When the great 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib was stopped at a British military checkpoint in Delhi, he was asked “Are you a Muslim?”. His reply: “Only half a Muslim. You see, I drink wine but I don’t eat pork.”Ghalib’s famous reply has echoes for us in these equally turbulent times, even in an apparently placid Canada.
What does it mean to be a Muslim in a secular democracy like Canada? Is it a public or a private identity? Can you drink wine and be a Muslim, be an atheist and a Muslim? If you disavow being a Muslim, does your name still make you a Muslim? And for those who practice the faith – isn’t wearing the clothing of your choice implicit in democracy? Or must you adjust if you are not to be seen as ‘the other’? If Canada is an all-embracing mosaic, a multi-faith society, why has there been a need to institute an Islamophobia helpline to assist those Canadians being unfairly targeted because of their faith? Does a Maple Leaf Islam exist? Can it? Should it?
To explore these questions are three outstanding Canadian novelists. Karim Alrawi, Monia Mazigh and Ameen Merchant. Join them as they take you through their real and imagined worlds. The dialogue is hosted by Devyani Saltzman, Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre.
Save $5 when you purchase tickets to both Maple Leaf Islam and Dangerous Silences. Simple choose the Double Ticket Deal when making your purchase.
Thanks to our partners for their support of this event: BC Arts Council, SFU Woodwards and Mawenzi House.