Toronto may get Canada’s first Muslim campus chaplain

Fundraising underway


From The Muslim Chaplaincy

Students at the University of Toronto have set a goal of raising $70,000 by September to fund a year-long contract for the first-ever full-time Muslim chaplain on a Canadian campus.

In a slick video on the campaign website various young people make the case for donations. “I had to sit in class and listen to my professor tell me Islam degrades women,” says one young woman. “In my field, relationships are built at the bar. What am I supposed to do about that?,” says a young man. “There’s something about mosques that makes me uncomfortable,” says another man.

Muslim Chaplains provide spiritual guidance at dozens of universities in the United States. Unlike Imams, chaplains may be women. The chaplain’s role includes spiritual guidance for students and interfaith work too.

Richard Chambers, director of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto told the Toronto Star that a Muslim Chaplaincy could help fix an “imbalance” created by the fact that Jewish and Christian campus groups have full-time staff, while Muslim groups currently rely on volunteers.

Here’s more from the Open Letter appealing for funds by Ruqayyah Ahdab:

I want you to take a moment and remember the time when you were not sure whether you should keep wearing the hijab or take it off completely. Or when you were an MSA exec and an ideological war of ideas erupted on campus and things got ugly. Or the time your son came back home and said he was moving in with his non-Muslim fiancée. Or the time your daughter yelled back at you and said you would never understand. Or the time a Muslim youth walked through the doors of the emergency ward with a bullet wound, bleeding, and you prayed they would leave their gang. Or the time you were not even sure if you were still a Muslim and wished you had someone to talk to.

A Muslim chaplain is here for all of that: to serve and support Muslim youth, to help them work through their challenges, and help them develop a healthy and meaningful Muslim identity.


Toronto may get Canada’s first Muslim campus chaplain

  1. Who is she providing spiritual guidance for… all students or just the Muslim ones!? How do we know that she won’t try to ‘influence’ ‘Canadian’ students to become Muslim… then ‘rise up’ on campus and cause more trouble.
    Why can’t Canadians stand up to the fact that they want our country and they want it to be like theirs!!!!!! As long as I am alive, I will oppose them.

    • Here we go , they want a chaplain to spread the message shown in that video ,,,, WARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR ,,,, wake up canada before it is too late,,,The fload is coming


    • You best get into that 20 feet underground bunker Shirley. There’s no stopping us. MWAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAH

      • LOL conspiracy theories always give me a good chuckle too :)

    • You do realize that almost every major faith group on campus has a Chaplain? There’s a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Pagan chaplain. Please educate yourself before buying into the media’s portrayal of over 1 billion diverse people who call themselves Muslims.

    • Z. says:

      June 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

      You do realize that almost every major faith group on campus has a Chaplain? There’s a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Pagan chaplain. Please educate yourself before buying into the media’s portrayal of over 1 billion diverse people who call themselves Muslims.

      Shirley, wake up, you can’t believe what people tell you forever. And if muslims ‘wanted Canada to be like “their” countries’ they wouldnt have left ‘their countries’ in the first place. Is there no balance or does everyone have to be so extreme. There ARE muslim Canadians, born and raised here, who have never even seen ‘their country’. All they’re trying to do is offer a support group for these individuals.

  2. I admire and appreciate the initiative expressed in the article above. Watching the included video, I fully recognize the insight and intention of those who produced it.

    I say such things from my perspective as a partner with the Inter-faith Chaplaincy on the campus of Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops, BC. We are seven persons serving as part-time Champlains. Our team includes Sunni and Ahmadiyya Muslims, as well as differing Christian communities. We are working towards expanding the involvement to include other faith traditions represented in our students, instructors, administrators and support services.

    Each of our Chaplains is committed to bringing forward the best of our distinct religious roots for the furtherance of our common hope for the realization of the divine possibilty resident at the very heart of our human being. In a very basic way, we make manifest opportunity for the negotiation of difference and the discovery of ways and means by which prejudice may be diminished.

    United Church of Canada

  3. This I believe is truly a great initiative. Presence of a Muslim Chaplin on campus can be extremely helpful in diffusing tensions among various religious groups. I also believe that one of the purposes of having a Muslim Chaplin would be to offer positive guidance and direction to students so that their lives can be more harmoneous with others on campus. My compliments to those who came up with such a remarkable, meaningful and workable concept. I could not agree more that the Muslim youth is confronting serious religious, cultural and other issues and are in dire need of such a service. This initiative will surely be helpful in adding harmony among inter-faith groups. I would anxiously await the results of this initiative towards the end of the proposed one-year contract.

  4. They may be recruiting for the first full-time chaplain at a Canadian university, but there are plenty of Muslim chaplains who work part-time at other Canadian universities. For example, I know at the University of Guelph there is a Muslim imam who is part of the multi-faith resource team: http://www.uoguelph.ca/faith/our-team

  5. Are they hiring a chaplain or superman? I didn’t realize that UofT was a hub for gang violence and the muslim chaplain there will solve gang violence.

    When I went to UofT most people focused on their studies and their problems were academic or financial, I guess in the year I have gone there has been a spike in non-academic issues.

    • so teenage drug use, sex, relationships and family problems are all put on hold @ u of t.. are you sure u even went to uni?

  6. I’m happy to see such diversification in Canada, especially when this initiative is supported by the universities and campuses here.

    To those ignorant people who made the first 2 comments, please read the article before making such hateful and racist statements: “A Muslim chaplain is here for all of that: to serve and support Muslim youth, to help them work through their challenges, and help them develop a healthy and meaningful Muslim identity.”

    • Listen Laura,
      Your views are modern and very tolerant. I wish the Islamic faith is equally so. I am Not Canadian and can only speak from experience. It all starts with something lame, like this chaplaincy. At home here it started with “religious tolerance” being preached everywhere. But today , you know what? We now have some states which are solely governed by sharia and do not ” tolerate” other religious preferences. Now the presidency or vice president MUST BE A MUSLIM. My country is being plagued by an Islamic religious sect destroying lives using suicide bombers etc. The intent is to make the country ungovernable until power is “RETURNED” to the predominantly Islamic North. My country is sinking fast. This religion is INTOLERANT and will not stop at anything to subdue everyone where it has followers. Are you aware that SHARIA IS BEING REQUESTED FOR IN THE UK?
      For the sake of sanity and all that is good, do not treat Islamic practices with kids gloves. Check out other western countries who have liberally stepped aside for it to thrive. It always end in disaster. It should be
      made to accept and conform to western rules or else bug off!!!

  7. Dear Shirely,

    Your comments smack of racist ignorance. The University of Toronto has full time chaplains representing the other faith traditions on campus but is missing a full time Muslim chaplain although the Muslim students on campus represent one of the largest and most active communities. When other faiths have their chaplains thats ok, but when Muslims do, suddenly the only reasons we can think of are racist and sinister. Forget about pastoral care, attending to people’s needs, building mutual understanding and interfaith engagement…..oh nooo the barbaric Muslims couldn’t possibly be this progressive in their thinking…they’re only here to brainwash the world and enslave them with their creeping sharia. Your comments only confirm more urgently why the University needs a Muslim chaplain precisely to educate people like you that Muslims can be an engaging and positive force in this society and to help foster a healthy Muslim Canadian identity that works towards mutual respect and understanding

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