Who We Are

Salaam Canada is dedicated to creating space for people who identify as both Muslim and queer/trans. We acknowledge the diverse experiences of our community and support queer/trans people who identify with Islam ritually, culturally, spiritually, or religiously. Salaam is a volunteer-run organization that advocates for social justice and addresses the intersecting issues around homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia/racism.

 

Islamic identities may include Shia, Sunni, Ismaili, Ahmadi, Jafri, Sufi, and various cultural or national identities.

 

Queer identities may include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, questioning, intersex, queer and other forms of sexual and gender expression.

 

Brief History

In Toronto, Salaam began meeting in the early 1990s as a social/support group for lesbian and gay Muslims and as one of the first organizations of its kind in North America. For the first two years, Salaam held regular meetings, celebrations and get-togethers, drawing people from not only across Ontario and other parts of Canada, but also the United States. Unfortunately, following some violent and negative responses and threats, Salaam went on hiatus. Meanwhile, in the late 1990s, an organization known as Al-Fatiha was also founded in the U.S.

 

In 2000, the new millennium saw a different socio-political climate and the organization was reborn as Salaam: Queer Muslim Community. This time, in addition to regular monthly support group meetings, Salaam started to provide refugee support, host the annual Peace Iftar, and hold forums on human rights and social justice issues within the queer/trans and Muslim communities.

 

In 2003, Salaam hosted the Salaam/Al-Fatiha International LGBTTIQQ Muslim Conference in Toronto with over 150 national and international participants. In 2011, it also hosted the National Salaam Canada Conference in Vancouver in conjunction with the OUTGames Human Rights Conference.

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