IT is alarming to note the media's negative portrayal of a prestigious institution like Alhuda. Unless I missed something, I am yet to see any particular response statements coming out from Canada and Peel in particular. Even the visiting US scholars are talking about it but Peel is mum. I don't know what will make us think and speak strongly about stopping media before it gets too late......are we waiting for another Peterborough incident or are we not worried much because it's not "our Masjid", or just because we are ignoring the intensity of the issue due to the usual media sensation we are not worried about?
I am seriously concerned about this wrong media portrayal of Al Huda Institute in Mississauga, I disagree with this. I know nothing about Al Huda Pakistan and never had the idea of their existence until I moved to Mississauga from Hamilton almost 12 years ago. I never came across any negative preaching there.
I met Dr. Hashmi twice back in 2007 while I was working on a breast cancer screening project from Peel Public Health and I found her humble and polite. Actually, during my work at Public Health, Alhuda was the first Islamic institute which opened their doors for public health presentations our team offered. That clearly shows their approach towards women empowerment. I have attended a lot of lectures and Friday khutbas at Alhuda and I didn't find anything of that sort. Through her several lectures available online, I see Dr. Hashmi presenting an open minded view of Quran to teach women on how to take the ownership of their own actions with critical thinking and extremely confident approach. When women understand the true meaning and importance of their role out of the hollow cell of so called feminism, they actually come out of true starving state of lacking a vision. I am not a student of Alhuda and not even a regular there, however I do come across Al Huda graduates everywhere and I find them consistent with the teachings.
As far as women empowerment within Islamic doctrines is concerned, I would give two thumbs up to Dr. Hashmi as she had done a remarkable job sending the surge of vision among Muslim women with a sense of pride, integrity and meaning to life. Even women who had no exposure to work life, outside environment as such, learned creative ways to present themselves in the society. Many of her students were stay at home moms, and now are teachers themselves, earning with dignity and respect. People who accuse her are the regular "don't judge people" or Haya doesn't require you to dressed in a certain way" people. Honestly I am embarrassed to say I was one of those people who used to judge just like that but Allah SWT guided me that by saying the truth without the intention of hurting people's feelings and self esteem is a way to empower each other. Even casual attendance there strengthened my confidence as a Muslim mom that the source of information I am looking for is right under my reach.......Quran.......it just is the matter of putting things into perspective......the right perspective.
I also would avoid calling Tafsheen or any "suspect" as a "shooter" or the popular synonym nick name of Muslims these days. ....the terrorist. ....let alone linking the under investigation motives of Tafsheen to Alhuda's teaching as a prestigious institution. I don't know about whether she actually did it or is it a false flag, let the law maker decide.....or apologize a few years from now.......common tactic of CIA and FBI.......
I completely disagree with the narrative of linking Islam with extremism. I strongly think that the notion referring every practicing Muslim with extremism is crazy and must be stopped. May God Almighty protect us all from judging the books by covers and from adding fuel to anti Muslim narrative. Amen"