Conference Report: American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
The Twenty-First Annual Conference of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women “Engaging Muslim Women in Civic and Social Change”
October 4, 2003, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) held its twenty-first Annual Conference, on October 4, 2003, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. CCMW was established in 1982 to attain and maintain equality, equity, and empowerment for Canadian Muslim women. Participants from across Canada came to celebrate CCMW’s renowned presence throughout the nation as well as to discuss important issues related to the theme of the conference: “Engaging Muslim Women in Civic and Social Change.” The conference officially opened with the reading of the Qurʾān in Arabic, English, and French, followed by a performance of the national anthem (Girl Guides of Canada).
Homa Hoodfar (Concordia University) opened the conference with the first session, “Building Civil Society in our Transnational World.” She discussed civil society, defined as a society ruled by laws and norms and obeyed by the governing body and the public, and the manner in which religious minorities, including Muslim women in Canada, may interact in such a society. A civil society permits a group of people to work and engage with the public in a democratic system to facilitate change and development. However, such success on this front requires transnational support and solidarity in addition to systematized lobbying