Canadian Muslim Association Honors Community Contributors

BRANTFORD – The Muslim Association of Brantford in Ontario, Canada has honored four local leaders, thanking them for their efforts in making the Canadian Muslim community a great place to live, Brantford Expositor reported on February 4.

“We believe a community needs strong leaders, people who show us how to live in peace and harmony,” said Imam Abu Noman Tarek, who is the director of religious affairs for the association.

“We also believe we should show our appreciation for their remarkable contributions to our community.”

The group’s second annual appreciation and awards night was held on Sunday under the theme ‘Better Together’.

The event included honoring four local leaders in the community.

“These individuals (David Neumann, Pat Eyzenga, Amos Key Jr. And Abdul Latif Chaudhry) have contributed a great deal to Brantford-Brant,” Tarek said.

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Now retired from the city council, David Neumann was honored with the ‘Visionary Leader Award’. He contributed more than 20 years in elected office as a city councilor, mayor and MPP.

He’s also the co-chair of the ‘Friends and Neighbors’ group formed to support the Woodland Cultural Centre’s ‘Save The Evidence’ campaign to restore the Mohawk Institute, a former residential school.

On the other hand, professor Amos Key Jr. of the University of Toronto and the First Nations language director at Woodland Cultural Centre was granted the ‘Social Justice Award’.

The third winner is Pat Eyzenga who has been involved with the ‘Thank-A-Vet’ luncheon for 20 years and the International Villages Festival since it began in 1974.

The last winner is Abdul Latif Chaudhry who has served as the association’s president, vice-president and has been a member of the board of directors since 1970. He was presented with the ‘Community Leader Award’.

Other Honorable Contributions

The association has also presented certificates of appreciation to the community partners and churches involved in the Sunday Supper Program.

These partners have taken turns planning, setting up, preparing and serving a nutritious Sunday meal to those in need.

“We’ve committed to giving $25,000 to Brantford General Hospital and we’ve also presented scholarships to both school boards. Visiting the elderly, refugee sponsorship, or volunteering at the food bank are all ways people can help make the community a better place for all,” the Imam expressed.

The scholarships were presented to the Brant Haldimand Norfolk District School Board and the Grand Erie District School Board in support of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The evening also included greetings from various dignitaries, including Ahmed Hussein, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

“We think it is very important for us to reach out to the community and explain Islam to people,” Tarek said.

“There are so many myths and misconceptions and it is up to us to make sure people have a good understanding of Islam.”