Muslim Festival Had Diversity Challenges

#diversity #muslim #islamic #mississauga #multicultural

I checked out the Muslim festival called Muslimfest right here in my home town of Mississauga this past weekend. It was a nicely organized event with lots of entertainment (free and paid) as well as vendors featuring arts, clothing and food. The event was also bigger that I had thought with lots of sponsors as well as the vendors already mentioned.

However, the event was not without its diversity challenges. I noticed that 99% of the attendees were from our local Muslim community. I would estimate that 75% of the women were wearing hijabs and there were very few white caucasians at the festival. There were even fewer Asians as I think I was the only one there at least at the time when I was there.

This in itself was a shame. This festival was a great opportunity for others in the community to learn more about the Muslim culture which is largely misunderstood due to the international incidents and media exposure. It was a great opportunity for those of us who were not Muslim to interact with our local Muslim community and really see what their culture is all about.

Looks like there is still a long way to go yet with these diversity challenges for all sides concerned. The festival itself was a great success due to the turnout but it could have been much better with a more varied ethnic attendance.

The ironic thing here is that most people, especially here in Mississauga and Toronto, all agree that diversity is good but when it comes to really coming out to learn about each other, we still do a lousy job at it.

I hope that Muslimfest as well as the other multicultural festivals attract a more general audience from our community next year. People only have to gain by being exposed to different cultures. Conquering diversity challenges will only result in positives.

For groups interested in my live speaking programs in both motivation and diversity, see my website.

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