Expert on Islam to speak as city welcomes first refugee families

Categories: Events
Published on: February 2, 2016

Transition Brockville / 02 February 2016

Barbara Helms_sOur community is changing. Families fleeing their own war torn countries are now making their home in Brockville. Two Eritrean and one Syrian family have come so far.

To help Brockville residents better understand the needs of new immigrants and refugee families settling in our community, two local groups have invited Barbara Helms, Executive Director of Dar-ul-Ihsan Centre for Islamic Education to Brockville. Helms will be the keynote at a free public talk on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 4 p.m. at the Brockville Memorial Civic Centre.

Helms is Chair of the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership and an expert on issues relating to Muslim populations. Helms’s impressive credentials include a BA in Comparative Religion and a Master’s in Islamic Studies (both from McGill) and a Master’s in Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University. She has been active in the Cornwall area for the past two decades, participating in interfaith dialogue, pastoral care, community education, and cultural consultancy.

In her talk, “Our Changing Community: Understanding Islam and Muslims,” Helms will provide basic information about Islam and important features about the faith and culture that will help citizens appreciate what Brockville’s refugee families need as they adjust to life here.

She will explain the difference between ISIS – an extreme aberration of Islam – and the traditional Islamic beliefs and worldviews of the people we are welcoming to our community.

Helms will also explain how the issue of mass human migrations fits in the larger context of global climate change.

Refugee Assistance Brockville & Area is on a mission to bring 10+ refugee families to our community. It is co-sponsoring this talk with Transition Brockville, a group whose aim is to help our community to adapt to the changes in climate, economics, geopolitics and culture that will result from global warming largely caused by burning of fossil fuels.

Please join us for this chance to expand your understanding and be a part of the solution.