahmadis […]

TERROR IN TORONTO!

Breaking News: Monday April 23, 2018 On this most beautiful sunny day after four months, Torontonians were out on the streets to enjoy the weather, when terror struck in the most horrific way. At Yonge and Finch Avenue which is a beautiful, peaceful and diverse area in Toronto where mothers take their kids for walks, […]

“I KNOW MY FATHER (ABBA) THROUGH STORIES…..

(My brother’s daughter Maliha lost her young husband many years ago. Her daughter Mariam wrote the following essay for her University admission. I found this so compelling that I want to share. ) “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad […]

WHITE PRIVILEGE – SERIOUSLY?

The buzz word; stuff that op-eds are made of; twitter chatter ad-nauseam; a depressing amount of balderdash and on and on. Have we nothing better to focus on? Now I have to invoke my brown, Muslim woman, South Asian heritage privilege to say “give me a break”! This generalizing of white people as though they […]

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH 2018

On this International Women’s Day I wish to salute the following: • Yazidi women who truly know the meaning of struggle against the injustices of the world • The women of Syria who are struggling to survive against all odds • The brave women of Iran who by throwing off their head covers in protest […]

REPORT ON A TRIP TO MINNEAPOLIS

On January 23, I went on the trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to meet with some State Representatives and activists. Between 2008 and 2013, about 40 young men left Minneapolis to join al-Shabaab, the militant, radical Islamist insurgent group at war in Somalia, between approximately 2008 and 2013. Since then, 11 people from the Twin Cities […]

CANADIAN AWARD TO CANADIAN ACTIVIST

On January 29, 2017 an event was hosted by Muslims Facing Tomorrow to celebrate Raheel Raza receiving the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Senate of Canada in recognition “valuable service to Canada”. Senator Linda Frum made the presentation. Barbara Kay, journalist and author par excellence delivered […]

POOR ZAINAB – A TINY PAWN IN A LARGER POLITICAL GAME IN PAKISTAN

The horrific tragedy of Zainab Ansari, an eight year old girl who was raped and murdered in Kasur, Pakistan has the attention of the whole world. It’s heart-breaking and gut wrenching to read the news and see her parents sorrow. Ten other girls have been sexually assaulted in a similar way in Kasur, while law […]

2017 ROUNDUP

2017 was a ‘bumper’ year for travel and media. Overall I gave approximately 300 media interviews and took over 50 flights. January • Travelled to Israel where I attended workshops, conferences and had meetings with various individuals including one-on-one with The Clarion Project. February • Was invited for a one-hour interview on the Mark Steyn […]

CARNAGE AT CHRISTMAS

It was the fifth year of Mohammad’s Prophethood and his followers were being ruthlessly persecuted by his enemies. Prophet Mohammad advised a small group of Muslims to leave Mecca and take refuge in Abyssinia, where he knew the Christian King known as Negus, was just and fair. The group of Muslims under the leadership of […]

NEW YORK ATTACK

Once again evil has struck New York City. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and those injured. Facts are quite straight forward: • Its cowardly • It will happen again • This is part of the “war on the West” declared by the Jihadists • There are no ‘lone wolves’ […]

MEETING GEORGE W. BUSH FOR LUNCH – an eye-opener

Islamic history is something we do not debate or discuss. We accept it as handed down to us. So we have villains who have been made into heroes and heroes who remain unidentified. Case in point, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was a ruthless and merciless ruler who had no qualms about assassinating his brothers or imprisoning […]

TO SILENCE ME…PLEASE STAND AT THE END OF THE QUEUE!

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing” Certain quarters on the Left, probably under a lot of $$$$ influences, are suggesting that I’m anti-Muslim. These organizations are not even Muslim themselves so how dare they question my faith, my relations with fellow Muslims who are my family and friends and my right to […]

TESTIMONY ON M-103

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage 42nd. Parliament, Wednesday Sept 27, 2017 – M 103 Raheel Raza, President Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow Madame Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to address this Committee. My name is Raheel Raza and I am President of The Council for Muslims Facing […]

Free Raif Badawi: Plea at UN Human Rights Council

President Donald Trump in his address to the UN General assembly in New York last week critiqued some of those countries holding positions in the human rights council that offer no human rights for their own citizens. I tend to agree with him as I have seen during my trips to the UNHRC in the […]

O CANADA – HOW I LOVE YOU, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS……

Last week an American radio show host asked me curiously how come I chose Canada as my home. Without blinking an eyelash I said to him “I came to Canada on a visit 30 years ago and it was love at first sight. That love affair still continues and I’m proud to be Canadian.” It […]

COMMEMORATING EID AL FITR

It is with a heavy heart that we commemorate Eid al Fitr. This has been a tragic month of Ramazan with senseless bloodshed of innocents. Let’s not forget that the explicit purpose of the month of fasting is to reflect, feel for the less fortunate and ask forgiveness for our errors. I pray as we […]

MANCHESTER – HOW DO WE GRIEVE WITH YOU?

The recent horrific and murderous terrorist attack at Manchester Arena hits close to the heart as I am a mother and grandmother. Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the attack, according to David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service in UK. There is […]

HEY WORD & THOUGHT POLICE – CATCH ME IF YOU CAN! Raheel Raza

As a writer I was member of The Writers Union of Canada for some years and used to regularly receive their magazine Write. In my early years as a journalist it was a handy tool to help with the “Canadian experience”. So it was with shock that I read the controversy surrounding Hal Niedzviecki, Write’s […]

RENEWING OUR FAITH IN HUMANITY

“We all face death in the end. But on the way beware to never hurt a human heart’ Rumi We live in times when the world faces many challenges. Politicians are selling their souls for votes, leaders and lying for popularity and we are being brainwashed to trust no one. Therefore we sometimes feel that […]

A MEETING OF MODERN MUSLIM MINDS

Sunday March 26 was a wet, dark and cold day in Toronto. But inside the boardroom of Hilton Garden Inn, there was warmth, light and critical thinking. This is because Muslims and non-Muslims came together for a one day summit to speak about issues that face all of us. The event was hosted by Muslims […]

M-103 won’t build a more united Canada. It will turn Canadians against each other (National Post, Feb 22, 17)

On Dec. 5, 2016, Canadian MP Iqra Khalid proposed Motion 103 (a motion against Islamophobia) and began her statement in parliament by saying, “Mr. Speaker, I am a young, brown, Muslim, Canadian woman …” I find it curious that she begins by identifying herself first as brown, then Muslim and lastly as a Canadian. To my understanding, a Canadian […]

LEARN FROM YESTERDAY, LIVE FOR TODAY AND HOPE FOR TOMORROW – Albert Einstein

WRAP UP OF 2016 – AND WHAT A YEAR IT WAS! 2016 was the year for travel. I travelled to 36 events and conferences through the year. January started with a visit to Sweden where we screened Honor Diaries in the Swedish Parliament and paid tribute to the victims of honor killings. To say that […]

SUPPORTING THE RIGHTS OF ALL WOMEN TO BE EQUAL AND FREE – A REPORT FROM A TRIP TO HOUSE OF LORDS, UK

“We cannot continue with the present situation in which so many women are suffering in ways that would make the heroines of the suffragette movement turn in their graves.”- Baroness Cox Last week I was invited to The House of Lords in UK by Baroness Caroline Cox to speak about Honor Based Violence and Sharia […]

IS THIS ABOUT THE REAL ISLAMIC HERITAGE OR A WHITE WASH?

