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Islamic conference aims to build stronger families, communities
With an aim to build stronger families and better communities, about 2,000 people took part Saturday in the largest Islamic conference Montreal has ever seen.
Taking place at the Palais des congres, the United for Change conference set out to thank the community and talk about often-shushed issues like parenting concerns, domestic violence and divorce.
"Divorces are going up, which is alarming. Historically in the Muslim society, divorces were almost unheard of," said Tariq Subhani from United for Change.
Experts say happiness is about choosing love over faith and finding common ground.
"Human relations are based on love, mercy and just being a decent human being. And if you get that right, you'll get the religious part right," said prominent Imam Zaid Shakir.
Muslim activist Dr. Raiba Khedr said couples have to share common values.
"You have to have a foundation. If you don't share a common bond through common values, there's always a great struggle in a relationship," said Khedr.
Beyond marriage, there's parenting, where children have good role models. Good parents need to give their children the freedom to be who they want to be, said panelists.
Stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam will always exist, said Imam Dr. Yasir Qadhi, but Muslim parents need to send a clear message that being different is okay.
"Parents need to understand that their children who are born in this land, they are Canadian, and they better be proud of being Canadians, along with other identities," said Qadhi.