Ms. Salma Siddiqui was born in Karachi and moved to Canada as a child. She is an Ottawa based entrepreneur and community activist. In addition to owning a corporate travel agency and a real estate development business, Ms. Siddiqui has been active in the NGO community across Canada. She is currently Chair of the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations, sits on the RCMP/CSIS Muslim Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council. She is also past Vice President of the Circle of Canadians and the Muslim Canadian Congress. In 2013, the Government of Canada honoured her with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2011, Ottawa Life Magazine placed her on the list of 50 Most Influential People in the capital. Ms. Siddiqui is also the 2006 recipient of the Women of Distinction for Entrepreneurial Community Giving Award, given out by YWCA Canada. In 2013 she was elected to the board of the Forum of Federations, a Canada based international organization working to support democracy and pluralism globally. In 2015 Ms.Siddiqui chaired a major effort by Muslim and other community groups in Canada to fundraise in support of the Holocaust Monument to be built in Ottawa. She is a regular commentator on multicultural and immigration issues in national print and electronic media. Salma was one of the first 15 members chosen by the Government of Canada’s Cross Cultural Roundtable on National Security in the aftermath of 9/11. media.
Activism backgrounder Salma Siddiqui has been a long time community activist promoting a pluralist, equitable and tolerant Canada. She is a long time member of the Liberal Party of Canada who has worked across party lines to support causes ranging from women’s rights and emancipation to fighting against religious extremism, including Islamist movements. She was a founder of the Circle of Canadians that strove to promote Canadian values and a sense of shared civic citizenship in this country. She was also a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress which took on radical Islamist groups in Canada. She is the founding Chairperson of the new coalition of progressive Canadian Muslim organizations was marked by its openness and sensitivity to people from other faith groups. The Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations (CPCMO) was formed to act as “an umbrella for progressive Muslims across Canada who uphold Canadian values emphasizing separation of religion and politics, gender equality, one law for all and education against radicalization,” according to its mission statement.
CPCMO is a think tank to provide a platform for diverse voices within the Muslim communities of Canada, who are engaged in following the principles and values stated in the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while understanding the reasons that lead to problems of Muslim radicalization. CPCMO has campaigned to support Muslims who recognize that sharia
is a time-bound, humanly constructed, legal-political system created in the 9th Century which is at odds with the modern world, and are working towards reform. The member organizations
are Canadian Thinkers’ Forum, Forum for Learning, Islamic Council for Interfaith Harmony, Muslim Committee Against Anti-Semitism, Progressive Muslims Institute Canada, Project Ijtihad, The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow and Western Canadian Muslims for democracy.