Islamic Information Society of Calgary
Our Story Why We Exist
After a conference a young man from a war-torn country came to one of our spiritual leaders and complained about how helpless he felt with all of the turmoil in the world, especially his home country. He felt descriminated against at school due to his skin color. He felt as if he was always under suspicion due to his faith, especially when he travelled.
He didn't have anyone to talk to, and felt even if he did he would be completely misunderstood. The only solution he could find was to join an extremist group over-seas that claimed he would feel safe and was fighting to make the world a better place.
More than a year goes by and this young man is a faded memory until he reaches out once again to thank us for saving his life. He didn't end up joining an extremist group, but rather focused on finishing his education and learning more about his faith at the same time.
In his words:
"If it wasn't for you I would have joined an extremist group and would probably be dead."
Our Impact What We Do
The Islamic Information Society of Calgary (IISC) is a spiritual bastion to thousands of Muslims on a weekly basis. We focus on religious education that helps people navigate through the trials of life, and empowers them to make more God-conscience decisions.
In a post 9/11 world Muslims often come under scrutiny for not promoting voices of moderation from within, and that is exactly what the IISC strives to be. A voice of moderation for all Muslims in Calgary specifically, and Canada in general. Through our outreach programs non-Muslims are able to learn more about the faith of Islam, which leads to their Muslim colleagues feeling better understood at school and work.
As the Calgary Muslim community continues to grow so has the demand for social services from within the Muslim community. This comes in the form of helping the poor and needy, to providing counseling, to providing a safe space where Muslims can come and discuss what's on their mind without fearing judgment. That's for God to do - not us :)
In the Islamic month of Ramadan (June/July) of 2015 the IISC fed over 6000 people in their two location as a part of their iftar (break your fast) initative. The largest number to date!
On September 26th 2015, the IISC volunteer group in collaboration with the Community of Forest Lawn, Antyx Community Arts and Parks Foundation Calgary, went to a park in Forest Lawn by 43rd street and 10th SE to landscape the park, as well as plant trees. 9 trees, 25 shrubs and 125 herbaceous plants were planted all together.
On November 6th 2015, the IISC organized a movie screening of "Tug of War" written by and featuring Boonaa Mohammed. The event also featured a presentation by the Redirect program, an initiative by the Calgary police service to help youth at risk. The event concluded with an honest and open discussion by the Muslim community on what was on their minds with regards to radicalization.
On International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2015, the IISC was asked to host a diversity and sensitivity training for the Calgary Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Calgary Fire Brigade, and EMS. It was our first time ever hosting an event like this but it was still an absolutely amazing experience for us. To be able to discuss our faith with people that are willing to sacrifice their lives for the protection and safety of this country was priceless.
Our Programs How We Do It
With a focus on education the Islamic Information Society of Calgary provides the following:
- Friday Prayer Services
- Daily classes on how to read and memorize the Quran (the Muslim holy scripture)
- Weekly religious classes in the evening (Which are recorded and put online here: https://goo.gl/zSIHIy)
- Quarterly Seminars on topics relavant to the needs of Canadian Muslims
- An annual conference that aspires to unite the community, empower them with knowledge, and leave them feeling great about themselves.
On the social services front the IISC provides:
- Mentoring groups for boys and girls
- Monthly food baskets for those in need
- Pre-Marital counseling for those looking to get married
- Spiritual counseling for those just having a tough time with life.
- Monthly volunteer initiatives at the Calgary Drop-in Centre
- Yearly city wide clean up.
In the capacity of Outreach the IISC provides:
- Islam Awareness days
- Free literature to those that express interest
- Representation at major institutes (previously at S.A.I.T. and currently at the Calgary Police Service)
Our Requests What You Can Do
Whether Muslim or Non-Muslim, the Islamic Information Society of Calgary would like you to be a part of something greater than yourself. Something that is spiritualy uplifiting, intellectually engaging, and culturely relavant.
You can do this by joining us for our prayer services and classes, volunteering at our intiatives, and if time doesn't allow it then at least donating towards sustaining our projects.
You can connect with us Facebook, Twitter, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org