Islam in Canada

According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, there were 1,053,945 Muslims in Canada, or about 3.2%[1] of the population, making Islam the second largest religion in the country after Christianity. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 7.7% of the population is Muslim, and in Greater Montreal, 6% of the population is Muslim.[2] A majority of Canada’s Muslim population follows Sunni Islam, while a significant minority adhere to the Shia and Ahmadiyya branches.[3]

Demographics, concentration, and life

The majority of Canadian Muslims live in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 424,925 Muslims living in the Greater Toronto Area equalling 7.7% of the total metro population.[5] It consists of people especially a large number of Muslims of Indian, Pakistani, Iranian and Egyptian/Arab descent. Greater Montreal’s Muslim community was 221,040[6] in 2011 or nearly 6% of the total metro population which includes a highly diverse Muslim population from Western/Southern Europe, Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Canada’s national capital Ottawa hosts many Lebanese, South Asian and Somali Muslims, where the Muslim community numbered approximately 65,880 or 5.5% in 2011.[7] In addition to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, nearly every major Canadian metropolitan area has a Muslim community, including Vancouver (73,215), where more than a third are of Iranian descent, Calgary (58,310), Edmonton (46,125), Windsor (15,575), Winnipeg (11,265), and Halifax (7,540). In recent years, there has been rapid population growth in Calgary and Edmonton because of the booming economy.[1]

Most Canadian Muslims are people who were raised Muslim.[citation needed] As with immigrants in general, Muslim immigrants have come to Canada for a variety of reasons. These include higher education, security, employment, and family reunification. Others have come for religious and political freedom, and safety and security, leaving behind civil wars, persecution, and other forms of civil and ethnic strife. In the 1980s, Canada became an important place of refuge for those fleeing the Lebanese Civil War. The 1990s saw Somali Muslims arrive in the wake of the Somali Civil War as well as Bosniaks fleeing the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. However Canada has yet to receive any significant numbers of Iraqis fleeing the Iraqi War. But in general almost every Muslim country in the world has sent immigrants to CanadaA�a�� from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania to Yemen and Bangladesh.[8]

The fertility rate for Muslims in Canada is higher than the rate for other Canadians (an average of 2.4 children per woman for Muslims, compared with 1.6 children per woman for other populations in Canada).[9]

There are a plethora of Halal/Zabihah restaurants across Canada, and many are located in the Greater Toronto Area. In Toronto alone, there are more than 400 Halal/Zabihah restaurants [10]

 

As the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of religious expression, Canadian Muslims face no official religious discrimination. Under Section 2(a) of the Charter, the wearing of a hijab is permitted in schools and places of work, although Quebec has ruled that medical faculties are not required to accommodate Muslim women who wish to be served by female employees.[12] Religious holidays and dietary restrictions are also respected, but outside major urban areas it may be difficult to find halal food. It is also often difficult to observe Islamic rules against usury. Some Muslims in some parts of Canada have asked to have family dispute courts to oversee small family cases but were faced with rigorous opposition from both within the Muslim community (both conservative and liberal), and by non-Muslim groups.[13][14]

In 2011, the Harper government attempted to ban the niqab during citizenship ceremonies.[15] In 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the ban,[16] and the Supreme Court turned down the government’s appeal

History

Four years after Canada’s founding in 1867, the 1871 Canadian Census found 13 European Muslims among the population.[17][18] A great number of Bosniaks (from Bosnia) came to American soil much like Christians from Europe; some came before the First World War. The first Muslim organization in Canada was registered in 1934 in Regina, Saskatchewan, consisting of immigrants from Lebanon. The first Canadian mosque was constructed in Edmonton in 1938, when there were approximately 700 European Muslims in the country.[19] This building is now part of the museum at Fort Edmonton Park. The years after World War II saw a small increase in the Muslim population. However Muslims were still a distinct minority. It was only after the removal of European immigration preferences in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Muslims began to arrive in significant numbers.