October has been officially declared as Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario after a Private Member’s Bill was tabled but now has been unanimously passed by Legislature. Ontario Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Islamic Heritage Month is an opportunity to eliminate Islamo-phobia and for Canada to celebrate and learn about the history of Islamic culture. […]

A TOUR OF EUROPE

(On September 25, I travelled with a group hosted by The Middle East Forum on a fact-finding mission to Europe. There were 33 attendees from Australia, UK, Canada and USA (academics, activists and ordinary citizens) and we spent two days each in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm. In each City we had a local guide, met […]

BANGLADESH WAKES UP TO JIHADIST IDEOLOGY By Raheel Raza

In the wake of repeated terror attacks against bloggers and activists in Bangladesh, a fatwa by 1,01,524 Islamic scholars and clerics was issued this June. http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/over-1-lakh-bangladesh-clerics-issue-fatwa-against-extremism-2861497 This comes at a time in the history of Bangladesh when there are discussions taking place about making it a secular country. While there are many activists working within […]

THE PARLIAMENT OF WORLD RELIGIONS – PATHWAYS TO PEACE THE WISDOM OF LISTENING, THE POWER OF COMMITMENT

(In anticipation of Toronto being considered as a possible venue for PWR in either 2017 or 2018, here is my personal experience from 2004) THE PARLIAMENT OF WORLD RELIGIONS – PATHWAYS TO PEACE THE WISDOM OF LISTENING, THE POWER OF COMMITMENT Barcelona July 7 – 13, 2004 By Raheel Raza “There will be no peace […]

THERE IS NO HONOR IN MURDER

Huffington Post Blog – July 18, 2016 Qandeel Baloch, was a 26-year-old social media celebrity who had boldly decided to live “outside the box.” The box in this case being the parameters laid out by the majority of men in Pakistan dictating how much freedom a woman can have in their staunchly patriarchal society. She […]

TO MY FELLOW MUSLIMS – SHOULD WE CELEBRATE OR COMMEMORATE?

During these last few days at the end of Ramzan, I contemplated sending out Eid Greetings as I always do. And it is during these odd nights in the last ten days of Ramzan that we as Muslims are supposed to reflect and see ourselves in the spiritual mirror. So I reflected on what greetings […]

WHY IS THE GENOCIDE AGAINST THE YAZIDIS BEING IGNORED?

Last year our organization, The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow hosted a rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto to protest the massacre of Arab Christians and especially the Yazidis in the Middle East by ISIS. We had sent the event invitation to hundreds of people including Churches and members of Parliament. To their credit, the […]

“HARDTALKING” MY WAY FROM EUROPE, UK TO PAKISTAN AND BACK

Europe has been in the news recently especially with the movement of migrants. I got a feel of this on my recent visits to Holland, Sweden and UK. There are huge problems facing this Continent and Europeans, both Muslim and non-Muslim are largely in denial about the issues. This was reflected in my conversations with […]

WHY JANUARY 21 IS EMBEDDED IN MY HEART AND SOUL

January 21 which is my birthday will never be the same for me ever again. In 2016 on this date which is always a celebration, I found myself in Stockholm, Sweden for a series of conferences and seminars. I was invited by an organization called GAPF which is essentially a commemoration for the memory of […]

AND THIS IS HOW IT WAS IN 2015…..

Usually at the end of the year I pen my thoughts about travels and excitement, journeys to the center of my soul etc. However this year (2015) has been more serious than previous years – the tipping point was reached. These are the highlights and low lights of the year for me presented straight from […]

POISONING THE WELL FROM WHICH OUR YOUTH DRINK

Since it was discovered that Tashfeen Malik (one of the alleged terrorists in the San Bernardino shootings) studied with Farhat Hashmi at the Al-Huda Institute, all eyes are on Mississauga, Canada where Ms. Hashmi also runs a branch of her school. I first heard about Ms. Hashmi and the Al-Huda Institute on one of my […]

MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT – for a better future for humanity – Dec 4. 2015

There is a buzz on social media today about a new Muslim Reform Movement, and many of you are wondering what this is all about. Here is some background. The Paris terrorism attacks seemed to be the last straw for many Muslims like us who abhor violence in the name of our faith. So we […]

JOURNEYS TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL – DE-MYSTIFYING MUHARRAM

I was born in a Sunni Hanafi family from Pakistan. We were taught to observe the pillars of Islam but with no compulsion. My childhood memories of Muharram are those of my mother and grandmother listening to majalis on the radio (this was the fifties & sixties and yes we only had radios then) and […]

THE ISLAMIC NEW YEAR 1437 – OCTOBER 2015

Today is the first day of the month of Moharram which is the start of the Islamic New year 1437 according to the lunar calendar. Unlike many cultures, most Muslims don’t celebrate the New Year. Rather we remember the sacrifice of Imam Hussain in the plains of Karbala. If we, as both Muslims and non-Muslims […]

Geneva – Human Rights Council Thirtieth session September 21, 2015

Report by: Raheel Raza, President Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow I am attending the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As a representative for The Center for Inquiry, I gave an oral statement on the murders of bloggers and supporters of free speech in Bangladesh. My statement can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/MuslimsFacingTomorrow?fref=ts […]

ASSAD AND THE IRANIAN REGIME – GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

We know who the real perpetrators are. We know they are implicit in the murder of Aylan Kurdi.

Let the world wake up and instead of playing a blame-game, bring the real culprits to justice.

MY JOURNEYS WITH HONOR DIARIES – Part 1 (February to April 2015)

There has been so much happening on my journey with Honor Diaries to various locations throughout North America, that a bit late in the day I decided I need to document some of the interesting elements of my journey for record. The amazing thing about HD is that while most documentaries have a shelf life […]

WHEN HONOR DIARIES BECOMES A REALITY IN WOMEN’S LIVES

It’s no secret that I believe passionately in the message of Honor Diaries (www.honordairies.com) and I know that even after a year the message is very relevant to women worldwide. But when it personally impacts someone’s life, then I know we are on the right track to have broken the bounds of silence. At almost […]

INDIA’S DAUGHTER – a strong message about a patriarchal mindset!

I was invited to the US premiere of India’s Daughter on March 9, 2015. The event was held at Baruch College in New York and I was so moved that I’m compelled to write this. But before I went for the screening, there was news that the documentary has been banned in India. BBC decided […]

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many […]

THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES TO WAKE US UP!

