Competing Islamic narratives should have the power to marginalize supremacist streaks employed by exclusivists and violent extremists alike. This necessitates modeling mainstream Muslim spaces that are gender-equal, LGBT-affirming and religiously plural to include Shias, Ismailis, Bohras and Ahmadis, amongst others.
I've wondered what to do about Canada's literary scene for some time. If you follow literary events closely, you'll see a lot of white faces on the lineups and in the promotions. In a multicultural country like Canada, that kind of oversight is a significant problem publishing professionals and festival organizers can't afford to ignore.
Simply put, sports has a way of connecting people. When you throw on your team colours, you're no longer a Sikh, Jew, Christian, White, or Black. You're simply a fan. And the only thing that matters in that moment is realizing the dream of seeing your team lift up the trophy one day and host a parade on your home streets.
As mayor, I am often asked what the key ingredients are that make Markham one of the most vibrant and successful municipalities in Canada. The answer is simple. Diversity is Markham's strength. Professionals, business executives, retail operators and skilled trades persons come to our city from all over the world.
At the onset, it was polarizing for me to take on the moniker of 'The Prep Guy'. When people think of prep, they think of the Kennedy compound or weekending in the Hamptons. Probably pretty far off from a brown guy from the GTA. Having brands pull out of deals after learning my waistline, or backing away from a partnership because I am not the traditional prepster they originally planned for, was definitely disheartening.
A few years ago I decided to embark on a backpacking trip across Europe for two months. Towards the end of my travels, I found myself at the Sisteen Chapel in Rome, Italy. As I was standing there, enchanted by this insanely crazy masterpiece, I felt a soft whisper perk the tiny hairs on the back of my neck.
Differences are what enrich our lives and make Toronto the fabulous, unique, successful city it is. Xenophobia (a fear or hatred of strangers and foreigners) has no place in a city built upon these differences. It threatens the very core of who we as Torontonians are. It is also what motivated the horrific and unacceptable attack in which a woman was beaten and robbed by two young men. They tore off her hijab and told her to "Go back to your country."
In a world where a two-way exchange between government and citizen is the goal, it's encouraging when we see it actually happening. Since September, there have been a number of calls for insights from citizens. The end goal is to create the first ever comprehensive culture strategy for the province of Ontario.