El completamente nuevo repetidor Millenary Minute en oro rosa perpetúa una especie de complicados relojes replicas de relojes Audemars Piguet que incluyen piezas desde la Tradition d’Excellence No. 5, el MC12, los segundos de Deadbeat y el Carbon One. El relojes imitacion, revestido en oro rosa, cuenta con varias funciones de repetición de horas, minutos, segundos y minutos, junto con un sistema de devanado especialmente desarrollado que hace que sea, como sus ilustres antepasados, una mezcla de sofisticación técnica, materiales innovadores y una gran experiencia. Equipado consiguiendo una correa de caucho marrón obteniendo una hebilla plegable de diamante AP.

Bosniaks were the initiators and one of the main participants in founding of all first mosques in Toronto. First masjid, out of which the three oldest mosques in Toronto came were founded by Bosniaks and Albanians in 1968. The first masjid in Toronto was named Jami Mosque (56 Boustead Ave. Toronto). Later, with the action of University of Toronto professor Qadeer Baig, it was purchased by Asian Muslims, while Albanians and Bosniaks later founded their own mosques: Albanian Muslim Society of Toronto on 564 Annette St. and Bosanska dA?amija (Bosnian Mosque) at Bosnian Islamic Centre.

The first Madressa (Islamic seminary) in North America; Al-Rashid Islamic Institute (http://alrashid.ca) was established in Cornwall, Ontario in 1983 and has graduates that are Hafiz (Quran) and Ulama. The Seminary was established by Maulana Mazhar Alam, originally from Bihar, India, under the direction of his teacher the leading Indian Tablighi scholar Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi and focuses on the traditional Hanafi school of thought. Due to its proximity to the US border city of Massena the school has historically had a high ratio of US students. Their most prominent graduate Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef completed his Hifz in the early 1990s then went on to form the AlMaghrib Institute.

Toronto Dawah Centre, 2007

According to the Canadian Census of 1971 there were 33,000 Muslims in Canada.[20] The oldest mosque in Toronto, with the oldest minaret in Ontario, built in Osmanic style is the one in Etobicoke, that is part of the Bosnian Islamic Centre,[21] whose readjustment into masjid (originally an old Catholic school building) was over on June 23, 1973. Mosque (an old Catholic school, bought for 75 000 CAD) was readjusted for the Bosniaks, with the support of the local Christians. In the 1970s large-scale non-European immigration to Canada began. This was reflected in the growth of the Muslim community in Canada. In 1981, the Census listed 98,000 Muslims.[22] The 1991 Census indicated 253,265 Muslims.[23] By 2001, the Islamic community in Canada had grown to more than 579,000.[24] Estimates for the Census 2006 pointed to a figure of 800,000.[3] As of May 2013, Muslims account for 3.2% of the total population, with a total of over a million, and Islam has become the fastest growing religion in Canada.[25][26]

Groups

Major Canadian cities have local Muslim organizations that deal mainly with issues pertaining to their home city, but that support national associations.. Most Muslim organizations on the national level are umbrella groups and coordination bodies. Student-led initiatives are generally well supported and successful, including annual events such as MuslimFest and the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference, the largest Islamic event in Canada.

Bait-ul Islam Mosque “House of Islam (Peace and Submission)”

Shia Muslims

Ahmadiyya Muslims

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada acts as an Ahmadi Muslim representative. It has about 50 Local Chapters scattered across Canada, concentrating mainly in southern Ontario. The community has good relations with the government and helps in humanitarian causes. Baitun Nur is the largest mosque in Canada.[27][28]

Identity and beliefs

In a 2016 Environics poll, 83% of Muslims were “very proud” to be Canadian, compared with 73% of non-Muslim Canadians who said the same thing. Canadian Muslims reported “Canada’s freedom and democracy” as the greatest source of pride, and “multiculturalism and diversity” as the second greatest. 94% of Canadian Muslims reported a “strong” or “very strong” sense of belonging to Canada. 48% of Canadian Muslims attend mosque at least once a week. 53% of women wear some sort of head-covering in public (48% wear the hijab, 3% wear the chador and 2% wear the niqab). Both pride in being Canadian and having a strong sense of belonging had increased in Canadian Muslims as compared to a 2006 survey. Mosque attendance and wearing a head covering in public had also increased since the 2006 survey.[30]

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