Urging mutual respect between community members, Calgary’s young Muslim youth gathered in a special summit designed to exchange ideas on how to keep all Canadians save while maintaining Muslim rights of equality.
There’s “never been a worse time for Muslims in Canada,” Mahdi Qasqas, a psychologist who also organized the Muslim Youth Summit., told Calgary Herald on Thursday, March 26.
Qasqas was speaking to a gathering that grouped scores of Muslim youth who met earlierthis week in a closed-door workshop, in which federal Public Safety officials discussed how young people can respond if concerned about their peers.
Attendants included Former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson, who is running as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Calgary-Cross.
“There has never been a tougher time to grow up,” Hanson told the students’ group, OnIslam.net reported.
“It’s hard to do things right, because you are exposed to all kinds of things that encourage or entice you not to live by your beliefs or your principles.”
Hanson stressed that young people who joined militant groups followed a pattern of isolation and broken families that is also common in gang recruitment.
“People like to say, well it’s a religious issue, it’s a cultural issue. Well, it’s not. It’s a vulnerability issue for kids, for young people who grow up who don’t feel valued,” he said.
A panel held at the University of Calgary on Tuesday on federal Anti-Terrorism Bill C-51 has reflected high divisions among two generations in the Muslim community.