Canadian Muslims thrive in peace

By: Ali Farkhan Tsani, Editor-in-chief of the MINA press agency

Canada, the northernmost country in North America, with a population of more than 35 million, is a rapidly growing Muslim region.

Surveys show that the Muslim population exceeds one million. This is indeed a minority, around 3 percent. However, the trend is increasingly popular with residents.

In 2013, the Canadian Statistics Agency noted that the Muslim population was growing more than that of other religions.

The Muslims of this country, whose capital is Ottawa and whose main languages ​​are English and French, are flourishing and developing quite quickly, with a humanist and dialogical approach.

Initial entry

The arrival of Islam in Canada took place around 1871. A number of Bosnian Croat Muslims arrived in America following the raging First World War. The Muslim population began to increase slightly after the end of World War II.

GoMuslim stated that according to the 1971 Canadian census there were 33,000 Muslims in Canada. In 1970, large-scale immigration to Canada began.

In 1981, the census recorded 98,000 Muslims. Then, in the 1991 census, the number of Muslims increased to 253,265 people. In 2001, the Islamic community in Canada numbered more than 579,000 people. The 2006 census reported a figure of almost 800,000 people, and today there are around 1 million more.

Muslims come to Canada for a variety of reasons, such as pursuing higher education, seeking safety, rejoining family or trying their luck at work.

There are also those who come because of political and security issues in their home country, as well as because they serve in their home country’s embassy.

Canadian Muslims therefore have diverse ethnic origins. The majority come from Pakistan, the Middle East and Indonesia. Meanwhile, about a fifth were born in Canada.

There have also been a number of converts to Islam in recent decades, but no statistical data is available.

The majority of Canadian Muslims, like most immigrants, generally live in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Al-Rashid Mosque in the city of Edmundon, Canada

Canadian mosque

The first Canadian mosque was the Al-Rashid Mosque, built in the town of Edmundon in 1938. At that time, it was estimated that there were around 700 Muslims in the country. The mosque building is now part of the Fort Edmonton Park Museum. This mosque is considered a historic building.

Bosnian Muslims were the initiators of the creation of the first mosque in Toronto. The first mosque was founded by Bosnians and Albanians in 1968, under the name Jami Mosque 56 Boustead Ave Toronto.

Today, in every province and territory, there are significant Muslim communities. The largest community is in Toronto, with 250,000 Muslims and more than 20 mosques.

Most mosques participate in Open House events, inviting the general public to come to the mosque and learn more about Islam.

Coexist in peace

Canadian Muslims do not face the problem of religious discrimination at all. Ethnic, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity is part of Canada.

Canadian Muslims live side by side with other Canadians in peace and harmony. Freedom of religion and religious expression is guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Muslim women can also wear hijab freely as wearing hijab is permitted in schools and workplaces.

The majority of Canadian Muslims work in commerce and services. Other fields of work that Muslims generally undertake are business, finance, administration and management.

Muslims who study Islam there typically join Islamic organizations such as the Kitchener-based Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), the Ottawa-based Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the Canadian Muslim Congress (MCC), and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). ).

Apart from this, there is also the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) which is now one of the leading advocates for the civil liberties of the Muslim community.

These Muslim organizations in Canada operate schools, provide youth training and organize other community events.

Canadian Muslim Women

Attention from the government

The Canadian government pays adequate attention to Muslim citizens. It is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who often attends Muslim meetings. Like more recently when Trudeau attended the 43rd Jalsa Salana Canadian Muslim Conference on July 5, 2019 in Toronto.

On his social media accounts, Justin Trudeau stressed the importance of maintaining peace between people.

Not to mention, a series of exhibitions were also held, featuring an exhibition of the Holy Quran featuring over 70 translations from different languages.

The head of the Canadian Muslim community, Daood Hassan Hamdani, stressed that the role of Canadian Muslims is very important in social and state life. This is evident from the dynamics of mosques and Islamic organizations in the country. These two types of Islamic institutions operate in varied fields, primarily educating Muslims towards a religious, open and dynamic society.

Mosques in Canada are never empty of worshipers. Various religious activities, whether obligatory worship or religious ceremonies, are organized regularly. There is a positive correlation between the increase in the number of Muslims and the increase in religious practices in mosques.

The number of mosques continues to increase from year to year. The newest and largest mosque in Canada is currently the Baitun Nur Mosque in Calgary, inaugurated on July 5, 2008.

The then mayor of Calgary also praised the architectural beauty of the Baitun Nur Mosque, saying: “This mosque adorns the beauty of the Calgary sky.”

There is also a mosque which shows those who come from the same country. For example, the Bosnian Community Mosque in the southern Ontario city of Etobicoke represents the Bosnian Muslim community.

Education Islam

In the field of education of Canadian Muslim youth, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) plays an important role. This organization operates in 11 cities in Canada with the main goal of raising awareness that the Islamic religion is concerned with development, balance and social integration.

There is also the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), which is a forum for Canadian Muslims of all ideologies. In this organization, leaders and scholars from various circles come together.

There are several other organizations that also play a role in creating harmony among Muslims or between Muslims and non-Muslims.

These organizations present a tolerant face of Islam that can coexist peacefully with other peoples.

A da’wah opportunity is very open to da’i or da’wah institutions from Muslim countries, especially Indonesia. The skill of a preacher who has memorized the Quran, has a good miraculous voice and of course speaks English fluently, is highly expected and expected in this multi-ethnic country.

The ability to communicate and dialogue intelligently, to have technological capabilities and information bases and to have a global perspective will be of great support in preaching aimed at strengthening and developing Islam in Canada and America North. If God wills. (A/RS2/RI-1)

Mi’raj Press Agency (MINA)

Robert Butler

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