Shahla Khan Salter

Mainstream Muslim institution stakeholders often ignore the contributions of progressive Muslims. However, despite their small numbers, progressive Muslims have been relentlessly working on issues that include Syria, Palestine, racism, human rights abuses and Islamophobia.
Not all traditionally conservative people are judgmental, sexist or homophobic. They may reject a worldview without God and traditional rules of ethical conduct while being compassionate neighbours and friends.
Under wide threat of injustice, supporting one another, regardless of faith is essential. How? By supporting Standing Rock while demanding peace for Syria. By attending multi-faith gatherings at our local synagogue. By marching behind Black activists because Black Lives Matter. By emailing our MP.
My articles are based on a hermeneutic that is religiously plural, atheist inclusive and LGBTQ affirming. Yet, time and again, I have received strong responses from those critical of faith and Islam. Ignoring socio-economic and political factors, the critics simplistically blame all the ills in the Muslim world on Islam.
The aftermath of the dastardly Orlando gay bar shooting brought many LGBT Muslim voices to the forefront in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, and in various places across the United States. Equally significant were the voices of straight Muslim allies.
Many Pakistani Muslims are taught that Ahmadis are kafirs (disbelievers) for they do not believe in the finality of Prophethood. Ahmadis argue that their promised Messiah and Reformer confirmed the seal of Muhammad (upon whom be peace). It is this doctrinal difference that has stoked immense persecution of the Ahmadis of Pakistan.
LGBT Muslim youth deserve the unconditional love of their families and their larger, faith-based families. They should not have to deal with homelessness or estrangement from their families irrespective of any theological differences on same-sex marriages.
Canadian Muslims have views about gender equity that far surpass the niqab. Canada ranks far lower in gender equity in comparison to some other nations from 20 years ago. The wage gap has not closed. Childcare remains costly. Canadian streets remain unsafe at night. Women's shelters have long waiting lists and some have closed. On Oct. 19, commit the most subversive act you can -- vote.
On October 18, we shall be holding a peaceful demonstration outside the Embassy of Egypt in Ottawa to protest Egypt's degrading and dehumanizing treatment of sexual minorities. Egypt has shown a lack of compassion and respect for the basic human rights of some of its most vulnerable citizens.
Mohamad Jebara -- also known as The Cycling Cleric -- serves as Chief Imam at the Cordova Spiritual Education Center. Young, dynamic and married, with two children, his Friday sermons are filled with love and compassion for humanity and he ridicules the notion that God can be viewed as a "bogeyman." This Friday, September 5, Mohamad will cycle from Ottawa to Quebec City.