Following the ruthless massacre of innocent children and their teachers at a School in Peshawar, Pakistan I posted my facebook profile picture saying “We are Sorry”. I mean it. We are sorry as individuals, organizations, communities and a nation for having let down our future generations. These students were the brightest light of our country […]

DEFYING EXTREMISM: GENDERED RESPONSES TO RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE

November 20 – 21, 2014 Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, San Diego http://www.sandiego.edu/peacestudies I was honoured to be part of this conference for a panel titled “Started From my Living Room: community based models for anti-radicalization and reformation”. Before coming to this conference, I had no idea what it entailed and upon […]

MOHARRAM – The Islamic New Year and what it should mean for Muslims.

“My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain (A.S.), the great saint.” Mahatma Gandhi Tonight starts the advent of the Islamic New Year 1436 for Muslims. Dating from the time that the messenger of Islam, […]

CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

Copied below (in their entirety) are two articles published after the Ottawa tragedy which give us very clear insight into the mindset of two leaders of local Islamic Organizations who also preach from the pulpit to large congregations. The first press release is from The North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF) who holds a charitable status […]

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL CANADIANS – Canada is under attack!

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL CANADIANS – Please forward this to CSIS, RCMP, your elected representatives and officials. From Raheel Raza Canada is under attack. Since 9/11 and perhaps even before that, some of us Muslims have been insisting that Canada is not safe from terrorist attacks and that it’s just a matter of time. […]

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT – A visit to The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

This past weekend I was in Winnipeg for a conference hosted by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WomeninAfghanistan) and on Sunday they had arranged for a visit to The Canadian Museum For Human Rights. I had read about the controversy surrounding the opening last month, but decided that I want to see for myself […]

“THE PRICE OF HONOR” A FILM BY NEENA NEJAD AND XOEL PAMOS

Being an activist for Women’s Rights and a recent participant in the award-winning documentary Honor Diaries, anything related to the issue of honor based violence is compelling. So when I heard about the film The Price of Honor, I was intrigued, especially because the two sisters, about whom the film is made, were mentioned in […]

MFT RALLY IN SUPPORT OF MINORITIES

In Support for minority Christian and other minority religious communities in the Middle East and the Muslim world Muslims Facing Tomorrow calls for Public Rally on the UN International Day for Peace on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Queen’s Park, Toronto, from 2 – 4 pm ~ Please join us ~ Muslims Facings Tomorrow (MFT) […]

HONOURING GIRLS

HONOURING GIRLS…. It was a great honour to be invited to attend The Girl Summit in UK which was hosted by the UK Government and United Nations Children’s Fund. www.girlsummitpledge.com But before I got there, I had to get a badge. Having experienced government bureaucracy in other countries, it was a pleasant surprise to reach […]

HONORING RAMADAN’S MESSAGE By Ajit Jain

Honoring Ramadan’s message A group of Muslims from Canada invited people from all faiths to come together and celebrate Ramadan, reports AJIT JAIN By Ajit Jain TheIndianDiaspora.com Jul 14, 2014 Toronto: At this time in the world when there is so much strife, a group of Muslim brothers and sisters took the initiative of inviting […]

RECONFIRMING THE MESSAGE OF HONOR DIARIES – FINALLY FGM UP FRONT AND CENTER AT THE UNHRC

Reported by Raheel Raza at the UN in Geneva – June 2014 I have been coming to the United Nations Human Rights Council for five years and lamented at the lack of women’ s issues being in the forefront. The documentary “Honor Diaries” which was released in March 2014 highlighted some of the atrocities committed […]

CFI Statement at UNHRC 26

P.O. Box 741 • Amherst, New York 14226-0741 • (716) 636-4869 • Fax (716) 636-1733 www.centerforinquiry.net United Nations Human Rights Council: 26th Session (10th – 27th June 2014) Interactive Dialogue with WG on Discrimination against Women, Tuesday 17th June 2014 Speaker: CfI Representative, Raheel Raza Freedom of Religion and Discrimination against Women Mr President, We […]

Statement made at UNHRC 26th Session June 16, 2014

United Nations Human Rights Council: 26th Session (10th – 27th June 2014) High-level panel discussion on the identification of good practices in combating FGM, Monday 16th June 2014, Speaker: CfI Representative, Raheel Raza FGM: Culture or Religion is no Excuse[1] Female Genital Multilation (FGM) is a practice often upheld by a number of cultural and […]

FROM BRUNEI TO BOKO HARAM – MERELY DEFLECTION – Gatestone Institute

From Brunei to Boko Haram: Merely Deflection by Raheel Raza May 29, 2014 at 5:00 am http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4332/boko-haram-abduction Boko Haram’s members justify their acts in the name of Islam, and Muslim leaders are intimidated into silence. Add to this a hatred for the West and its values, and you have an explosive combination of violence and […]

Raheel Raza’s Jihad

Raheel Raza’s Jihad by David Suissa October 3, 2013 | 11:00 am Raheel Raza. Photo from raheelraza.com If the religion of Islam ever succeeds in eradicating its extremist and violent elements, it will be because of devout Muslim women like Raheel Raza, a long-time human rights activist from Pakistan. I came across Raza’s name on […]

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS

Bring Back Our Girls: That Happened by Libby Lowe on May 9, 2014 in News & Culture     ColumnOn April 14th, approximately 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Islamic extremists. It took about two weeks for most of the world to notice. This was the lead headline on CNN’s U.S. homepage on May 6th: “276 […]

My response to Sheema Khans article in Globe and Mail

(The Globe did not publish my response so here it is for all to read) ————————————————————————— Response to: We can end honour killings, but not with films by anti-Muslim zealots by Sheema Khan, Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Wednesday, Apr. 16 2014, Ms. Khan has vaguely alluded to human rights in her article […]

CANADA EMBRACES HONOR DIARIES

Honor Diaries is a brilliant award-winning documentary which deals with the plight of women in Muslim Majority societies who face honor based violence in the form of honor killings, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriages. The documentary features nine women who speak from the heart and address the problems head-on focusing on the rise of […]

HONOR DIARIES – MORE THAN A FILM, A MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE

Award winning documentary Honor Diaries www.honordiaries.com had its global launch in March. Honor Diaries was screened in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, New York and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Its Toronto screening is on March 30, 2014 at Colossus Woodbridge ,Famous Players Cineplex, 3555 Highway 7 West at Hwy 400, Vaughan, ON L4L […]

THE HONOR DIARIES ROAD SHOW

THE HONOR DIARIES ROAD SHOW – not just a movie but a movement! I started in Washington at the National Press Club http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/npc-newsmaker-program-amidst-growing-concern-over-honor-violence-in-europe-congresswoman-ngos-women-take-on-issue-in-washington-248873151.html where there was a press conference on Tuesday 11 March at 12:30pm. It was well attended. We showed a 10min clip from the documentary Honor Diaries and then took Q & A. […]

HONOR DIARIES PREMIERE IN TORONTO MARCH 30, 2014

The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow in collaboration with Speakers Action Group and Act! For Canada announce the Toronto launch and screening of the award-winning documentary HONOR DIARIES www.HonorDiaries.com Sunday 30th March 2014 – 10:00 am @ Colossus Woodbridge, Famous Players Cineplex 3555 Highway 7 West at Hwy 400, Vaughan, ON L4L 6B1 Cost of […]

