President, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada
Raheel Raza is President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, founding member of The Muslim Reform Movement, author of the book Their Jihad – Not My Jihad, award winning journalist, public speaker, and advocate for human rights, gender equality and dignity in diversity. She is a participant in the award winning documentary “Honor Diaries” and also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to Canada.
Raheel bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity for which she has appeared in print and on TV and radio numerous times including CNN, BBC Hardtalk, Real Time with Bill Maher and Al-Jazeera.
Raheel has been invited to speak locally at places of worship, the private sector, the Justice Department, School Boards and government institutions. Internationally she has addressed audiences at Universities in USA including Harvard & Columbia, in UK at Oxford and Cambridge, other forums across Australia and Europe, the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem and Tedx Amsterdam. She has been invited to the Parliaments of Sweden, UK, Israel and to Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
In her pursuit for human rights, Raheel is accredited with United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva through The Centre for Inquiry (CFI). She has received many awards for her work on women’s equality including the City of Toronto’s Constance Hamilton award and the Urban Hero award. She is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers.
Raheel has made a documentary film called “Whose Sharia is it anyway?” dealing with the sharia debate in Ontario, Canada. She runs a Forum for Learning for youth to educate them about the dangers of radicalization and terrorism, and continues to write and speak about the subject. She has taught a course on Islam and Modernity at George Brown College in Toronto for the past five years titled “The Passion and Politics of Islam”.
Raheel sits on the Board of Governors for The Mackenzie Institute, plus on the Advisory Board of The ACTV Foundation (The Alliance of Canadian Terror Victims).
Radical Islam is a problem. And it cannot be ignored. That is to say, we may ignore it, but it will not ignore us.
Clarify I’m not speaking for all Muslims but reform-minded Muslims who understand that this is the only solution. Also we are not trying to reform the scripture but to reform the way Muslims interpret and implement Islam in their lives.
The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". Ms. Raza discussed the possibility of a Muslim reform- a change in the way Muslims understand and implement Islam in their lives. She noted three principles which make up the core of the reform: peace, human rights and a secular government. She argued that by naming and shaming radical jihadists, we will be able to provide an alternative narrative and hope for the younger generation.