Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui is a PhD candidate and researcher at McMaster University. She conducts fieldwork in the areas of migration, race/ethnicity and identity. Sabreena is also an excellent speaker on issues relating to her field of research and the experiences, perspectives, and behaviours of immigrants and their offspring. Her recent study on the health seeking behaviours of South Asian immigrants in the GTA has provided important insight into the perceived needs of racialized minority immigrants in accessing and utilizing health care services. Sabreena’s thesis focuses on the identity-related intergenerational differences in the experiences and perceptions of Muslims living in Canada, and the integration challenges they face in the current climate of rising Islamophobia. She also looks at the ways in which non-Mosque based community organizations help facilitate integration and subvert pathways to radicalization. Sabreena is also part of a larger SSHRC funded project that is examining racial microaggressions as experienced by refugee youth living in St John’s and Hamilton. The research findings from her several projects have been presented to numerous academic and public engagements worldwide and featured in health equity reports. She has also written several op-ed articles to share her expertise on current events to a broader audience. Sabreena has been interviewed on CTV News, CBC News, Radio Canada International, Toronto Star and other media outlets to share her expertise on immigration issues. Sabreena’s contributions as an academic continue to make an impact on the policies relating to the equity of immigrants and racialized minorities in Canada. Sabreena is also very involved in community engagement and knowledge translation. She serves on the board of Canadian Council of Muslim Women as their senior communications executive and is also on the advisory board of The Canadian Muslim Vote.
Industry Expertise (10)
Public Relations and Communications
Writing and Editing
Media - Broadcast
Media - Online
Areas of Expertise (16)
Race Culture and Ethnicity
Politics Global Media and Culture
Immigration and Ethnicity
Immigration and multiculturalism
Immigration and Citizenship
Refugee and Human Rights Issues
Ethnicity and Multiculturalism
Ethnicity, Nationality, and Theology
Islam and Muslim Lives
Islam and Muslim Lives in the United States;
Most Outstanding Speaker Award (professional)
Received Most Outstanding Speaker award in Waterloo University's "Emerging Realities" conference. I was selected amongst a panel of 50 speakers.
McMaster University: PhD, Sociology
The University of Waterloo: Master of Arts, Sociology 2013
StonyBrook University New York: Bachelor of Arts Honours, Sociology 2009
- CCMW Board Member - Senior Communications executive CCM
- Advisory Board Member for The Canadian Muslim Vote
- Co-Chair Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom | Toronto
- TDSB Islamic Heritage Month Resource Binder | Contributor/Editor
Media Appearances (7)
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui speaks with Wendy Mesley about Islamophobia in Canada
CBC|The National tv
Siddiqui, a researcher on immigration and race at Mc Master University discusses anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada and why it can't simply be chalked up to 'the Trump effect'
Video Targets Muslim Students
CTV News tv
Staff at an Peel District School Board are being asked to be extra vigilant after a disturbing video surfaced online offering a thousand dollar reward for recordings of Muslim students praying. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, researcher on immigration and racism at McMaster University joins us to speak further on this:
Video offering $1K reward for recordings of Muslim students praying ignites fears
CBC News online
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, a researcher on immigration and racism at Hamilton's McMaster University and spokesperson for the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, agrees a frank conversation is necessary.
"In a way I do feel like it's important that this person's views were expressed in a way where he wasn't hiding behind a keyboard. We have a lot of political correctness in Canada and that's why we kind of have this illusion of Canada being this elite and tolerant and perfect place."
"If you look at the most recent M-103 fiasco that we had, so many people thought that Islamophobia didn't need to be included because it's not a thing. Well this is a perfect example of it being a thing.
"I personally believe that it's very important to bring these stories to light, so that more people can understand that we do have a problem. Because until we know that a problem exists, we can't challenge these views, we can't confront them, we can't address them. They just get swept under the rug, unfortunately."
Muslim youth make house calls in Moose Jaw as national outreach continues
RCI Radio Canada International radio
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui is the senior communications executive for the Canadian Council of Muslim Women CCMW based in Toronto. She is also a Phd candidate at McMaster University. Among her areas of research is the Muslim experience of living in Canada amid this rising tide of Islamophobia. She says many outreach projects have been undertaken, and many more have been initiated since the election of Donald Trump.
