Muslim parents seek a path forward after protests over LGBTQ rights in school

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04/14/2024

When Iftekhar Ahmed’s child came out as transgender four years ago, the situation was difficult for him to comprehend. Raised in Pakistan in a Muslim household, Ahmed had little experience with the concept. But after about a year of conversations with his son, Mani, and of lot of learning about his identity, Ahmed was able to understand. “He’s my child,” said Ahmed, who lives in Montreal. “How you express yourself, how you dress, how you look, those are important. But it’s not everything.” So when Ahmed saw the protests last month across Canada over sex ed and LGBTQ rights, he worried for the safety of children like Mani. He says the rhetoric of parental rights doesn’t make sense, as it’s the children who are vulnerable.

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