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The Anatomy of Ontario's Adversarial Relationship with Muslims

by Caleb Domsy on 2023-03-22T15:45:00-04:00 in Collections Spotlight, Equity & Inclusion Dialogues | 0 Comments

On Thursday, March 30, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Sayema Chowdhury and Sultan Rana join Humber for a talk on The Anatomy of Ontario's Adversarial Relationship with Muslims.

As part of Humber's Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Dialogue 2022-23 series, Humber Libraries will highlight additional readings related to the dialogues.

Selected Podcasts, Readings, and Films:


The UnLeading Project: A Call to Reclaim and Redefine Leadership by Vidya Shah including Sayema Chowdhury (Research Coordinator)

“If you are interested in leadership in classrooms, schools, communities, homes, districts, and academies, this podcast series is for you. If you know that traditional approaches to leadership have not addressed the realities or attended to the aspirations of students and communities most harmed by schooling, this podcast series is for you.”

EP 02: Dismantling Islamophobia in Schooling, ft. Rizwana Kaderdina, Sayema Chowdhury & Nora Hindy by Noor El-Husseini

“This podcast explores the numerous ways that Islamophobia operates in schools and school systems and the overt and covert impacts it has on Muslim students, families and staff. The speakers identify intersections of Islamophobia with other forms of oppression and provide provocative ideas and tools to acknowledge and challenge the systemic presence of Islamophobia in schooling.”

CODE Conversations - Episode 4 by the Council of Ontario Drama Educators

“[This] conversation features educators Rizwana Kaderdina and Sultan Rana discussing Islamophobia and how to address it in the drama and dance classroom.”


Cover ArtIslamophobia by Naved Bakali
Publication Date: 2016-01-01
“This book uncovers systemic bias and racism experienced by Muslim youth in a climate that is increasingly becoming hostile towards Muslims. This book is a unique contribution to the field of anti-racism education as it examines systemic and institutionalized racism towards Muslims in Canadian secondary schools in the context of the War on Terror.”
Cover ArtThe Muslimah Who Fell to Earth by Saima S. Hussain (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-10-21
"These are twenty-two personal stories, told by women from practically all backgrounds and persuasions--devout and not-so devout, professionals and housewives, westernized and traditional, wearing jeans, hijab, or niqab, and originally from Africa to North America to Pakistan to the Middle East--revealing in their own ways what it means to them to be a Muslim woman (a "Muslimah")."
Cover ArtSecuritized Citizens: Canadian Muslims' Experiences of Race Relations and Identity Formation Post-9/11 by Baljit Nagra
Publication Date: 2017
“In Securitized Citizens, Baljit Nagra, develops a new critical analysis of the ideas dominant groups and institutions try to impose on young Canadian Muslims and how in turn they contest and reconceptualize these ideas. Nagra acutely explores how racial discourses in a post-9/11 world have affected questions of race relations, religious identity, nationalism, white privilege, and multiculturalism.”
Cover ArtCaught in the Middle by David Booth
Publication Date: 2011-10-07
“The voices of 30 remarkable middle-school teachers focus on such important issues as recognizing the impact of social media; the effect of the internet on research; the need for critical literacy; and the potential of the school library. Both philosophical and practical, the book highlights some of David's memorable teaching experiences and encounters with engaging models of student writing.”
Cover ArtAl Rashid Mosque by Earle H. Waugh; Baha Abu-Laban (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2018-06-18
“Al Rashid Mosque, Canada's first and one of the earliest in North America, was erected in Edmonton in the depth of the Depression of the 1930s. The book traces the mosque's role in education and community leadership and celebrates the numerous contributions of Muslim Canadians in Edmonton and across Canada.”
Cover ArtIslam in the Hinterlands by Jasmin Zine (Editor)
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
“Islam in the Hinterlands features empirical studies and critical essays by some of Canada's top Muslim Studies scholars who examine how gender, public policy, media, and education shape the Muslim experience in Canada. Touching on much-debated issues, such as the shar'ia controversy, veiling in public schools, media portrayals of Muslims, and anti-terrorism legislation, this book takes a distinctly anti-racist, feminist standpoint in exploring the reality of the Muslim diaspora.”


Nagra, B., & Maurutto, P. (2023). Anti-Muslim Surveillance: Canadian Muslims’ Experiences with CSIS. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (Thousand Oaks, Calif.).

“This study analyses 95 in-depth interviews with Muslim community leaders in five Canadian cities to map the material structural practices employed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) in its racialized surveillance of Muslim communities.”

Latif, R. (2018). The diversity of professional Canadian Muslim women: Faith, agency, and “performing” identity. Journal of Management & Organization, 24(5), 612–633.

“This study build[s] upon previous research on identity construction of ethnic minorities in the workplace and intersectionality and the workplace experiences of Muslim women by conducting interviews with 23 professional Muslim women in Canada. The findings have important implications for understanding Muslim women’s identity work in broader contexts of discrimination, as well as accommodation and inclusion in organizations.”


Ouchaou-Ozarowski, S. (2021). In Full Voice. National Film Board.

“Muslim women are disconcerting, intriguing, polarizing—and straitjacketed by conflations of ideas in front-page stories. While the media tend to portray them as submissive and silenced, filmmaker Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski has chosen to distance herself from that caricature, with which she does not identify. She sat down with six Muslim Canadian women eager to talk about what shapes their identities.”

Principe, C., & Rowland, W. (2018). 14 & Muslim. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Meet young Muslim kids as they transition from private, Islamic elementary school to public high school, capturing what it means to be young, Muslim and growing up in the West at this unsettling time in modern history. As they take us on their journey revealing fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams, their story moves from the familiar to the strange, and unfolds against a larger backdrop, that of a western world that seems to be increasingly turning against them.”

Yokoma, K. (Director). (2015). Between Allah & Me (and Everyone Else). ConnectedEarth.

“Muslim women in Canada face challenges and uncertainties when they decide to start or stop wearing hijab, and encounter people with a variety of opinions. This candid and eye opening film challenges all viewers with emotions and humour, while revealing multiple perceptions and meanings of hijab that exist in our Western society.”

Facilitator Bios:

Sayema Chowdhury, BSc, B.Ed: 

Sayema is a mother, daughter, partner, aunt, life-long learner and vice-principal in the Peel District School Board's secondary panel. Having previously been seconded to the Faculty of Education at York University, she taught various subjects focused on Diverse and Equitable Classrooms. Sayema is interested in supporting mental health and well-being from a community, and the anti-racist perspective participates widely in diversity and equity initiatives throughout Ontario. She is committed to anti-oppressive education and learning. She holds a Masters in Education focused on cross-racial solidarities in educational leadership.

In addition to her Equity and Anti-oppression work, Sayema delivers workshops on Leadership Development and Conflict Resolution. She is a member of the board of MENO (The Muslim Educator’s Network of Ontario), a member of the City of Toronto's History Museums’ MHS IDEA Programming Advisory Group and a certified MBTI (Myers Briggs Personality Type Inventory) and Restorative Practices trainer through the IIRP (The International Institute of Restorative Practices).

Sultan Rana, M.Ed: 

Sultan is a father, son, partner, and uncle. He is currently a Digital Literacy Consultant in the York Region District School Board. Before that, he was seconded to the Faculty of Education at York University, where he taught courses to the P/J/I panel with a focus on Anti-Oppression, particularly in Physical Education, Social Studies, and mainstream classroom practice. Sultan has an interest in and known talent for integrating digital and technology-enhanced pedagogical practices meaningfully in all aspects of education. He holds a Master in Digital Education and has been honoured by Apple, Google, and Raspberry Pi as a distinguished and innovative educator.

Sultan is looking to pursue further work in advocacy, particularly in increasing the representation of minoritized peoples in positions of power such as politics, municipal planning, law and policy-making, cyber securities and law enforcement to change the everyday lives of oppressed peoples.

Resources curated by Vanessa Colaiacovo, Research Support Library Technician, and Caleb Domsy, Business Librarian.

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