Wahida Chishti Valiante
“Her wise and persistent leadership on behalf of dignity and decency for people of all faiths has lifted the spirits and hopes of untold thousands of Canadians and people beyond. These endeavors are especially effective on behalf of the Muslims who struggle under unwarranted but often fierce passions against Islam. We need more Wahidas.” – Former U.S. Congressman Paul Findley
Born in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, Wahida Chishti Valiante arrived in Canada in 1961. A leader among North American Muslim women in social justice advocacy, human rights, inter-faith relations, research on community health, Islamic culture and roles of political advocacy, Wahida is also an author on South Asian family, women, domestic violence and social work interventions.
She is a pioneer in the field of developing therapeutic interventions for treating family conflict and inter-generational issues from an Islamic concept, integrating both the contemporary and Muslim traditions in psychotherapy. She holds a BA (psychology), BSW (Hon) from York University, and MSW from the University of Toronto as well as a diploma in family mediation, with training in Brief Solution Focused Therapy; Domestic Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Trauma, Loss and Grief.
Over the years she has applied her expertise to working with refugees from war torn countries, especially women and children, victims of rape, trauma, and psychological violence. Through writing, administration, and personal contact, Wahida has positively influenced thousands of Canada’s estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 Muslims. Her recently published book “A Mosaic of Thoughts” is the first anthology of her writings beyond the narrow spectrum of religion and families. Furthermore, she is also a member of the National Advisory Board Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities
Wahida Valiante has been a regular television panelist, made numerous national and international presentations and training sessions to academic and professional institutions, on the development of human personality and the role of religion and family, contemporary theories of family therapy and the development of an alternative model of treatment based on the Qur’anic concept of human psyche.
Passionate about promoting inter-faith dialogue, Wahida Valiante has been instrumental in connecting Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly in her position as National Chair of Islamic History Month Canada, between 2007 and 2011. A recipient of numerous awards throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Valiante was selected for four years in a row for inclusion in the prestigious publication “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World,” edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, Islamic Studies scholars at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.