International Women’s Day: The Human Rights Disaster In Our Backyard

By Raheel Raza – International Business Times on March 07 2014 12:50 PM If 200,000 teenage boys in America were at risk of genital mutilation, people would no doubt take notice. So why is it, that with 150,000 to 200,000 American women and girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) – and perhaps 1,500 […]

Letter to Editor – Globe and Mail

6 February 2014 Editor Globe and Mail Re: Omer Aziz, “Why Stephen Harper owes Canadian Muslims an apology,” 5 February 2014 Fellow Muslim Omer Aziz errs in his defence of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) against prime ministerial accusations of radical-Islamic connections.Mr. Aziz feels only twisted logic could connect the NCCM to hardliners.He […]

Thoughts on a visit to Istanbul, Turkey

NO COMPULSION HERE……YET!   By Raheel Raza This Thanksgiving we took a much overdue trip to Istanbul, Turkey and I feel compelled to write about what I saw. It was interesting to try and convince my grandsons that the “Turkey” we were visiting was not the same turkey they were consuming! We had chosen a place […]

IN MEMORIUM FOR MY FATHER

“ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE….” By Raheel Raza My father was unique and I loved him dearly.  He was a gentle, kind and sensitive man who could do no wrong in my eyes.  I am the youngest of three children and although I spent the least time with him, he was a friend and […]

A SINGLE TEAR FOR TRANSCENDENCE..

Notes from a ninth of Muharram lecture by Dr Hasnain Walji on the topic of : “​CAN MUSLIMS RE-CLAIM THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS A CIVILIZING FORCE?“ A single tear for transcendence… •    Concept of time – Al Asr – how to use and not abuse time which is NOW, not yesterday not tomorrow but today […]

KARBALA AND THE END OF THE TRUE ISLAM

Karbala and the End of the True Islam Ismail Butera Every year, on the tenth of the Islamic month of Muharam, the first month of that lunar calendar, there is a commemoration throughout the Muslim ummah. On this day, it is believed that Moses led his people out of Egypt. Some say that the Ark […]

Raheel Raza of ‘Honor Diaries’ at the Chicago International Film Festival

Interview: Raheel Raza of ‘Honor Diaries’ at the Chicago International Film FestivalSubmitted by PatrickMcD [1] on October 15, 2013 – 3:05pm CHICAGO – The issue of women’s rights in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and elsewhere is often overshadowed by the other back-and-forth circumstances in relationship to Western countries. The documentary “Honor Diaries” is […]

HONOR DIARIES HAS ITS WORLD PREMIERE TO A FULL HOUSE

Paula Kweskin’s “Honor Diaries” had its world premiere as part of the Docufest documentary film competition at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival. The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring the Producer, one of the activists in the film and a Police detective who has worked on honor killings. On International Women’s Day […]

COME AND SHARE THE GRIEF OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS

In the End, you will remember not the words of your enemies, but the silence of your friends.…Martin Luther King Wednesday September 25, 2013 Canadian Pakistani Christians United Worship Service – Re: Bomb blast in a Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. 7 p.m. at St. Andrews Presbyterian 44 Church St E Brampton, ON L6V 1G3 Pastor […]

SLAVERY IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Center for Inquiry Joint Statement with British Humanist Association and International Humanist and Ethical Union UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 24th Session 9 – 27 September 2013 Speaker: Raheel Raza: CFI Representative, 16 Sept 2013 Slavery in the Islamic World  Mr President  Slavery is alive and kicking in the Islamic world. We heard this morning at […]

Raheel Raza’s presentation at the UNHRC in Geneva (Seminar)

A Brief Survey of Human Rights Abuses in Mauritania, With Particular Emphasis on Abuses of Women and Girls  1.      Context: Development Levels in Mauritania  Mauritania is a poor country and this is reflected in many of its statistics. It comes 159th out of 187 in the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2012, and its evolution […]

Human Rights in Mauritania

INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION, ANTI-SLAVERY ASSOCIATION IRA – MAURITANIE, CENTER FOR INQUIRY  In the context of the 24th session of the Human Rights Council  We cordially invite members of national delegations and NGOs to a seminar on Friday 13th September 2013 – 11:00 to 13:00 Palais des Nations: Gate 40 – Room XXIV  Speakers: […]

ON THE VARIETIES OF SHIRQ By Shahnaz Aijazuddin

(An excerpt from her book Lost From View) I saw Mecca for the first time in 1977. We were driven there from Jeddah by a Pakistani bank official, with his wife and three young daughters. Jeddah at that time was in a state of transition and development, so that it made no impression other than […]

NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE CONCERT – SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

Please Join Us! SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 The National Day of Service Concert “Paying it Forward” Presented by The ACTV Foundation (The Alliance of Canadian Terror Victims) September 11, 2013 @ 8:00pm The Bluma Appel Theatre The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts 27 Front Street East, Toronto  Canadians performing for Canadians. The Inaugural National Day […]

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY? Raheel Raza

  As a public speaker, I’m used to critique, sometimes hostility and opposition to my point of view because the word ‘public’ means that I have to accept and acknowledge all kinds of feedback being in the public forum. That’s good. I’m used to ‘friendly fire’ – friends telling me how to better conduct myself […]

BUSINESSMEN AND THE SWINGING ’60s By Farooq Hassan

Monday, July 08, 2013  Karachi, east of the Suez and west of Bangkok, was the most swinging city in the 1960s. Dubai didn’t exist and Singapore was a colonial backwater, while Beirut was the only city with any comparable class. In those days, business entertainment and lifestyles were fun, relaxed and hedonistic. (1) Golf: Playing […]

Looking for an authentic Muslim woman’s voice?

How can women’s rights advance if the mainstream idea of an authentic Muslim woman’s voice is strictly confined to the oppressed?   What is an authentic Muslim voice?   Raheel Raza On 10 June 2013 07:30 A few days ago I received a call from a producer at BBC World Service asking if I knew […]

A Woman’s Voice at the Mosque

by Raheel Raza May 23, 2013 at 3:00 am Most of all, we have to use reason and logic and broaden the use of ijtihad – individual reasoning in religious affairs. In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Toronto and Montreal saw arrests of two Muslims charged with terror related activities. There’s been some hand-wringing […]

PONDERING PAKISTANI POLITICS By Raheel Raza

As Pakistanis are hunkering down for an election in which for the first time in 65 years, one elected government will hand over power to another elected government, I’ve been watching from afar and thinking about what we’ve seen unfold in the past year. Sometimes those of us who are physically at a distance can […]

BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES OF FEAR AND SILENCE: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Muslim Majority Countries

BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES OF FEAR AND SILENCE: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Muslim Majority Countries Los Angeles – May 5, 2013 I am in LA upon the invitation of Women’s Voices Now, an organization whose mission is to empower all women living in Muslim-majority socities by promoting their free expression, thereby giving voice to […]

Report on the activities of the IHEU Geneva representatives to the UN Human Rights Council January 2012 – March 2013

Report on the activities of the IHEU Geneva representatives to the UN Human Rights Council January 2012 – March 2013 Highlights The team now represent not only IHEU but Center for Inquiry and the British Humanist Association Increased size and effectiveness of the team and the promise of some real continuity Greater number of issues […]

