Muslim Newfoundlander Interfaith Champion
Commonwealth Point of Light 123. Aatif Baskanderi
Aatif Baskanderi, representing Canada, is an advocate for community cohesion and interfaith understanding.
Inspired by his own experience growing up as a Muslim in Newfoundland, he set out on a journey to recount his story of pluralism and tolerance, sharing with thousands of people a message of social inclusion and the importance of empowering people’s unique identity, particularly young people. His tour was documented in a short film ‘Salaam B’y – A Story of a Muslim Newfoundlander’ which has received global recognition and has been screened in almost 30 cities around the world. Aatif is now sharing his message of kindness in Canadian schools, with his story now part of the school curriculum in Newfoundland.
Aatif was presented with his award by Her Honour Lt Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell at a dedicated screening of his documentary (pictured below, alongside his wife).
“I am honoured to receive this award alongside a group of amazing global community leaders who give their time and effort to make the world a better place. The Points of Light brings to the stage the kindness that is in the world, which is especially needed these days when society seems so fragmented. However, what you find is when you enter these communities, there are countless wonderful people putting kindness to action through all sorts of ways. I have found this as I travelled across Canada and the world, and the Points of Light does just that – highlighting kindness around the world.”
Watch Aatif’s reaction to receiving his award: