Pluralism and Islam: Muslim Citizenship in Western Liberal Democracies

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Monday, March 20th, 2017

Monday, March 20, 20179:00AM - 1:00PMMassey College
4 Devonshire Place
Upper Library
Toronto ON M5S 2E1
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Presented by Massey College, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation & Islam and Global Affairs Initiative at the Munk School of Global Affairs

Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in Canada with its adherents projected to triple in numbers within 20 years. Those on the far-right have argued that Islam is not compatible with Western civilizations and perpetuate the rhetoric that Daesh /ISIS represents all Muslims. Despite Canada priding itself on values of pluralism, diversity and inclusion, on January 29th 2017, six Muslim worshippers were killed at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in Quebec City. A recent Motion, (Motion 103) proposed by MP Iqra Khalid requesting that the Commons committee study the issue of Islamophobia have resulted in thousands of hate mails and death threats against her for supposedly “threatening freedom of speech”. Are Muslim identities in conflict with Canada’s values of pluralism, free speech and democracy? This program will explore the future of peace and pluralism in Canada amidst growing Islamophobia and global conflict. The first panel will showcase diverse Muslim voices (e.g. Sunni, Shi’a (both Twelver and Ismaili), Ahmadi) to counter the idea that Muslims are one monolithic block and to challenge sectarian ideologies that have affected other countries. The second panel will feature female Muslim scholars and authors whose work have shattered common misconceptions about women’s roles in Islam and are challenging policies in Canada (e.g niqab ban) that fetishize the surveillance of women’s bodies.

Light lunch served at 1:00pm


Dr. Shafique Virani
Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto

Dr. Aisha Ahmad

Dr. Melissa Finn

Saima Hussain

Dr. Liyakat Takim

Dr. Aman Haji

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Imam Farhan Iqbal


Massey College

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

Islam and Global Affairs Initiative at the Munk School of Global Affairs


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