SHAFAQNA – In order to bring you, our readers, closer to realities and truths, Shafaqna will conduct a series of exclusive podcast interviews with renown political analysts politicians, officials, religious leaders, and academics.
As always our aim is simple – knowledge.
In a world run, and based on falsehood, Truth has become somewhat of a rare commodity – still, we ought to seek what has been dissimulated as to rise truly free.
As Imam Ali said: “Ask in order to understand, and do not ask in order to find fault, for surely the ignorant man who wants to learn resembles a man of knowledge, and surely a man of knowledge who wants to be difficult resembles an ignorant man who wants to find fault.”
Following is the interview SHAFAQNA conducted with Atta Hussain, the founder of Al-Hussain Foundation in Canada. Greatly esteemed by his community Abu Ali has been a champion for the weak and the oppressed – a tower of strength, solidarity and compassion for those who have looked onto their religious leaders for hope and guidance.
A true son of Karbala, Abu Ali cares for over 300 families, providing them with shelter, food and medical care. His generosity and dedication to those in need particularly touched Shafaqna editorial team.
Shafaqna extends its gratitude to Atta Hussain for being such a graceful host.
SHAFAQNA – In view of recent events in the world, and the rise of violence towards and against Muslim community due to association media have created linking Islam and Takfirism, did you see a change in attitude in your community in Canada?
ABU ALI – In all honesty Canada does not have any Islamophobia problem … no racism problem, nothing of the sort. Canada is actually a lovely, peaceful place to live on – unlike Europe. I can’t say that I have experienced any form of prejudices in Canada. Maybe this is something other countries might want to draw lesson from.
SHAFAQNA – Can you tell us about Al-Hussain Foundation? What work do you do?
ABU ALI – We care for the community religious and education needs. It took us about 7-8 years to build our mosque and get all the authorizations required. We look up today and we see our beautiful dome and minarets – our mosque in itself is an achievement, one made possible by the generosity of our community members. Near the mosque we also build a cemetery – Jannat Wadi al-Salam, which is strictly Muslim cemetery.
Our goals at Al Hussain Foundations are to foster good interfaith relations with our neighbours, and remain socially active within our community. Of course our aim is to offer religious guidance and religious education in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran and our Imams.
Every Saturday we hold lectures and on Sunday we have our children school. All our students take Quranic and Arabic lessons. On top of this we of course hold special events for Muharram, and Ramadan as well as all our other religious duties: prayers and so on …
For the past 5 years Al-Hussain Foundation has cared for and supported 300 families in Karbala, and Nasiriya in Iraq. I am Iraqi and of course my heart remains close to my country and the hardship millions have had to endure.
It is important to give back and care for others.
SHAFAQNA – What about the Middle East and this great suffering nations have had to suffer under: Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Yemen … wherever you look one sees bloodshed, pain, despair. Takfirism/Wahhabism is gaining and still the world has kept mum. What are your views on the matter? Why have world nations done nothing as the world heritage, our Islamic heritage has been dilapidated by Saudi Arabia?
ABU ALI – This issue is very important. Most Muslims – I’m referring here to real Muslims, not radicals, have done everything they can to denounce, opposed and end radicalism but their efforts have been spent in vain as we lack real leadership! What sad times we live in when Muslims are plotting against Muslims! What sad times indeed!
How many communities have been torn apart by a radicalism which is profoundly un-Islamic? This era is an era of injustice. Truth is not spoken anymore … officials do not speak the truth, they do not represent their people, they do not speak for their people in the way they should.
For the Islamic world of course this lack of leadership has manifested through violence, sectarianism, hatred …
Our world needs true leadership, it’s as simple as that.
The whole world knows what the problem is – the tragedy is that no one is taking action.
As long as the big powers – not the Saudis, but the Western superpowers do not act, nothing will change.
We don’t hear about the tragedy of Yemen, we don’t hear about the tragedy of Syria, we don’t hear about the tragedy of Iraq because it serves a political agenda. Horrors were committed, children were being slaughtered and the world stood silent.
Daesh could be destroyed if superpowers wanted to.
Look at Bahrain, look at Yemen, look at Syria, look at Afghanistan, look at Iraq.
We hope one day things will be better.
I am 77 years old and before I leave this world I would like to see Justice, but justice is fading in the world. People have to wake up. Good people need to wake up. We need leadership, real leadership.
People need to tell the truth!