Human rights imperiled in Pakistan

Raheel Raza, Special to QMI AGENCY First posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 09:02 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 09:12 PM EDT A Hindu boy stands near his mother and family who are living under a bridge in Karachi, Pakistan January 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain) GENEVA, Switzerland — Here at the 22nd session […]

UNIVERSAL PEACE CONCERT

IS SHARIA IMMUTABLE? By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer

IT is believed by millions of Muslims across the world that Sharia laws are immutable and represent divine will. This is based on serious misunderstanding. Sharia is not and cannot be immutable. Recently I was invited to the Jaipur Literary Festival to be part of a panel discussion on the book Heaven on Earth by […]

MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW 2013 EVENTS

Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow is pleased to announce programming for the first half of 2013. These programs are open to all and we are happy to partner with organizations in sync with our mandate. For partnerships please contact info@muslimsfacingtomorrow.com We encourage membership with MFT at the yearly rate of $25.00 per person. You may […]

DR. KHALED ABOU EL FADL – Listed among 50 smartest people of faith http://www.thebestschools.org/blog/2013/01/06/50-smartest-people-faith/

    Calling for Islamic reformation Scholar is critical of fellow Muslims Status of women needs examination RAHEEL RAZA SPECIAL TO THE STAR – 23 November 2002 Khaled Abou El Fadl, often called “defender of the faith,” has become one of the most powerful and controversial voices of moderate Islam in North America. A regular […]

RAHEEL’S 2012 LOG

RAHEEL’S LOG 2012 JANUARY Granos Club speaker Speaker at Oakville women’s group Speaker at Lakeridge Health Rawal TV on youth and Islam Multifaith peace prayer in Hamilton Speaker for International Women’s day Event at Sufi Dergah SUN TV interview and CBC FEBRUARY Full day workshop for Emmanuel College in Woodstock TVO panel on Pakistan Multifaith […]

From Citizenship to Culture: Seeing Muslims through a Different Lens

From Citizenship to Culture: Seeing Muslims through a Different Lens With Raheel Raza  Tuesdays, January 29 & February 5, 12 & 19, 2013 7:00-9:00 pm at Emmanuel College, Toronto This four-part series uses film to take audiences on a journey from the early days of Islam, Muslim philosophers in history, the Sufi experience and onto […]

THE JOY OF EXTENDED GREETINGS (not the kind you leave on your telephone while going on vacation!) Raheel Raza

This morning as I came down in the elevator, I greeted an older gentleman (guess who’s calling who older but that’s relative!) who lives in my building. I said an automatic “good morning” and he turned around, beamed a beautiful smile and said “may your day be wonderful, may your dreams come true, may you […]

REMEMBERING MY FRIEND AND SOULMATE

  PROLOGUE Antra, I know you expect me to write something on the first anniversary of your death.   I always wrote to you first and complained that you never write.  And you always said “that’s because you’re a writer and you love to write.  So stop whining and make sure you write me a nice […]

HATE MONGERING – NAMF STYLE

Friends – please see below excerpts from a disturbing message that has been written by a so-called Canadian Imam self-described as: Sheharyar Shaikh is the former President of North American Muslim Foundation.  He is currently the Imam of Masjid Qurtabah. He specializes in Quranic exegesis with contemporary Islamic thought and modernity This article has been […]

UNDERSTANDING HUMAN NATURE AND NATURAL RELIGION

Gems of wisdom (my humble understanding) from lectures by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina on: Understanding human nature and natural religion – Imam Husyan’s struggle against false Muslim identity Sura Rum is the summation of the entire message of Islam Religion can’t be imposed because by nature human beings are resistant to imposition from the outside – […]

THE MUSLIM NEW YEAR – A TIME FOR REFLECTION By Raheel Raza

” Today, Muslims look upon the incident at Karbala as an example of good over evil; of justice over injustice; of truth over falsehood and of bravery over cowardice. ”                                                               While most cultures and religions ring in their new year with feasts, celebrations and parties, the Islamic new year brings with it deep contemplation and […]

SCHOLAR AND PEACEMAKER (Toronto Star article) By Raheel Raza

(This is an interview with Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina which I did many years ago. Since Dr. Sachedina is giving lectures for Muharram 1434 at Taj Banquet Hall, I thought it would be  nice to revisit the story of this special person who has been both a mentor and educator for my family and I personally […]

THE UN-GENTEEL ART OF ENJOYING AND EATING DESI FRUIT – Raheel Raza

Tonight as I cutting up a fruit salad for tomorrow’s lunches, I found myself laughing (at our age we tend to either cry or laugh at any given time!) But this was pure amusement. I found the pomegranate came with instructions on how to cut it and take out the seeds. Wow! This is technology. […]

REMEMBERING RUMI – AND MEETING COMMUNITY

 Raheel Raza Nov 4, 2012 Last night Rumi was remembered with love, respect, wisdom, sacred music, whirling, poetry, laughter and tears. It was a sublime event presented by The Inner Garden and conducted by a group of dedicated Rumi-lovers. The venue, Eastminster United Church on Danforth, was the ideal place with an ambience that was […]

The Real Islamophobia by Sam Westrop

October 29, 2012 at 4:30 am “Islamophobia” is not, as claimed by some critics, just a concept invented by Islamist organizations to distract from their own fundamentalism; it is is a form of prejudice, exacerbated by governments, university faculties, the media and even interfaith groups. The greatest threat to moderate Islam and its assimilation with […]

REVIEW OF MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW LAUNCH

Fighting To Be Heard October 16, 2012 by expatlogue The description of the past cannot be the prescription for the future I attended the launch of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow at the invitation of Raheel Raza, journalist, author, public speaker and activist. She founded MFT to amplify the moderate Muslim voice at a time […]

JOURNEYS TO THE CENTRE OF MY SOUL

DIVERSITY, TRANSFORMATION AND HOPE – WINNIPEG OCTOBER 11, 2012 What a joy, to travel the way of the heart. ~ Mevlana Rumi A month ago I was invited by the Centre for Christian Studies to their 130th Anniversary celebrations in Winnipeg. The theme of the evening was Diversity, Transformation and Hope. I was to substitute […]

IS RENAISSANCE POSSIBLE IN ISLAMIC WORLD TODAY?

