A Nov. 3 community panel hosted by the Capital Current senior journalism class featured a discussion about current affairs with representatives of Ottawa’s Muslim community.

Students in the journalism program’s senior multimedia newsroom workshop — which is also the core reporting and production team behind Capital Current, the J-School’s public news platform — welcomed five representatives of the Ottawa-area Muslim community to a recent virtual community panel.

The guests shared their insights on various current events and the challenges and opportunities they see for news organizations and individual journalists to improve coverage of issues affecting Muslim communities locally and globally.

The panelists were Yazan Nasreddin, Eastern Ontario and Regional Manager for Islamic Relief Canada; Safia Hassan, Outreach Lead with Treehouse, an Ottawa-based organization founded to support Syrian refugee families that arrived in Canada in 2016; Sikander Hashmi, Imam and Community Leader with the Kanata Muslim Association; Dr. Muhammad Ali Suliman, Imam and Director of Religious Affairs with the Ottawa Muslim Association; and Majed Jarrar, Director of Community Engagement with the Ottawa Muslim Association.

Safia Hassan, outreach lead with the Ottawa-based newcomer-resettlement agency Treehouse, participating in the Nov. 3 Capital Current community panel. She spoke about the COVID-19 challenges facing Syrian refugees who settled in the Ottawa area in 2016.

Notably, both Sikander Hashmi and Majed Jarrar were able to discuss their own years of experience as working journalists prior to assuming their current responsibilities in the local Muslim community.

Among other issues, the panelists discussed the multiple impacts on Syrian refugees coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the escalating conflict in Europe and beyond over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, extremist violence and the other challenges that have flared in France and elsewhere in recent weeks.

CapCurrent’s community panels, organized and hosted this term by MJ student and teaching assistant Amber McLinden, are meant to deepen connections between senior journalism students and various ethnocultural, religious, demographic, geographic and issue-oriented advocacy communities in the Ottawa area.

Environmental advocates, leaders of Ottawa’s Black community and local Indigenous representatives are among the guests who have gathered with Capital Current students for previous panel discussions.

Friday, November 6, 2020 in ,
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