October 3rd 2016 – Journalist Mehdi Hasan delivered a passionate plea for Canadian Muslims to speak out against Islamophobia on Sunday night at an event in Toronto.
With the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment across the world, the Al Jazeera Journalist delivered a keynote address on the misrepresentation of Muslims in the media and the growing tide of Islamophobia in newsrooms across the globe.
The event organised by Islamic Relief Canada was held in Toronto and was attended by over 900 people – mainly members of the Muslim community.
As well as encouraging Muslims to get involved in all aspects of media, Mehdi Hasan also challenged Canadians across the nation to stop being silent and stand up and make sure their voices are heard.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”
Mehdi Hasan in Toronto
The event also featured eyewitness testimonies from Myanmar – highlighting the forgotten tragedy of Rohingya Muslims through a theatrical performance ‘I Am Rohingya’ directed and performed by the Rohingya Canadian youth community.
The Rohingya people are one of the world’s most persecuted minority. They are an ethnic Muslim group in the majority Buddhist country and make up around one million of the total 50 million population.
About 140,000 Rohingya in the Rakhine state live in ghetto-like camps that they can’t leave without government permission.
Since 2012, the UNHCR estimates that more than 110,000 people, mostly Rohingya, left on flimsy boats to countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.
In the first three months of 2015, the number of refugees, or “boat people” as they were collectively dubbed, doubled from a year earlier to 25,000.
All monies raised at this event is going towards Islamic Relief’s mobile health clinic project in the densely populated Northern Rakhine State.
To find out more about Islamic Relief Canada’s work in Rohingya and to donate click here