- Created on Thursday, 05 January 2012 05:19
- Written by Wesam Cooley
Events in the 21st century have brought Islam into the spotlight. Since 9/11 Islam has been a hot-button topic both internationally and here in Canada. As one of the two longest wars since the turn of the century,both fought in Muslim countries, draws to a close, much of the Muslim world continues to be characterized by military conflict, revolutionary uprisings, and political instability.While the Arab Spring has unleashed a wave of political transformation across much of the Muslim world, the threat of another Western war on Muslim soil, this time in Iran, continues to loom. These make up only a fraction of the global issues affecting the Muslim ummah. Here at home, government legislation preventing women from wearing the niqab while taking the citizenship oath, a court case surrounding the right of women to wear the niqab while testifying, and the resumption of the Shafia honour killing trials in Kingston are just a few of the recent issues that have flared controversy about the role of Islam and Muslims in Canadian society.
With all of this attention, and criticism, focused on the Muslim community, we as members of that community have a responsibility to be aware of and engaged with those issues and events. We who stand at the centre of these controversies must remain actively informed and vocally outspoken about them to ensure that our community's voice is heard loud and clear, especially on those issues directly relevant to Muslims. In addition to this responsibility, however, these events also present us with a remarkable opportunity. As members of a Muslim ummah that has taken such a central role in our modern world, we now have an opportunity to participate in forming the debates, issues, and ideas that will guide our community and the world forward as we move into the future. Intellectualism and activism are two of the most beautiful aspects of the Islamic tradition, and it's important that their place in our community be maintained.
With that in mind, and in the hopes of putting the University of Calgary's Muslim community at the forefront of these debates, we welcome you to the launch of the MSA Blog! As students we have a special role to play in intellectualism and activism, and it is our hope that this website will serve as a forum for Muslim students to discuss, debate, and engage with those issues and ideas shaping our world. This need not be limited to the realm of politics (please forgive this Political Science major for that highly politicized introduction). Do you have a strong opinion about campus-related issues? Do you have an idea that can improve our campus community? Do you think that A&W should offer halal Teen Burgers? (I know I do.) Then this is the place to make yourself heard! Everything from international issues to those specifically affecting the Calgary or U of C communities is fair game. We'll be looking for contributions from interested students, so if you are interested make yourself an account and get started!