Asghar Ali Engineer  (Islam and Modern Age, October 2012)  Institute of Islamic Studies, Mumbai Why have I put a question mark? Is there doubt about it? Yes, very much. It would be too simplistic to assume  that potential for such a change already exist and it is only a push that is needed  to bring […]

ALL THIS SINGING, JUST ONE SONG

 By Raheel Raza for New Age Islam 7 Oct 2012 On a beautifully clear, full moon night a few Sundays ago, an incredible event took place at the Harbour front Theatre in Toronto. An Israeli born musician alternately played the acoustic guitar and a Bansuri (flute) accompanied by two gypsy folksingers who played the Harmonium, […]

The truth about Islam By Expatlogue http://t.co/eLRuevMp

September 25, 2012 by expatlogue English: A green version of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Allah-eser2.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There was once a time when muslims were just another demographic in a vast and varied world. Those days have taken on the sepia tinge of memory. The global consciousness is now saturated with daily headlines and images of righteous muslim […]

Media Must Take Lead in Dismantling the Falsehood that Anti-Muslim Film Was a Jewish Project By Rabbi Abraham Cooper Simon Wiesenthal Center

Published in Pakistan Link, Friday September 21, 2012  “Innocence of Muslims” is a poorly produced anti-Islam film that has been used to fuel protests and violence on American diplomatic postings in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, leaving our ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, dead. Protests and violence have now spread to […]

Xenophobia and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of Deliberate Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

Full Text of the Oral Statement by Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam Uniited Nations Human Rights Council, 21st session, Geneva – 10 — 28 September 2012 Agenda item 3: Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. On behalf of: World Environment and Resources Council (WERC) 14 September […]

Center for Inquiry Joint statement with International Humanist and Ethical union UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 21st Session 10 – 28 September 2012 Speaker: CFI Representative, Raheel Raza, Friday 14 September 2012 Agenda Item 2/3: Reports on Somalia and Northern Mali Islamic Extremism and the OIC

 Madam President The reports on Somalia [A/HRC/21/36] and Northern Mali [A/HRC/21/64] highlight a far wider problem that we are also witnessing in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia: the excesses of those dedicated to violent, extremist interpretations of Islam. The destruction of Sufi shrines and the imposition of strict sharia in northern Mali; […]

LAUNCH OF MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW

Silence is the mother of truth.  ~Benjamin Disraeli Between the ugly, thunderous & violent roar of the radical extremists and the wishy washy whimper of the majority, lies THE SILENT VOICE. Come and hear this voice at the launch of The Council For Muslims Facing Tomorrow  www.muslimsfacingtomorrow.com Our Mission: Whereas in the contemporary world the […]

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY!

Earlier this year I spent a week travelling across Universities in the UK speaking out against hate on campus which leads to radicalization of youth. From there I decided to go to Pakistan for my annual visit, much against the advice of family and friends who warned me that the situation in Pakistan is troubling. […]

PAKISTAN HAS LOST ITS MORAL AND ETHICAL COMPASS

The saddest aspect of the recent ruthless murder of Pakistani Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab was not so much the viciousness of the killing but the vicious celebration of his death. Taseer was shot dead on January 4, 2011 by Mumtaz Qadri, who was member of the governor’s special security squad. After Qadri, pumped 27 […]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P35E31THd8

We must speak out against hatred and those who preach it

  A call to arms for moderate Muslims – Published in Toronto Star Apr. 2, 2004. We must speak out against hatred and those who preach it, By Raheel Raza The recent raids in Britain that resulted in the arrests of nine men of Pakistani heritage and the subsequent raid at the home of a […]

I WENT, I SAW, I WEPT – and I still weep today as not much has changed

A VISIT TO THE HOMELAND By Raheel Raza I CAME: – because Karachi was once my City of Joy – because I had not visited for many years due to the turmoil and unrest – because my brother was taken into custody in an extra judicial arrest – because I naively thought there is still […]

Reading the Qur’an by Ziauddin Sardar

As Ramzan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, I am “Reading the Qur’an” by Ziauddin Sardar and below is an excerpt that caught my attention as it is so on the spot. Al-Baqarah : A Middle Community. It’s important in my opinion to emphasize that the Qur’an is not suggesting that Muslims […]

THE SPIRIT OF RAMZAN (published in 2003)

Perhaps this is also a time when Muslims realize that Ramzan prepares them to face trials and tribulations with patience, self control and forbearance – the very spirit of Ramzan.

KHUDA KAY LIYAY – RAMZAN MUBARAK

Ooops I said Ramzan and not Ramadhan. Does that make my roza, sorry rodha unacceptable?

O YOU – THE MEN OF MY NATION (Spoken word at Naureen’s photo exhibit)

O You – the men of my nation who like to stare O you – the men of my nation, are you aware That your unsettling stare Creeps under our skin and give gives us chills.. Your stare isn’t the look of one who cares It’s sharp and abrasive as though women should beware. O […]

CANADIANS CONFUSED BETWEEN GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS AND THE REALLY BAD GUYS!

My four year old grandson loves to play “power rangers” and I’m always the bad guy. However he does know the difference between good guys (most days I’m a ‘rockstar’)bad guys and really bad guys, which is a fine line that many Canadians seem to be very confused about when it comes to Islamism. And […]

EXPOSING THE NAKED EVIL OF SOME PAKISTANI MEN

EXPOSING THE NAKED EVIL OF SOME PAKISTANI MEN When Pakistani born Canadian photographer Naureen Shah sent out an invitation for her photo exhibition (below) she wasn’t surprised that very few males responded. But she WAS surprised and taken aback at the hateful hostility and attacks levelled at her. She has since received a slew of […]

LET JUSTICE PREVAIL – a focus on the women of Malaysia. Leaside Church – World day of prayer – Friday 02 March, 2012

Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills? Kahlil Gibran

Faith, Family, Friends & the many faces of Pakistan

Last week on short notice I took a flying visit to my land of birth – a yearly ritual of sorts. This time I had decided that politics and religion will not be on the agenda and I won’t yearn for what this country used to be many years ago; and it helped. I had […]

SNOWSTAR CONFERENCE – BACK TO HISTORY – FINDING ROUTES IN ROOTS

SnowStar Conference 2012 Back to History: Finding Routes in Roots April 12 – 14 Arden Park, Stratford, Ontario Religious traditions in our time are dealing with many changes in light of contemporary knowledge about the world and history. The contemplation of the future is only realistic when it is serious about the past. SnowStar gathers […]

IHEU Hosts UN Seminar on Religion, Law, Democracy and Human Rights

On 14 March 2012 in conjunction with the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, IHEU hosted a panel discussion on Religion, Law, Democracy and Human Rights. The four panellists examined the extent to which the promotion of religious law is undermining democracy, civil law and human rights around the world. Raheel […]

Plea to the Islamic States to do more to promote religious tolerance

In a joint statement with the Center for Inquiry today (14 March 2012) IHEU representative Raheel Raza, herself a Muslim human rights activist, spoke of the need for the Islamic states to do more to promote religious tolerance at home if are really concerned about hostility towards Muslims in the West. Here is Raheel’s speech […]

COMMENT: Tomorrow we will be killed —Dr Mohammad Taqi

COMMENT: Tomorrow we will be killed —Dr Mohammad Taqi It is up to the Pakistani minorities — the Shia, Ahmediyya, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs — whether they want to continue to ask the enablers of genocide to intercede on their behalf or raise the issue on every international forum possible In his poignant account of the […]

Muslim Women’s Newsletter – Vol. 6 No.58, January 2012. CSSS

Edited by Qutub Jehan Kidwai A STEP FORWARD Dr. Muzna Kapdi tops the Maharashtra State (M.D. – Child Specialist) exam Kondhivre – Sangmeshwar:  Popular Educationist of the country Mr. Mubarak Kapdi’s daughter Dr. Muzna topped the Maharashtra University of Health Science – M.D. (Child Specialist).  It is a matter of pride and a Historic achievement in the […]

“A Sick Notion of Honor”

by Raheel Raza Stonegate Institute [New York] February 6, 2012 http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1981/a-sick-notion-of-honor Send RSS Share: Be the first of your friends to like this. “You have each been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of four members of your family. The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims […]

THE STRUGGLE FOR ISLAM’S SOUL By Ziauddin Sardar

They are acting in the name of my religion; it thus becomes my responsibility critically to examine the tradition that sustains them.

