Watching the news of Afghanistan over the last few weeks has been heartbreaking for many of us who have a close connection to the country, its people, and its history. For some Afghan-Canadians, they watch from the comfort of their homes, often with a sense of guilt as relatives still in the country scramble to escape. With President Ashraf Ghani having left the country and the Taliban having taken power with an interim cabinet of their own, we find ourselves back where we were 20 years ago, before the ongoing campaigns of what would become an interminable War on Terror infecting every corner of our lived experience.
For some of us who have spent time studying the country and its travails, there’s a shudder of disbelief as we see media pundits, government policy makers, and others engage in uninformed commentary when, after 20 years of military engagement, they (and all of us) ought to better recognize the complexities of the region. Admittedly, there is a dearth of expertise on Afghanistan and its history here in Canada, which perhaps explains why so little is known about Afghanistan’s complex history. For instance, when Maryam Monsef, Liberal MP and Federal Minister, revealed that though identifying as an Afghan, was born in Iran, it was a scandal for politicians in Ottawa. But anyone remotely familiar with the history of Afghanistan and its people would hardly find that set of facts controversial. With invasion after invasion, the result is a set of complex lives lived in the shadow of imperial violence.
As an academic home for scholars of Islam and Muslims, the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) recognizes that the current crisis in Afghanistan prompts heated emotions and politics. But the IIS also recognizes that these heated contexts are often built upon limited knowledge about Afghanistan. To that end, the IIS will feature a series of Afghanistan teach-ins on the culture, history, and politics of the region. Each teach-in will be a pre-recorded lecture of approximately 20 minutes, and will feature academics, professionals, and leaders from various sectors speaking to issues that intersect with the current crisis in Afghanistan.
Please find below the latest videos from the teach-in series. Be sure to check back for periodic updates or subscribe to our newsletter.
Supporting Vulnerable Communities – Islamic Relief in Afghanistan
Resettlement of Afghan People in Canada – Naseem Mithoowani, Mithoowani Waldman Immigration Law Group
Regional Context for Crisis in Afghanistan – Wil Patrick, PhD Candidate, Critical Geographies Research Lab, University of Victoria
We extend our gratitude to Canadian Muslim leader Hussein A. Hamdani for contributing a sizeable gift to MiCA. Hamdani’s vital support for MiCA reflects his long-standing interest in capturing the history of a marginalized community. Establishing an archive to preserve the rich history and legacies of Muslims in Canada requires resources. We welcome these generous […]
Hybrid Workshop Time: 2pm to 4pm Date: December 15, 2023 In-person Option: Register for In-person Event Here Virtual Option: Register for Virtual Event Here The next session is in the new year: January 25, 2024 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm Welcome to our monthly workshop on Contemporary Islamic Thought. The goal of this series is to explore the understudied reformist […]
Location: 170 St George Street, Jackman Humanities Building, Fifth Floor, Room 530 In-person Option: Register for In-person Event Here Virtual Option: Register for Virtual Event Here Time: 2 pm to 4 pm Date: Thursday, December 14th Welcome to our monthly workshop on Islamic law and imperialism. The goal of our workshop is to explore the […]