Thousands of Muslims will gather at the Metro Convention Centre this weekend for the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference.

The convention has been taking place in Toronto for the past 14 years and is one of the largest for Muslims on the continent.

One of North America's most influential Islamic scholars, Imam Zaid Shakir, will be among those addressing the conference.

The CBC's Dwight Drummond had a chance to speak to him shortly after he arrived in Toronto about radicalization, Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States and the meaning of the holiday season.

On radicalization:

"Definitely the mosque or masjid has a role to play, the imams — the community leaders in the Muslim community — have roles to play but the wider society also has a role to play. And unless and until we can accept that and assume that responsibility as societies that we all belong to, I think it might continue to happen."

Dwight Drummond sits down with Imam Zaid Shakir [Part 1]2:25

On Donald Trump:

"I think these demagogic statements that Donald Trump is making ... he's just trying to increase his ratings and in this case his numbers in the poll. And in that sense he's only appealing to a sentiment that's already there."

Dwight Drummond sits down with Imam Zaid Shakir [Part 2]2:18

On the holiday season: 

"This year, 2015, this Christmas season is also the season where as Muslims we're celebrating ... the birth of Jesus and the birth of Muhammad... I think the message of Christmas, the message of peace - that's the message of Islam."

Dwight Drummond sits down with Imam Zaid Shakir [Part 3]2:18

Also attending the conference will be New York University chaplain Imam Khalid Latif, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York Linda Sarsour, and the president of Zaytuna College in Berkley, California, Hamza Yusuf, among other prominent speakers.

It will also feature a number of musical guests and artists including the Canadian-born songwriter Dawud Wharnsby and Malaysian music group Raihan.