WHAT I DID IN 2011 ROUNDUP – YEAR AT A GLANCE

January Hamilton, ON. Organized annual peace prayer with Quest Centre for Learning February United Kingdom speaking tour addressing radicalization of youth and rise of hate speech on campus • Cambridge Union • House of Commons • Southampton University • Freedom in the City • London School of Economics • University of York • University of […]

LIFTING THE VEIL OFF THE NIQAB DEBATE – a candid report and some feedback on a niqab panel held in Toronto.

Two weeks ago, a Muslim community Centre organized a panel discussion about the niqab. This is how it was advertised “In the wake of last year’s Bill C-94 in Quebec (which would have withheld certain public services from women wearing the niqab) and this month’s announcement banning the niqab during Canadian citizenship oath-taking by the […]

WHY I WILL ALWAYS BE A MERRY MUSLIM – http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Raza+will+always+merry+Muslim/5900718/story.html

WHY I WILL ALWAYS BE A MERRY MUSLIM! By Raheel Raza December is a poignant month for us as this is when my family landed in Canada 22 years ago. Christmas lights and the ambience of the season made our adjustment very cheerful, despite the challenges of the freezing weather and being new settlers. However […]

Multiculturalism: if the Aussies ‘get it’, why don’t we?

Multiculturalism: if the Aussies ‘get it’, why don’t we? When a government is not politically correct and multiculturalism is allowed to mature naturally with all its ups and downs, and not thrust down people’s throats or used as a political tool, people will just learn to get along. Raheel Raza Written by Raheel Raza on […]

WHO IS A PROGRESSIVE MUSLIM? By Asghar Ali Engineer

In the AMAN (Asian Muslim Action Network) assembly which took place in Pattani, Thailand in the last week of February 2011 a discussion took place as to who is a progressive Muslim and what are its characteristics. I was asked to throw light on this subject. I am presenting here what I spoke there. I […]

FORUM FOR LEARNING SEPTEMBER EVENT

Serving humanity: promoting diversity TORONTO TA LKS 2011 presents EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT JESUS, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK – presented by two brilliant scholars Date: Sunday 18 September 2011 at 2:30 pm Venue: Northern District Library, Room 200 – second floor, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON M4R 1B9 (Plenty of parking […]

SPEECH AT TDSB RALLY AGAINST PRAYER IN SCHOOL AUG 8, 2011 BY RAHEEL RAZA

My fellow Canadians, Good evening. I am a Canadian Muslim, free to speak without fear, to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, and free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for […]

PLURALISM AND ISLAM BY DR. ASGHAR ALI ENGINEER

PROBLEMS OF PLURALISM Asghar Ali Engineer (Islam and Modern Age, August 2011) When Islam emerged on the scene in early seventh century, Arabs were divided among different tribes but nevertheless spoke one language Arabic and more or less followed one religion (though had different traditions) i.e. worshipping different idols placed inside Ka’ba and some idols […]

LETTER TO PAKISTANI MEDIA

Since about one year, many Muslims of Pakistani heritage living in Canada have been experiencing a strange phenomenon. Tele-marketers call at all times of the day and night to sell us a package to teach us Qur’an. On the surface this seems harmless but there are some real concerns coming to the surface. I sent […]

Reflections on Ramadan in Troubled Times, 1432 A.H. by Stephen Schwartz

Islam Sight [Malappuram, Kerala, India] August 1, 2011 The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has arrived – a time for religious commitment, penance, reflection, service to our communities, and joy among all Muslims. During the holy month, Qur’an was revealed to our beloved prophet, Muhammad sallallahualeyhisalaam. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast during the daylight hours, […]

Berkeley-CAIR Islamophobia Report: ‘No There, There’

Berkeley-CAIR Islamophobia Report: ‘No There, There’ by Stephen Schwartz American Thinker July 17, 2011 http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1839/berkeley-cair-islamophobia-report-no-there-there Send RSS Share: Facebook Twitter Google +1 Be the first of your friends to like this. Gertrude Stein, the controversial modernist author, spent part of her childhood in Oakland, California, a city on the southern border of Berkeley, home of […]

TO PRAY OR NOT TO PRAY – IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS By Raheel Raza

http://www.propagandistmag.com/2011/07/08/pray-or-not-pray About ten years ago, there was a controversy about whether The Lord’s Prayer should be recited in schools across Ontario and I recall writing a column in favour of allowing prayer, saying that any prayer is better than no prayer as I naively thought a simple prayer could cause no controversy. Eventually a decision […]

TUNISIAN SCHOLAR CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF SHARIA LAW

TUNISIAN SCHOLAR CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF SHARIA LAW by Raheel Raza on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:30pm The Tunisian academic and Islamic scholar Mohamed Talbi has called for the “cancellation of Sharia law” at a conference this weekend in Tunis. “We have to annul Islamic Sharia because it states that it must kill the […]

HAPPY CANADA DAY

RENEWING MY VOWS WITH YOU ON CANADA DAY Raheel Raza On Canada Day (July 1) hundreds of new Canadians take their oath of citizenship like my family did 23 years ago. So this date has always held a special place in my heart and it’s significant that I’m celebrating my son’s wedding reception on this […]

MUSLIMS MUST PROTECT ARAB CHRISTIANS

Muslims Must Protect Arab Christians By Kamal Nawash and Pierre Maroun The last 10 years have not been easy for Arab Christians. Numerous events, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq has inspired the belief that the “Christian West” has declared war on Muslims of the Middle East. Many Muslims see military operations against Muslim majority […]

FACING TOMORROW CONFERENCE

A Pakistani Muslim woman attends a conference in Israel, and loves what she sees Raheel Raza relates her personal thoughts from the Israeli Presidential Conference 2011, in Jerusalem Raheel Raza Tuesday 28 June 2011 10:40:00 Comment Print President Peres addresses the conference in 2008President Peres addresses the conference in 2008 I have been on a […]

AND THERE WAS THIS AND THIS ON THE HIZB UT TAHRIR PIECE

http://www.spittoon.org/archives/9887 Dear Mrs Raza I’d like to say that I totally agree with what you’ve written about Hizb ut-Tahrir on your blog. Here in Britain I and many other Muslims have experienced HT’s extremism, bigotry and intolerance. Unfortunately, not many Muslims have realised what a liability they are. Hence, I would like to ask you […]

RUDE RESPONSE TO MY ARTICLE ON HIZB UT TAHRIR

(The following is a response from some coward who does not even want to give his name but wants to make all sorts of judgements. The last line is very revealing in terms of threat – just shows the psyche of the person and the group he is defending. I REST MY CASE) Text of […]

