May 122015

When the term “ethnic diversity” comes to mind, the typical first image in one’s mind is race. Canada is home to 31 million people of different racial heritage, and in this country, we celebrate our vast racial diversity. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and there is even deeper, more specific diversity among different groups in the world. Bassam Tariq is a blogger, filmmaker, and the owner of a Halal butcher shop.

After seeing the media compact the vast, worldwide Muslim community into one broad racial stereotype, Tariq and his friend decided to go across the United States and break his fast for Ramadan at a different mosque every day for 30 days. As this event had full media coverage, people were able to see the various, racially diverse Muslim communities. Due to the violence in the Middle East regarding the Islamic State, non-Muslims sometimes have preconceptions about what the nuances of Islam actually are. As a supporter of individual rights and ethnic diversity, I resent broad statements about a religion or culture, and I am glad people can finally see past the veil of smoke projected by the media. In addition to this journey, Tariq has opened a Halal butcher shop called Honest Chops, which caters to everyone, not just Muslims, and helps them understand what an incredibly diverse people they are.