Kingston celebrates Islamic History Month for the 17th year in a row

October 5, 2023

Story by Christena Lawrie, CFRC Broadcast Journalist, for the Local Journalism Initiative.

For the 17th year in a row, Islamic History Month is being celebrated in Kingston and nationwide. 

Starting in 2007, each October has been a nationwide event for sharing the history, heritage, and culture of Muslims with fellow Canadians. With long-time Islamic History Month National Board members being situated in Kingston, the city has participated since the very first year. The theme for Islamic History Month 2023 is: Celebrating Muslim Women in the Arts and Sciences. 

Mona Rahman, member of the Islamic History Month Committee and National Board, explains, “This year the theme that has been chosen is celebrating Muslim Women in the Arts and Sciences. I think part of that is because there's a lot of misconceptions about the role of women to begin with, but especially in the contributions towards arts and sciences. And just even if you look at the current landscape in Canada or in North America, there are many Muslim women that are making significant contributions to both of these sectors. So it's sort of like an opportunity to inform people and also highlight the achievements of these individuals, both currently but also in the past with respect to Muslim Islamic history in general around the world.”

To mark the start of the month, A pre-launch event was held at the end of September for the youth at the Islamic Centre of Kingston, featuring a talk entitled ‘Expressions of Faith: Stories of Muslim Women Artists in History’. Also, on October 1st, city hall was illuminated with green light.

Throughout the rest of October, several events in Kingston have been organized through the Islamic Society of Kingston (ISK) and Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives (MSGP, Queen’s University). There are also book displays at the Isabel Turner and Central Branches of the Kingston Frontenac Libraries featuring books related to this year's theme and books written by Muslim women.

”We want to look at topics that maybe aren't as well known to the nation in general, but also even within the Muslim community, they might not know this history, especially within Canada or in Islamic history. These are things that have been forgotten in history and are very important to know, so that as we move forward, we can remember and build,” says Rahman. 

For additional information and details regarding events, you can visit the IHM Kingston Facebook page.

For more information on the national initiative please see the Islamic History Month Canada website.