COMING SOON TO YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD – A CALIPHATE & SHARIA LAW!

www.thecommentator.com “As Western Governments including the Australian Government work hard to frustrate the uprising and maintain their stranglehold over the Muslim world, we must work even harder for the liberation and return to Islam”. If you think this reads like the raving of a religious fanatic in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, think again. The […]

Muslim women are at the crossroads – between freedom and oppression

Women’s rights is one of the key aspects in the fight back against Islamism – but are they being empowered enough? www.thecommentator.com Raheel Raza Thursday 02 June 2011 12:36:00 A UN Arab Human Development Report called ‘Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World’ points out that “an Arab renaissance cannot and will not […]

Many are in denial about Pakistan

Many are in denial about Pakistan By Raheel Raza, The Ottawa Citizen May 23, 2011 Sadly, if you pick up a news report anywhere in the world, from Abbottabad to Ajax, today, you will find at least one story dealing with the many problems related to the land of my land of birth, Pakistan. Pakistanis, […]

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY!

THE BLASPHEMY LAW IN PAKISTAN IS THE REAL BLASPHEMY! By Raheel Raza Last month I spent a week travelling across Universities in the UK speaking out against hate on campus which leads to radicalization of youth. From there I decided to go to Pakistan for my annual visit, much against the advice of family and […]

FEBRUARY COLUMN FOR MISSISSAUGA LIFE MAGAZINE – www.mississaugalife.ca

BEYOND BORDERS – Feb 2011 No Sex Please – We’re South Asian! Ahh romance is in the air – February is the month for Valentine’s Day, roses, chocolates and all those things men often forget. As South Asian immigrants to Canada, it’s easy for us to ignore the sexy, amorous, commercial lure of such a […]

FORUM FOR LEARNING MARCH EVENT

Serving humanity: promoting diversity TORONTO TALKS 2011 presents Confronting the Rise of Wahhabism Stephen Schwartz reveals THE TWO FACES OF ISLAM Date: Saturday March 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm Venue: Northern District Library, Room 200 – second floor, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON M4R 1B9 (Plenty of parking around the area and direct subway […]

JOURNIES TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL – 2011

JOURNIES TO THE CENTER OF MY SOUL Victoria BC – January 21, 2011 Two years ago I was a guest speaker at Epiphany Explorations hosted by The First Metropolitan United Church in Victoria BC. Since then they have become sort of extended family and invited me again this year to Epiphany Explorations 2011 – spiritual […]

MISSISSAUGA LIFE MAGAZINE – MONTHLY COLUMN BEYOND BORDERS

BEYOND BORDERS – By Raheel Raza www.mississaugalife.ca Reflecting on 2010 I’m so glad we’re in the New Year although people act as though this is a unique phenomenon that’s never happened before. 2010 included many memorable events for people all over the globe. But I want to take stock of experiences that impacted me and […]

WHY CAN’T CANADIANS SAY “MERRY CHRISTMAS” AT CHRISTMAS?

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM “A VERY MERRY MUSLIM” By Raheel Raza The last time I wrote a column about saying Merry Christmas without feeling guilty was a few years ago and I recall noting in conclusion that I hope I don’t have to write this again because the message is loud and clear. Alas political correctness […]

Patrick Louch begins his message to me by saying “I was led to you..” But all of life is one leading to another

The Masks of God By Patrick Louch, July 23, 2007 Throughout the time of Humankind, peoples of every race, Believed in gods of every kind, Each with a different face.   At the core of each belief is myth, and they point to salvation. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see the diversity […]

Raheel Raza’s visit to Kanata United Church in Ottawa

Raheel Raza, noted author, journalist and interfaith advocate, was welcomed to Kanata United Church (KUC) on November 5 & 6. This event began a two-year interfaith program, ‘Living Together – The Children of Abraham: Jews, Christians and Muslims’. Raheel first met with the youth of KUC and Glen Cairn United Church. They asked her many provocative […]

Is Political Correctness an excuse for avoiding Culturally Sensitive issues?

The Canadian Association of Settlement & Employment Workers hosted a Debate held at Yorkwoods Library Theatre on Monday Dec 6, 2010 THE TOPIC –  IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AN EXCUSE FOR AVOIDING CULTURALLY SENSITIVE ISSUES? I spoke in favor of the motion and the house unanimously agreed! Let me begin by being politically IN-CORRECT otherwise we’ll […]

RUMIFEST IN TORONTO

RUMIFEST  ROCKED –  an overview of a unique event in Toronto, Canada                                                                                                             By Raheel Raza All this singing – just one song. Rumi Toronto – On Saturday October 23, 2010 the first Rumi Fest organized by Nomans Land Promotions took place at the Trinity-St. Paul Center in the heart of Toronto. As a start […]

REPORTS FROM A VISIT TO UNHCR, GENEVA SEPT 2010

REPORT FROM MY VISIT TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA By Raheel Raza I had the privilege of being invited as a member of an NGO to the UN for the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.  With them I attended UN sessions for one week, and made the […]

MOSQUE UNBECOMING?

September 2010 It’s been almost a month since my article was published in the Ottawa Citizen http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html regarding the proposed Mosque at Ground Zero, followed by my trip to New York to attend a meeting of the organizers and the follow up which has been good, bad and ugly. I felt no need to give […]

MISCHIEF IN MANHATTAN

Subject: “Mischief in Manhattan” – Raheel Raza & Tarek Fatah question the need for the Ground-Zero Mosque August 7, 2010 Mischief in Manhattan We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation. It’s an act of “fitna” Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah The Ottawa Citizen Last week, a journalist who […]

BEING PART OF A SACRED RITUAL

At Iona Pacific tonight I attended a celebration of 25 years of the VST Native Ministries Program. This is celebrated with a salmon BBQ and gospel jamboree. Elders and children from various indigenous groups who have been staying here to learn and teach were invited along with visiting faculty. Outside under a white tent on […]

STEPPING STONES ON MY JOURNEY

I am at Vancouver School of Theology where I am privileged to be part of a group that is the first visiting faculty for their interfaith summer school. The location by is by the sea and I can see the sun setting over the water while there is a lone tree where eagles have made […]

ISLAMIC REFORM CONFERENCE IN OXFORD

June 2010 It was a regular day of a regular week in Toronto dealing with irregular issues like the Niqab debate when I received an email Dr. Taj Hargey (Chair of MECO) inviting me to come to their annual conference CRITICAL THINKERS FOR ISLAMIC REFORM – The Way Forward being held in Oxford, U.K. from June 11 to […]

Welcome to my new Blog

This is my first post and hopefully the beginning of some many inspiring conversations. Author of THEIR JIHAD…NOT MY JIHAD (PDF), Raheel Raza is a public speaker, Consultant for Interfaith and Intercultural diversity, documentary film maker, freelance journalist and founder of SAMA’ (Sacred Arts ad Music Alliance). She has recently been appointed to Public Interest Committee. Raza started writing […]