Professor, Lawyer, Writer, Human Rights
Activist and Public Speaker
Topic: Take on Islamophobia – Understanding anti-Muslim sentiment in the 21st century.
Keynote Speaker: Faisal Kutty.
Interview: An interview by Terry McLeod of CBC Radio One with Faisal Kutty.
Date: Friday, May 5th, 2017
Time: 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Grand Mosque
2445 Waverly St.
Faisal Kutty is a Muslim lawyer, law professor, writer and public speaker. A proper and nuanced understanding of Islam and Muslims is vital in today’s world. Faisal’s unique background, experience, and education provide a fresh approach in understanding the basics of Islam and its relevance to the world around you, be it your school, workplace, or society in general.
Faisal was born in India and grew up in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. He attended French Catholic grade schools, public middle and high school, and studied at three different institutions of higher learning. He practiced law in Toronto servicing the unique needs of the growing Muslim population, and he currently teaches law at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana (a Lutheran affiliated institution) and at Canada’s largest law school, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.
He has extensive experience in interfaith and intercultural dialogue and is an expert on the Muslim community, Islamic law, Islamic culture, national security and their intersections. Faisal has been educating groups, communities, the media and politicians about Islam and Muslims from a very young age, and developed extensive experience in his role as one of the leading spokespersons on Islam and Muslims in North America.
During undergraduate years, he was the president of the Muslim student group on campus and he founded the Muslim Law Students’ Association while in law school. After graduating from law school, he co-founded the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association (CMCLA) and went on to serve as its general counsel for more than a decade. He also co-founded and served as vice chair and legal counsel to CAIR-CAN (Council on American Islamic Relations Canadian Chapter) and he immediately recognized the need to educate people on rights, diversity and how to co-exist with differences. The CMCLA and CAIR-CAN are both leading civil rights and advocacy groups.
Faisal also served as the first Islamic culture content consultant to the Little Mosque on the Prairie, an award winning internationally acclaimed sitcom produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Faisal has set up dozens of non-profits/charities in the Muslim community, and he has served on a number of their boards including Human Concern International and the Bosnian Canadian Relief Association. He recently served as co-chair of the Islamic Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
He is currently an executive member of both the International Human Rights Law Section and the Islamic Law Sections of the AALS. He is also a Director of the American Society of Comparative Law.
Faisal has published more than 250 articles in newspapers, magazines and academic publications on Islam, Muslims, Islamophobia, human rights, national security, multiculturalism, constitutional law, international affairs, etc. Faisal has also delivered more than 300 lectures around the world on the same subjects. He has also been quoted or featured in hundreds of media stories around the world.
For the past six consecutive years, Faisal has been included in The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims, compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.
Faisal’s wealth of experience, knowledge and his unique & engaging style of delivering talks or conducting diversity training makes him the best candidate to help you with your goal of educating, whether it is to make a better world or to increase productivity and growing your bottom line by facilitating dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
In 2017, he was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award by Valparaiso University for exemplifying Dr. King’s vision through words and deeds on campus and the broader community
For the past 8 consecutive years Faisal has been included in The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims, an annual compilation published by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Institute which is affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought headquartered in Amman, Jordan.
In 2015, he was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the Valparaiso University Alumni Association.
In 2016, he was presented with an Award of Excellence for his work in promoting human rights and justice by the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA).
In 2012, he was awarded the iCair Civil Rights Award from the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for his work in advancing human rights globally.
In 2007, he was awarded the Maher Arar and Monia Award in Civil and Human Rights from Maher Arar/Monia Mazigh and the Canadian Muslim Network for his work in advancing civil and human rights in Canada.
In 2004, he was awarded the Professional Excellence Award by the American Federation of Muslims from India.
In 2003, he was awarded the Community Service Award from the Toronto Community Resources Consultants for his work in advancing human rights in Toronto.
Faisal Kutty was profiled as one of the 150 natives of Scarborough who work to improve Scarborough for others in commemoration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
In 2018, Nominated – Canadian Lawyer Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada
“Faisal Kutty is an excellent public speaker, in my experience. He researches his topic very well, and speaks concisely and to the point he is asked to address. He tailors his message and mode of presentation to the audience to which he speaks. He is well prepared, and his presentations are well-organized, clear, and insightful. This makes him a pleasure to listen to. I recommend Professor Kutty as a speaker on any topic on which he is knowledgeable and feels qualified to address.”
Ronald Duty, Coordinator for Cross-cultural Conversation at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Faisal is both professional and personable. The subject matter expertise he lent to our production was valuable and insightful.
Mary Darling, Partner & Executive Producer at WestWind Pictures (CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie)
Professor Kutty is an excellent researcher who has published several papers on different complex aspects of Islamic Law. I always find his writings excellent and interesting to read. I recommend his research and writings to anyone who would like to know more about new and practical aspects of Islamic Law.
Rohullah Azizi, Curriculum Advisor, Standford University
Faisal is dedicated to human rights and justice for all. I had the pleasure of arranging for him to speak at the University of Alberta.He is a powerful public speaker that conveys a true message of peace with a strong intellectual backing.
Majeda Fyith, HR Advisor, Business Partnerships at Alberta Health Services
Mr. Faisal Kutty is a seasoned community and human rights advocate who has worked tirelessly to fight injustice and to raise the voices of the unheard. He is a result oriented activist with a good sense of humour, He is also a conscientious, inspirational and powerful writer and public speaker who tackles controversial but vital topics.
