Junaid Jahangir

Assistant Professor, Economics, at MacEwan University; Writer; Activist

photography by Cooper & O'Hara

Age: 39

Why He's Top 40: He works to further the dialogue against Islamophobia and homophobia and serves as a role model for marginalized groups

Junaid Jahangir quotes Leonardo Da Vinci: “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.”

It’s a fitting challenge he could pose to any of his students, but he intends the message for a larger audience. By day he’s a positively reviewed, well-liked professor at MacEwan University, but, over the past eight years, he has become a prolific and outspoken activist for minorities, especially the Muslim LGBTQ community. “Much of my work — I’ve published a book, a book chapter, articles — became a secondary career,” Jahangir says. “It just happened and I felt a pressing need to respond, and one thing led to another and opportunities came my way and I just said yes.”

Jahangir, who once worked as a research assistant for religious scholars in Pakistan, is interested in theology and with how to make sense of ancient texts so that they are applicable in our contemporary lives. His thorough understanding and study of the texts makes him feel empowered to discuss them, whether he’s writing his Huffington Post column or being interviewed on CBC Radio.

 “I would like other people in the Muslim community to not be limited by a certain streak of Muslim thought that is predominant in Muslim spaces today,” Jahangir says. “I want them to learn the tradition, know it thoroughly, and then question things. You need to think critically, reflect on things, and then make up your mind — and hopefully their minds will take them towards liberation and human rights and compassion and mercy, as opposed to dogmatic positions which ended up oppressing whether its people of different religions, women, sexual minorities or anyone else.”

This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Property of the Week: Ardrossan Estates

This new bungalow is detailed and spacious.

Property of the Week: Magnificent Mactaggart

This property has stunning features inside and out.

Property of the Week: University Avenue Gem

This upgraded home is beautiful and conveniently located.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edmonton Restaurants >

Search for restaurants by cuisine or area of the city.

Find Avenue Edmonton >

Our 500 store listings cover fashion, home decor, sports, food and drink, and more.

Find an Event >

Wondering what to do tonight, tomorrow or next week? This calendar of events will help.