Love of Diversity Drives Muslims’ Christmas Charity

December 7, 2006

Author: Sandra Oey

Source: Ottawa Citizen

This is not the first time the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization is having a food drive, but it is the first time they’re doing it for Christmas.

The organization has purposely chosen to hold the event during the Christian holiday season, and they are unabashed about the timing: this year, they want the public to notice.

To counter negative Muslim stereotypes, the group wants to show they welcome other beliefs and traditions.

"What people must understand is that we are peace-loving, law-abiding citizens and the 0.1 per cent who are committing atrocities are not one of us," said Nazira Tareen, president of the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization.

For the group, doing charitable work comes naturally. In the past, they have given money to CHEO, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Ottawa Heart Institution. In April, they will host a fundraising event for the Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre at the Riverside campus of the Ottawa Hospital.