Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman by Sheema Khan
Published: 2009 by Coach House Printing
This book is a collection of essays that initially appeared in The Globe and Mail as a series of monthly columns that Ms Khan wrote for the newspaper as a means to bridge the gap of understanding between Canadians as a whole and the Islamic community. Written between 2002 and 2009, one would think that some of the material would be dated now, in 2011, but I found them quite timely.
In an essay about reform in the Muslim world, she writes:
The wretched conditions faced by Muslims will not cease until there is a fundamental change from within.
Muslims will not solve homegrown problems of corruption, illiteracy, and sectarianism by constantly blaming the West.
Declarations that now, given recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya seem almost prescient.
Included are also some personal essays that I found wonderfully poignant. One tells about taking her son to a Montreal Canadiens' game and the memories it evoked of her childhood love of the team and of the game; this wasespecially enjoyable for me -- I was a long-suffering Winnipeg Jets' fan before they moved to Phoenix and though I hated the Canadiens I think I would have enjoyed attending a game with Ms Khan. There is also a lovely tribute to a family neighbor, a Jewish woman, and the sadness that came at her death a few days before Khan's wedding:
And I wanted her to be part of the celebration the following day. She was just like family.
Overall I found this essay collection enlightening and look forward to reading more from Ms. Khan. I know so little about Muslims and of their faith and books like this provide a personal side that is sadly lacking in news coverage.