Farah Nasser and Dr. Mohamad Fakih with Panelists: Bernie Farber, Mustafa Farook, Dr. Barbara Perry
Canada’s top experts in the field of hate and extremist research explain the unparalleled growth of hate groups and what Canadians can do about it. Including a discussion on how social media and technology have fueled the hate industry and which new tools governments and citizens need to resist.
Bernie Farber, Chairman of the Anti Hate Network
Bernie’s career spans more than a quarter century focused on human rights, pluralism and inter ethnic, faith, race relations.
Former CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress and the Mosaic Institute he is recognized and called upon by the courts, media and law enforcement as an expert in human and civil rights he is one of the few in the field to be accepted by Canadian Courts as an expert in hate crime, white supremacy and anti racism.
He is Chair of the Canadian Anti Hate Network and sits as a board member of Human Rights Watch. He has been recognized by Canada for his human rights work having been awarded the Canada 125 Medal, The Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Sovereigns Medal as well as the special commendation award from the Venerable Order of St. John.
He writes for newspapers and magazines and is a sought after speaker appearing regularly on television, radio and podcasts.
Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims
Mustafa Farooq is Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, NCCM. A lawyer by profession, Mustafa completed his Juris Doctor at the University of Alberta and Osgoode Hall, York University; and later earned his Master of Laws,LLM, at UC Berkeley in California. He previously served as a senior political staffer to a provincial cabinet minister in which role he worked on various legislative and policy initiatives.
Mustafa was also a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School researching countering violent extremism policy in Canada. His book entitled Law, Politics, and Countering Violent Extremism, Routledge, is forthcoming.
He is a published writer and commentator in various news media and publications on issues related to Canadian Muslims, human rights and civil liberties, and public policy issues including Islamophobia and national security.
Dr. Barbara Perry, Professor, Ontario Technical University
Barbara Perry is a Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and the Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism. She has written extensively on social justice generally, and hate crime specifically. She has published several books spanning both areas, including Diversity, Crime and Justice in Canada, and In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crime. She has also published in the area of Native American victimization and social control, including one book entitled The Silent Victims: Native American Victims of Hate Crime, and Policing Race and Place: Under and Over enforcement in Indian Country, both of which were based on interviews with Native Americans, University of Arizona Press. Dr. Perry continues to work in the area of hate crime, and has begun to make contributions to the limited scholarship on hate crime in Canada. Most recently, she has contributed to a scholarly understanding of anti Muslim violence, hate crime against LGBTQ communities, the community impacts of hate crime, and right wing extremism in Canada. She is regularly called upon by local, national and international media as an expert on hate crime and right wing extremism.
She puts her academic skills to work in the community through extensive involvement in local social justice initiatives. She is on the Board of PFLAG, and also serves on the Education team. Through this role, she has been able to help develop and deliver training and awareness initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusivity for LGBTQ communities locally. Dr. Perry also sits on a number of related committees, including the DRPS Diversity Advisory Committee, and Whitby’s Ethno cultural Diversity Advisory Committee. Her community work was recognized in 2018 with the Ontario Leading Women, Building Communities Award, and was recognized in 2019 by the City of Oshawa for her volunteerism.
Farah Nasser, News Anchor, Global News
One of Toronto’s most recognizable faces in news, Farah Nasser is an award winning journalist, bringing extensive experience to her role as anchor on Global News at 5:30pm and 6pm.
Nasser’s status as a trusted journalist with a strong political background, having covered elections at every government level, has earned her the opportunity to moderate key political debates, including the main 2018 Ontario provincial election debate, and the only broadcast 2018 Toronto mayoral debate.
Providing viewers across the GTA much needed clarity for nearly two decades, she was on the ground reporting during major events such as the Toronto van attack, the G20 Summit in 2010 and the Toronto 18 terror trials.
Nasser has been praised for furthering public discourse with her thought provoking reporting. She created notable buzz on social media as the force behind FirstTimeIWasCalled and LivingInColour,two digital series’ exploring the experiences of marginalized peoples.