CBC News|Toronto : 6pm News Interview
CBC News|Toronto tv
Researcher Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui told CBC News she finds the numbers in a recent study about skewed boy-girl birth ratio among Indian-born moms "a little bit vague and in need of more clarification."
Study showing skewed boy-girl birth ratio in Indian-born moms questioned by researcher
CBC News|Toronto online
Ghaffar-Siddiqui said statistical studies are important but added that qualitative research is equally crucial "so that people don't read something like this and paint everyone with the same brush.
TOWN HALL ADDRESSES HATE INCIDENTS
Sabreena Siddiqui told the audience that there is an underreporting of hate incidents by Muslims.
"Allow yourselves as immigrants, as people of colour, as Muslims, the permission to complain if an injustice is being done,” Siddiqui advised the audience. “But you should recognize and tackle the inequalities in your communities".
Event Appearances (9)
Public Perceptions of Canada’s Response to the Syrian Crisis : An examination of the views of white post-secondary students attending Mcmaster University
19TH National Metropolis Conference | Looking Forward: Migration and Mobility in 2017 and Beyond Montreal, Canada
Being a refugee, Being Black, Being Muslim : Exploring Integration Challenges for Refugee youth
NATIONAL RAP CONFERENCE Enhancing Refugee Integration Through RAP Innovation Ottawa
Shaping Immigration to Canada: Learning from the Past and a Vision for the Future - “The Double Bind: Exploring Integration Challenges for Muslim Refugees amidst Islamophobia”
Pathways to Prosperity National Conference Ottawa
“South Asian seniors' access to appropriate services via their family doctor"
Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Annual Health Equity Summit Toronto
Conducting Ethnographic Research - “Insiders and Outsiders”
The 31st Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference London, ON
The Implications of Inherited Family Doctors: “Intergenerational Differences in Preference of Family Doctor”.
American Sociological Association Annual General Meeting New York
Promising Practices for Family Engagement: “Delivering the ‘right’ kind of care to South Asian immigrant youth”.
Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Annual Health Equity Summit CAMH, Toronto
“Migration and Health: A settlement Issue”.
Michigan State University, ‘Migration without Boundaries’ Conference Michigan, USA
Migration, Identity and Health Care Preferences: “Inter and Intra-group Differences”.
University of Waterloo, ‘Emerging Realities’ Conference Waterloo, ON
Research Grants (2)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship
Government of Ontario $15,000
Funding for doctoral dissertation
Ontario Graduate Fellowship
Government of Ontario $15,000
Funding for doctoral dissertation
"A two-pronged approach must be taken to combat the rising climate of hate against Muslims in Canada. One that highlights the diversity of Muslims in Canada and another that requires the systematic analysis of the experiences of those Muslims who continue to be targets of religious discrimination. Motion-103 does not single out Muslims but it includes Muslims in a dialogue that often excludes their voices and experiences."
"A radicalized, right-wing, white Trump supporter walks into a place of worship and terrorizes a room full of innocent Muslim men as they submit in peace and prayer. How depressingly ironic! These men became the victims of the very label that the media and public use to condemn them: terrorist".
"Calling the Quebec massacre a terrorist attack is imperative for us to delineate and separate terrorism from Islam and the villains from the victims. In the current climate of fear-mongering and division, now more than ever, it is extremely important for us, as Canadians, to be careful with our words and our definitions and to call things out for what they are, even if the Americans do not".
"When given safety instructions in case of loss of cabin pressure in an airplane, we are told to secure our own oxygen masks first before those of our children. This is to ensure that we are fit enough to care for them. And just like that, in order to provide the best care to our children, we must take care of our own selves first. Being a parent is no easy task and we don’t always make the right decisions, but whatever decision we do make, is with the intention to be good parents. Grief is a necessary part of loss and we cannot expect to put it aside for a little while."
"Our one smartphone has eliminated the need for almost all other gadgets but has this magic device in the palm of our hands lured us away from our children? In a smart phone driven world how do parents negotiate the delicate balance of using devices to improve their standard of life whilst not allowing it to isolate them from the family unit? There is no denying that life can be a lot easier with a smartphone, and with an abundance of information so readily available in the palm of your hands, why would there be any question of the benefits?"