Toronto

Thousands of Muslims gather in Toronto this weekend for Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference

The CBC’s Dwight Drummond had a chance to speak to Imam Zaid Shakir about radicalization and the rise of Islamophobia following the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernadino.

One of North America’s most influential Islamic scholars, Imam Zaid Shakir, will address them

One of North America's most influential Islamic scholars, Imam Zaid Shakir, will address thousands of Muslims at the Metro Convention Centre this weekend for the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference.

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."

Imam Zaid Shakir discusses how to stop radicalization 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 speaks to Imam Zaid Shakir about Donald Trump's proposed ban on Muslims coming to the United States 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 speaks to Imam Zaid Shakir about the holiday season. 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.

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