She is also a back to back winner of the RTNDA Sam Ross Award for her viral commentaries 93 Killed a Day at the Barrel of a Gun (2018) and What if the fighting in Aleppo was happening in Toronto?, 2017; the latter story was viewed 3.5 million times and used as a teaching aid in schools to explain the Syrian conflict.
Nasser began her career with Rogers TV before accepting a position with Newstalk 1010, where she worked her way up to a reporting role. After landing this first major reporting gig, Nasser went on to hold various roles with Toronto 1, A Channel News, Citytv, and CP24 before joining Global News.
A graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program, she also attended the University of Westminster in London, England and later interned for CNN in New Delhi, India.
When not reporting on the day’s headlines, Nasser spends her time volunteering in the community. She regularly speaks at community events and has worked with organizations such as Journalists for Human Rights, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Economic Club of Canada.
Nasser lives in Toronto with her husband and her two young kids. She can often be found looking for hidden gems around the city, having dance parties with her kids, or doing Pilates.
Featuring special remarks and introduction by:
Dr. Mohamad Fakih, President and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods; Face and Voice of UNHCR Canada: The UN Agency in Canada
In 2006, Dr. Mohamad Fakih, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, purchased a nearly bankrupt restaurant and transformed it into, what is now known as the fastest growing Middle Eastern Halal restaurant chain in North America, Paramount Fine Foods. Mohamad’s determination to change perceptions surrounding Middle Eastern food has driven Paramount’s brand success across Canada and Internationally as well as advancing the global Middle Eastern food trend.
A community leader, Dr. Fakih regularly participates in fundraisers and community events, supporting multiple causes and organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, Islamic Relief worldwide, Sick Kids Hospital, the Make a Wish Foundation in Toronto and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Canada. Both Paramount and Mohamad have donated generously to these charities and other non profit organizations. Across his restaurants Mohamad offers discounts to all Emergency Service Workers in uniform to show appreciation for their service in our communities.
In the past three years after the Canadian government decided to welcome 25,000 Syrian Refugees, Dr. Fakih made headlines in Canadian News when he travelled to Lebanon to visit the Islamic Relief Camps for Syrian Refugees to gain a deeper understanding of current relief efforts. Hoping to lead by example, Mohamad partnered with Ryerson University, Toronto for the Lifeline Syrian Challenge, allowing Paramount Fine Foods to fund employment support counsel to help recruit new Syrian Canadians during their job search.
Mohamad opened the doors of Paramount restaurants to the skills and drive many refugees bring to Canada by providing up to 150 jobs for the newcomers in his restaurants in year 2017.
Dr. Fakih’s determination to uphold values of giving back to communities where Paramount restaurants arelocated has resulted in a workplace culture of giving to others and to supporting one another. He has made philanthropy and giving back a key part of Paramount’s culture and identity, setting it apart from other restaurants and businesses globally.
Dr. Fakih has been featured in several leading media outlets across Canada including CBC and CP 24 Television, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Newstalk 1010, National Post and many more.
In February 2017, Dr. Fakih was acknowledged before the Canadian Parliament by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, as an Exemplary Canadian Citizen and Businessman who successfully operated a Middle Eastern restaurant chain, and was applauded for his charitable work in January 2017 when he covered the funeral costs of six victims of a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. In his business affairs and community work, Dr. Fakih is viewed as a Canadian of Lebanese birth who transcends and brings together people of all origins in a global workplace advancing our communities and helping each other to contribute to our societies. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, as well as the Premier of Ontario, Canada and several City Mayors have all visited Paramount Restaurants in Ontario.
Along with being named a finalist in the 2014 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Dr. Fakih made the cover of Canadian Immigrant Magazine for both his business success and inspiring life story. In addition, The Globe and Mail titled Dr. Fakih one of Toronto’s 16 to watch in 2016. The list, released inJanuary included other notable Canadians such as John Tory, Mayor of Toronto and Alessia Cara, International Artist. Toronto Life Magazine named Dr. Fakih as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in 2017, including him in an affluent list of successful politicians, international businessmen, media and tech titans who are changing the world as we know it.
