Watch the Center for Muslim Studies online series Muslims on Turtle Island on Indigenous-Muslim relations from September 1-3


Muslims on Turtle Island is a 3 day series of public lectures, panels and workshops that focus on Muslims as settlers on Turtle Island / North America.

It will be a space of learning, relationship building and discussion for students, academics, artists and activists to reflect on what it means to be a Muslim on this earth, the ethical and moral implications of being Muslim. settlers / migrants, as well as some of the complexities that arise from the colonization of Muslim lands.

All events will take place online through Zoom.
Dates: 1-3 Sep 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST (Vancouver, BC time), daily
Register online here


Sep 1 9:00 a.m. – Set the table

How can we prepare the ground for rich, meaningful and application-oriented Indigenous and Muslim collaboration? What steps can Muslim organizations and community members take to advance reconciliation? What cognitive frameworks do we need to open? Join us to discuss the development and next steps of the Indigenous collaborative framework of the Edmonton-based organization, Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA). A draft of the framework can be found at Presented by Elder Sempulyan Gonzales, Seemi Ghazi, Omar Yaqub

September 1 at 10 a.m. – Turtle Island and Abya Yala Muslims: Understanding the Intersections of White Supremacy, Islamophobia, and Anti (Afro) Indigeneity

This participatory presentation will focus on understanding the relationship between Turtle Island / Abya Yala Muslims, their experiences of oppression (including Islamophobia), and their role in perpetuating anti- (afro ) indigeneity on these lands. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences with the colonizing state and to ally with indigenous and Afro-indigenous peoples. Presented by Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

Sep 1 11 a.m. – Poetry

Poet Efemeral and Timiro Mohammed

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Sep 1 12:00 p.m. – Being human

Often, discussions of alliance, colonialism, solidarity and sovereignty are hard to imagine in the real, everyday world where capitalism, patriarchal power relations and indigenous genocide continue to operate. This session is a history in motion and still ongoing and welcomes a more personal consideration of Indigenous sovereignty and jurisdiction and the importance of being human. Presented by Anuskha

Sep 2, 9 a.m. – Photograph: Halal activism on Turtle Island?

Join Fatima Jaffer for a short presentation and discussion where she will share photos, stories and stories from her life as a photojournalist and activist. Learn about the tensions and lessons that come with being a queer Muslim woman engaged in Indigenous solidarity work for over 30 years. Find out how she overcame community pressures, built strong and trusting relationships, and strove to photograph everything with respect, from the ceremony to the protest, as one of her contributions to change.

Sep 2, 10 a.m. – Finding a Home: Indigeneity, Displacement and Colonization
A conversation between a Palestinian and a Rohingya argues for what indigeneity, displacement and colonization mean to them. Drawing on their lived experiences of displacement, migration and statelessness, Nada and Yasmin will reflect on what it means for them to build a home on the stolen land of the Coast Salish peoples. Presented by Nada Elmasry, Yasmin Ullah

Sep 2, 11 am – Problematizing the claim to be a “colon colonist”
In this session, Nandita Sharma discusses the problematic assumption behind the claims of people of color in Canada to be “colonizing settlers”. She argues that such demands are part of a broader anti-immigrant policy that links human migration with practices of colonial rule. It clarifies the distinction between “immigrants” and “colonizers” and in doing so challenges the idea that indigenous national sovereignty will lead to a decolonized society.

September 3, 9 a.m. – Keeping the Faith in a Stolen Land: Lessons, Teachings from the United Church, and Way Forward

In this session, experienced host Chris Corrigan will share stories and learnings from decades past working with the United Church community to nurture better relationships with the Indigenous peoples of the Coast Salish lands. After his brief presentation, he will host and guide a dialogue that could reveal how the Muslim community might approach their presence here and a way forward.

Sept 3, 10 a.m. – Islamic Texts and Indigenous Rights: Revision of the Canon

This panel explores the ways in which basic Islamic texts – namely, the Qur’an and hadiths – can be involved in light of the colonialism of the settlers on Turtle Island and Muslim solidarity with indigenous struggles. The conquest of Canaan is the main textual obstacle in the Bible when it comes to supporting indigenous rights among anti-colonial Christian theologians, and Shadaab Rahemtulla will enter this debate as a Muslim liberation theologian, offering a (re) Quranic reading of Canaan. . As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is known as the Walking Quran, it is important to look at how he (pbuh) lived and taught the nascent and growing Muslim community to embody an ethical life. Hazel Gómez – a sacred knowledge student and community organizer – will delve into the prophetic sayings that elevate land justice.

Hazel Gomez, Shadaab Rahemtulla

Sep 3, 11 a.m. – Reflection on Muslims on Turtle Island Series

Maysa Haque, Azwa Alam, Abida Alam, Nafisa Naik Mohammad

Sept 3, 12:00 p.m. – Native Women’s Council of Saskatchewan

* Program subject to modifications. This is a walk-in event, with each session being a stand-alone event. Participants are invited to attend one or more sessions with a single registration

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