Islamic Awareness Week is becoming an established event in American and Canadian universities.
In Calgary, Muslim students at Mount Royal University are hosting their annual awareness week from January 20-24.
The United Islam Awareness Week is designed to fight Islamophobia and educate others about Islam.
The event, organized by the Muslim Student Affiliations, hosts a speaker series featuring scholars with real-life experiences dealing with racism, Global News reported.
“If there is a growing sentiment among non-Muslims in the Western world that Muslims believe in x, y and z or they find certain rituals or beliefs problematic or in contradiction with secular liberal values, then we need to have that conversation,” Dilly Hussain, the deputy editor of Muslim news website 5 Pillars, said.
The speech, given on Monday night, focused on Muslims becoming more vocal, especially during tenuous political times.
“The situation isn’t getting any better,” Hussain said. “So the best thing to do is not to become shelled inside. You actually need to be out there and engaged.”
The Muslim Student Association, or Muslim Student Union, of the US and Canada, also known as MSA National, is a religious organization dedicated to establishing and maintaining Islamic societies on college campuses in Canada and the United States.
The group, represented across different universities, strives to promote understanding, acceptance, and social cohesion between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Muslims in Canada today number more than 750,000.
Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey found that Islam is adhered to by 3.2% of the total population. This makes Islam the second-largest religion in the country after Christianity.