Mohammed, Tahir

On April 28, 2017, Crestwood World History and Religion students took a day to take in the multireligious and multicultural character of Toronto.  Students visited a Sikh gurdwara, a Hindu temple, and in the afternoon we visited the Noor Cultural Centre and Mosque, to take part in Friday prayers.  It was a day for students to put their learning into practice and to connect to the larger community.

At Noor we were able to meet Tahir Mohammed, who had agreed to do an oral history interview with Crestwood students.
Tahir was born in Trinidad, descended from indentured workers who had come there from India in the 19th century.  Tahir explained what this meant in the context of the abolition of slavery, and students were able to learn about the multireligious nature of present day Trinidad.  Tahir was not particularly religious in his youth, and upon arrival in Canada religion still did not play a central role in his life; his greater interest was in establishing his place in his new country.  He also remembered a fondness for rock’n’roll.  9/11 changed some of Tahir’s perceptions, and it served to reinvigorate his interest in his roots, including attendance at his local mosque.
 Tahir gave students a good overview of his life before emigrating to Canada, and he covered the realities and misconceptions surrounding Islam; he also encouraged students to develop an interfaith dialogue, and we are hopeful that this interview will aid students in that journey.