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Islamic Calendar 2013 in Toronto Closed by Ummah Identity Crises Conference

12/31/2013 03:49 EST | Updated 03/02/2014 05:59 EST

The year 2013 in Toronto closed by a high profile Islamic event called "Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference - RIS".

Like any year, the conference was an exciting event for thousands Canadian Muslim youths and a concern for some organizations and groups too.

2013 RIS conference revolved around "Changing Our Condition: Rekindling the Light of Faith" theme. Thousands and thousands Canadian Muslim youths seeking their Islamic identity were excited to hear views by their star speakers such as Dr. Tariq Ramadan & Ms. Dalia Mogahed.

The Muslim audience was also keen listening to other keynote Muslim and non-Muslim speakers such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Shaykh Abdalla Idris, Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Denise A. Spellberg and Dr. John Esposito.

However, some organizations and groups had concerns about Dr. Ramadan and Ms. Mogahed, Mr. Badawi, Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Imam Zaid Shakir's religious and political views.

While talking around the theme "Changing our Condition" in the context of Syria, Egypt, Libya and Muslims in the west, Tariq Ramadan and Dalia Mogahed both encouraged Muslim youths to follow "Justice."

The most famous statement from Dr. Ramadan retweeted by his fans was "In the face of injustice, silence is a political statement." Then he went on criticizing Aung San Suu Kyi by stating, "the world is celebrating Aung San Suu Kyi, but she is silent about the genocide against Muslims."

Dr. Ramadan was also heard recognizing political Islam and Islamists terms but his quest for justice seemed mainly for Muslims.

Another Muslim celebrity, Dalia Mogahed, urged Muslim youths to follow the path of moral courage. Coincidently, Muslim reformist Irshad Manji also urges Muslims to show moral courage for a long time now.

Unfortunately, these Islamic conferences don't want to engage Islamic scholars of liberal values such as Irshad Manji, Khaleel Mohammed, Salim Mansur or Hasan Mahmood as opposed to their Islamist agenda.

They even don't invite traditional Shia or Ahmadi Muslim scholars.

Every year, conferences such as Revival of Islamic Spirit stage a sense of Muslim victimhood amongst hundreds of thousands Muslim youths in Canada and the USA.

The organizers and speakers of such Islamic conferences preach Muslim masses to behave like Special Muslim Ummah Citizens, rather than integrating in the society as normal citizens of Canada and the US.

Otherwise, majority of the Muslims are more comfortable and embedded in their own territorial heritage such as Bengali, Gujrati, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun, Pakhtun, Balochi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Bosnian, Turkish, Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Somali, Sudani and so on.

Like any religion, Islam is just a faith of people of hundreds cultural backgrounds. Also there is no harm keeping multiple identities simultaneously. One could be a Canadian Punjabi Muslim of Pakistani origin from Indian descendent, for instance.

But Islamists with political Islam agenda seem focusing on One Ummah Identity only. That's what they are doing in such conferences.

On the other hand, liberal and progressive Muslim organizations here are not in position yet to offer Muslim youths a rationale and normal citizenship thought process due to their own lack of resources as opposed to Islamist organizations that are heavily funded by Islamist governments and groups.

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