Press Release: RISC - 2016 Partners

Your Muslim Neighbour Proud and Integrated, Conference on May 14, 2016 to address a new poll indicating that Calgarys Muslims are proud Canadians and integrated, yet feel alienated that can lead to marginalization.

Think for Actions, a Calgary-based think-tank and Muslims of Calgary (MCC), along with 41 partner organizations collaborated with polling firm Insights Matter for the purpose of understanding the general sentiment of Calgarys Muslims.

"The objective of the survey is to understand the issues, bring out the best in us, make sure that we have enough programs that prevent marginalization in the community," according to Think for Actions founder, Dr. Mukarram Ali Zaidi. Think for Actions specializes in professional development and research, and is the organization spearheading the poll.

Among the noteworthy results is the fact that 97% Calgarys Muslims identify themselves as proud Canadians as well as proud Muslims, rather than seeing such identities as disparate or mutually exclusive. 85% Muslims strive to maintain their religion/cultural practices and adopt Canadian customs and values. Yet, 51% Muslims in the last 5 years have personally experienced discrimination due to your race, ethnicity or religion, of them 23% were verbal abuse or attack. 76% think in the last 5 years discrimination against Canadian Muslims have increased. The results of this survey are very similar to the results published by Environics Institute recently.

Calgary Muslim community faces internal challenges with satisfactions rating of Imamís at 54% and satisfactions rating for Mulims leadership at 35%. 12% reported lack of unity among Muslims to the important problem facing Canadian Muslims presently.

60% reported that television news reports contribute extremely to negative portray of Muslims. Approximately 1/4 identified Lack of federal, local and provincial government efforts to challenge Islamophobia resulting in increased perpetuation of Islamophobia by the media.

Responded recommended actions that can improve the community are:

* Unity among Muslims
* Home grown Imam that can speak English and effectively communicate
* Effective communication within and outside of the Muslims community.
* Good quality of youth education programs
* Sincere leadership with effective communication

The analysis of the data will indicate which initiatives and programs are working, which ones need help, and which ones are missing, in regards to strengthening Muslims community, integration and acceptance of Muslims in wider community. As the conference is open to the public, it allows the wider Calgary population to interact with Muslims, face to face. This conference is also a great opportunity for Calgarians to meet and interact with their Muslim neighbors to get an understanding of who they really are, added Zaidi.

The results will be disseminated at the conference, which begins at 3pm at the University of Calgary, ST 140 on Saturday May 14, 2016. Conference will include 5 sessions that feature speakers from all over Canada. For detailed information on the conference, its partners, or to obtain tickets ($25 for general admission), please visit:

Dr. Mukarram Ali Zaidi