Assalam alaykum wa rahmatAllah wa barakatuH.
Ramadan Kareem to you and your loved ones. May this be a month of celebrating God’s blessings on us!
I am writing to ask you to be part of a very important project here in Ottawa. A project that addresses the many challenges we face as a community. A project whose time has come.
All around us we hear stories about the problems the Muslim community faces – from domestic abuse, to gang violence, to broken homes. We know that there are many Muslims struggling with personal problems that they just don’t know how to deal with, and thus they turn to negative outlets – be they gangs or ISIS. We need to reach these people, before others reach them with their negative ideas, or they themselves reach their breaking point.
How much longer are we going to let people suffer in isolation, until their problems lead them to murder, suicide, or terrorism? You know what happened in Orlando. Do you know that right here in Ottawa, this Ramadan, a Muslim youth committed suicide? And yet we continue to believe everything is okay. Everything is not okay.
As Muslims, we know that the religion is not the problem, it is the solution to the problems. And yet we have not been able to connect our youth with Muslim counsellors, mediators, and chaplains who can understand them and give them the kind of help that connects them to the Source of all Power: Allah. At the same time, we have Muslim professionals who are able to do this type of work.
This is why we have opened the Lotus Community Corner: to be a connector between those in need, and those who can serve that need.
I want to personally invite you to be part of this project by lending it your financial support. Your money will go towards a safe space where youth can spend time and be mentored, non-Muslims can come in and meet Muslims over coffee, and anyone in need can get access to free counselling, chaplaincy, and support. Through programming like health and wellness workshops, we aim to attract both Muslims and non-Muslims, who will then have a chance to get to know one another, and form positive lasting relationships. All of this will go towards changing the way that Muslims are perceived and perceive themselves. It’s time we became a healthy community that is appreciated by our society for all we offer – not feared.
We especially need your help to raise money for the salaries of the people who will make all the difference in the lives of our community members: a social worker, a counsellor and a program manager for the Lotus Community Corner. Please, show you care. Join us on JULY 16, 2016:
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Founder and Resident Scholar, SeekersHub (Toronto),
Imam Yasin Dwyer, Chaplain at Queen’s University and former prison chaplain (Kingston),
Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Chaplain at University of Toronto (Toronto)
*if you cannot attend but would like to support this project, you have two great options:
This is a great opportunity for you to give charity in Ramadan. I pray you have the tawfiq to be part of this unique and blessed project.
See you there,
Imam Hamdi Ben Aissa