MSA annual meeting focuses on Israel-Palestine conflict

A photo of members of the Muslim Students Assocation in Alumni Lounge CREDIT: MUSLIM STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION OF FANSHAWE COLLEGE (MSA)
On Oct. 22, Muslim Students Association (MSA) hosted a meeting featuring Dr. Munir El Kassem.

On Oct. 25, an annual meeting convened, hosted by the Fanshawe College Muslim Students Association (MSA). Speaking to the Muslim students at Fanshawe, the event was also open to anyone who wanted to attend. The topic of the meeting was: Are you a member of the Brotherhood of the Messenger of Allah?

The President of the MSA, Mohammed Lateef, suggested this title because it would reflect how the Muslim community should deal with global, national, and local challenges. Among the issues discussed during the meeting was the current conflict in Gaza.

“We all have a responsibility to outreach to the world and share with them what justice is all about because there will be no peace without justice,” explained Lateef.

Listen live on

Dr. Munir El Kassem, a visiting imam at several Islamic centres in Ontario participated in the meeting and shared Lateef’s sentiments.

“The conflict did not start on Oct. 7,” Kassem said. “The conflict began 75 years ago, and some events added pressure on the people of Gaza, which is as big as the city of London. It has two and a half million people. It has been termed the largest open-air prison in the world. And the people for 15 years were under siege, and they had no freedom to move or to get food or to get water.”

For the past three weeks, there have been protests across various cities in Canada, including London, in support of the Palestinian people. On Oct. 22, thousands of Londoners gathered to urge the government to take action and bring about a ceasefire.

“There was a huge demonstration at the corner of Richmond and Central at Victoria Park, and more than 7,000 people participated. I can tell you plainly that those participating were not only Muslim. There were people from the Indigenous community, all walks of life, and from the Independent Jewish Voice group (IJV) too,” Kassem explained.

Lateef addressed in this annual meeting the lack of impartiality by the media when, at these times, they should report and investigate so that the truth comes to light and no more of what he called genocide occurs.

The Vice-President of MSA, Eman Irfan, explained that Islamophobia is four times higher right now because of a lack of awareness.

“We are concerned,” Irfan said. “The killing of one human is like the killing of the whole of humanity. We do pray that this whole conflict resolves soon.”

All the members of the MSA insist that they are trying their best to ensure their message is peace.

“It’s not killing, it’s not harming, it’s not abusing, and it’s not harassment,” MSA coordinator, Ibrahim Birkawi said. “It’s about peace. It’s about togetherness.”