Sajid Anjum, Marketing Coordinator & Media Relation at South Asian Media Hub
Faisal has been tirelessly involved in supporting anti-torture campaigns and in defending the basic human rights of people charged under anti-terror legislation. He represented many organizations in front of important Canadian inquiries that examined the overzealous post-911 anti-terror practices. His legal advice to NCCM (formerly known as CAIR-CAN) at the Arar Inquiry helped the organization to successfully represent the position of the Canadian Muslim community.
Maher Arar, CEO at CauseSquare
To Faisal Kutty, an associate law professor at Valparaiso University in Indiana and Osgoode Hall in Toronto, M-103 is a good idea “because of the growing hate that we see towards Muslims.” “Statistics were released last year which showed that anti-Islam, anti-Muslim hate has increased — has doubled in a two-year period,” Kutty tells The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti.
In the past week, we’ve seen the chaotic implementation of a travel ban barring people from 7 majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. and a deadly attack on Muslims at prayer. Two guests discuss the state of Islamophobia in North America.
Faisal Kutty cut his teeth on human rights issues. His personal journey transformed him from an ostracized immigrant and underperforming student to being named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. The Valparaiso University Law School associate professor remembers vividly, as a five-year-old, running from town to town in India and hiding with family and friends to escape his father’s arrest as a political dissident.
The convocation also served as a platform to present the Martin Luther King Jr. Awards to two faculty members for their significant contributions to diversity to the campus community and beyond.
VU President Mark Heckler recognized Heath Carter and Faisal Kutty.
Kutty is an associate professor of law at the Valparaiso University Law School and was honored for enhancing the dialogue of race and inclusion at the law school. He was named the one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan.
Bill C-51 has more to do with appearing tough on terror than actually making Canadians safe, columnist writes.
In a Toronto Star op-ed, lawyer Faisal Kutty listed a sample of his clients and what they were flagged for, including “an engineering student searching, wait for this, engineering journals; hugging someone at an Eid gathering when this is part of the festive rituals; and attending lectures about rights.”
As lawyer Kutty correctly noted, Canada’s national security framework requires a major overhaul.
Troubles are ahead for sure, but America is not doomed. Those who believe otherwise don’t understand the constraints on Presidential powers, the wisdom of the separation of powers doctrine, exaggerate the difference between the two candidates and assume that all Trump voters supported his full package. Most voted for change from the status quo. This was the necessary catharsis to get two Americas to talk to each other and not at each other.
Faisal Kutty, a law professor at Valparaiso University and Osgoode Hall Law School said that Microsoft is challenging the gag orders under the First and Fourth Amendments, but neither of its arguments is terribly strong. “The applicable standard being that the court must find ‘there is reason to believe’ that notice will jeopardize an investigation,” Kutty said. “I believe the indefinite gag orders and low standard pose a First Amendment problem especially if customers never get notice that their data was searched by government agents. But if the government can show that it is not indefinite and that there is a valid basis for delay, then the court would not find a First Amendment problem. The standard of ‘there is reason to believe’ may also be applied too broadly given the national security card.”
“The situation [Islamophobia] is getting so serious that even psychologists have started to weigh in on the damaging impact of such an environment, especially on children,” according to Faisal Kutty
A four-year-old Asian boy who mispronounced “cucumber” as “cooker bomb” was recommended for a de-radicalisation programme by staff at a UK nursery, the boy’s family has said.
According to the child’s mother, who has not been named, workers at the Luton-based nursery raised the suggestion after the boy drew a picture of a man with a large knife cutting the vegetable.
On Wednesday morning, an article posted on Aug. 19 on the website of a major national Jewish advocacy organization began to make the rounds on social media. It was a review of Postmedia columnist Sue-Ann Levy’s new book, and it contained a startling allegation
On Monday Donald Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what’s going on.” Despite universal outrage, the billionaire presidential candidate has only doubled down on his vow, the latest in a string of anti-minority comments ranging from the offensive to the downright absurd. Even respectable commentators have started calling him a fascist.
There is an online video of a Muslim commentator on Australian television giving an interview to a national news station. In spite of the terrorism committed in the name of Islam, his firm stance in building a progressive case for the role of Muslims in western societies was captivating. He could have spoken from a weak, defensive, apologetic stance that is adopted by some commentators speaking on behalf of Muslims.
I don’t want anyone to be stripped of a scarf, turban or beard. Whether we opt to cover up or flaunt, it has to be our choice
A Muslim brother and sister were turned away from a Scarborough condo pool for wanting to swim in long shorts and Ts.
In times of terrorism, the balance between security and civil rights tilts to the former. The public expects its leaders to stand up to terrorists with resolve. Harper, however, took a leaf out of George W. Bush’s book in stoking fear of Muslim terrorism.
A massive Islamic convention this week will help to “inoculate” young Muslims against Islamophobia and throw a counterpunch against those who advocate for extremism, according to a local lawyer.
Sirag Syed, the vice-president of university affairs for the Student Association at Durham College and UOIT, is one of the organizers of an upcoming conference on Islamophobia. The college and university campus has seen its fair share of Islamophobia, with references to terrorist group ISIS vandalizing club posters for Muslin and Arab groups on campus, as well as campaign posters for nominees in the recent student elections.
The Oshawa Express
Faisal Kutty is a divisive character in the ongoing battle between civil liberty advocates and the federal government in Canada. Among political allies — many Muslims and civil rights advocates — Kutty is regarded as one of the few figures in Canada fighting for Muslims targeted by ever-expanding anti-terror programs. Among political enemies, Kutty has been labeled a radical Islamist.
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