Social justice activist
Itrath Syed has recently completed a Masters degree in Women’s Studies at the Centre for Research in Women’s Studies and Gender Relations at the University of British Columbia. Her MA work explored the gendered and racialized construction of the Muslim community in the media discourse surrounding the Islamic Arbitration or "Shariah" debate in Ontario. In 1995, she completed her B.A. from Simon Fraser University with a major in Middle East History and minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies. During the years between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Itrath worked in the field of anti-violence. She initially started out at a Rape Crisis Centre and then worked at Transition Houses for battered women and their children. Itrath is a social justice activist involved with the local anti-war movement, in anti-occupation solidarity work and in resisting the erosion of civil rights and the racial profiling of the Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities in Canada. In the 2004 federal election, Itrath ran as a candidate for the New Democratic Party in her home riding of Delta-Richmond East, British Columbia. Itrath has been interviewed for several documentaries and is a frequent presenter on a wide array of political and social issues. Itrath is a Muslim and her social justice activism comes from her belief that working towards a more just and equitable society is an integral part of living a life in engagement with the Divine.