In 2018 Dr. Fakih, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist and CEO and President of Paramount Fine Foods received an honorary Doctor of Law Degree, from Ryerson University in Toronto. Dr. Fakih most recently received the prestigious 2018 Employer Award for Newcomer Employment from IRCC, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In May 2018, the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Canada launched a new partnership with Dr. Fakih, thePresident and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods and the Founder of Fakih Foundation, to support the Agency’swork for refugees globally and in Canada.
UNHCR recognized Dr. Fakih’s vision and commitment to building, a Canada that is strengthened by diversity and a global leader on refugee issues, based on his contribution in promoting the economic and social integration of refugees into our communities.
Dr. Fakih is committed to revamping the traditional image of the Middle Eastern Restaurant industry by changing the way the cuisine is viewed and enjoyed. He believes that his hands on approach to all aspects of his business ensures the Paramount model will sustain its growth and continue to provide jobs for Canadians including new immigrants and globally as Paramount expands.
Paramount currently employs over 2000 people across its 54 restaurants and gourmet butcher shops globally with 42 in Canada and 12 International locations, plus food factories and its Toronto international corporate head office. The Paramount brand will have 65 locations by end of 2018 with new locations opening in Lebanon, the UK, New York state, US, Dubai and Pakistan. Paramount continues to be proud to bring Halal Foods to the world after being the first halal restaurant to open at Terminals 1 and 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Dr. Fakih is a strategic and successful business leader who employs his skills, expertise and experience intoexpanding Paramount’s brand to pioneer the halal market globally. He believes this can only be achieved by sharing his vision, knowledge and expertise with his management teams and franchisees in every country
where he opens locations. Dr. Fakih aims to continue the exponential growth of Paramount globally while continuing to promote excellent standards of food quality and service in Middle Eastern restaurants and to share the cuisine with diverse audiences.
In the last 5 years, Dr. Fakih has received numerous awards for his business excellence and for his charitable works including a few mentioned below:
Entrepreneur of the Year, Food and Beverage Finalist 2013 to 2014, Ernst and Young, Ontario, Canada
Readers’ Choice Community Gold Award 2013 and 2014, Hamilton, Ontario newspapers
Top Meat Shop 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Top Choice Media Awards in Toronto, Ontario
Best Middle Eastern Restaurant and Top Butcher Shop in Mississauga, Ontario, insauga.com
Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, MAX Gala, Muslim Awards for Business
Excellence in Ontario, Canada
Business Person of the Year 2016, Business Excellence Award, Toronto Board of Trade
Regional Company of the Year 2016, Pinnacle Awards, Kostcuh Restaurant and Food Industry Media Canada
Excellence in Community Engagement 2016, Pioneers of Change Awards and Skills for Change, Toronto
Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Ontario, Canada 2016, Toronto Life Magazine
United Way Recognition of Support Award 2016, Peel Regional Police in Ontario, Canada
Top Choice Award for Paramount Restaurants and Butcher Shop in Ontario, Canada-2017, Top Choice Media
Consumers Choice Award, Best Mediterranean Restaurant in the Greater Toronto Area, 2017
Business Person of the Year 2017, Brampton, Ontario, Board of Trade
Sawa Business Excellence Award, Year 2017, Sawa International Group Gala, Quebec, Canada for International Relief Organization Awards
Restaurants Canada, Leadership Award 2017, Organization for Excellence in Canadian Restaurants.
Royal Bank of Canada, Top 25 Immigrant Award 2017
Toronto Life Magazine, Top 50 Most Influential People Awards, 2016 and 2017
Doctor of Law, Honorary Doctorate Degree, Ryerson University, 2018, Toronto, awarded to Mohamad Fakih, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, and CEO and President of Paramount Fine Foods
2018 Employer Award for Newcomer Employment, from IRCC: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Canada, 2018, New partnership with Dr. Fakih, President and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods and Founder of the Fakih Foundation
Recipient of the Senate 150 Medal 2018, Given to individuals across Canada who has been nominated by senators to mark the 150th anniversary of the first sitting of the Senate
University of West Indies, Raymond Chang Award 2019, Given to individuals who exemplify leadership and philanthropy in commitment to betterment of communities in Canada.
VOSCARS, Hazel McCallion Power of Giving Award, 2019, Given to individuals with generosity and determination who has made a variety of contributions to the community
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.