Islam in Canada
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|Islam by country|
According to Canada's 2001 census, there were 579,740 Muslims in Canada, just under 2% of the population. In 2006, the Muslim population was estimated to be 0.8 million or about 2.6%. In 2010, the Pew Research Center estimates there were about 940,000 Muslims in Canada. 5% of all the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) population is Muslim, making GTA the highest concentration of Muslims in any city in North America.
Demographics, concentration, and life 
Most Canadian Muslims are people who were raised Muslim. As with immigrants in general, Muslim immigrants have come to Canada for a variety of reasons. These include higher education, security, employment, and family re-unification. 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 Canada — from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania to Yemen to Bangladesh.
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)
The majority of Canadian Muslims live in the province of Ontario, with the largest groups settled in and around the Greater Toronto Area. According to the 2001 Census, there were 254,110 Muslims living in Greater Toronto. Canada's national capital Ottawa hosts many Lebanese and Somali Muslims, where the Muslim community numbered approximately 40,000 in 2001. Greater Montreal's Muslim community of large numbers of Moroccan, Algerian and Lebanese descent neared 100,000 in 2001. These communities are not exclusively, but predominantly, Muslim. In addition to Ottawa and Montreal, nearly every major Canadian metropolitan area has a Muslim community, including Vancouver (52,590), where more than a third are of Iranian descent, Calgary (28,920), Edmonton (19,580), Windsor (10,745), Winnipeg (4,805), and Halifax (3,070)
Although Bosniaks make a small share in Canadian Muslim community and small share in Canadian Bosnian community, 4 out of 64 Canadian mosques have the attribute Bosnian.
Table 1: Muslim Population of Canada in 2001
|Newfoundland and Labrador||630||0.1%|
|Prince Edward Island||195||0.1%|
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 the 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. 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. 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 traditional groups and liberal Muslim groups, labelling the request as a move towards imposing a Sharia Law. This proposal was opposed by the Muslim Canadian Congress, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and non-Muslim women's groups. In light of publicity, Muslims in Canada have elected to put the subject to rest.
In December 2011 Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism, announced that women would be required to have their faces uncovered during citizenship ceremonies.
Four years after Canada's founding in 1867, the 1871 Canadian Census found 13 European Muslims among the population. A great number of Bosniaks (from Bosnia) came to American soil much like Christians from Europe; some came prior to First World War. The first Canadian mosque was constructed in Edmonton in 1938, when there were approximately 700 European Muslims in the country. 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 early 1970's that Muslims began to arrive in significant numbers.
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 Dr Qadeer Baig r.a. (a professor of University of Toronto), 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 džamija (Bosnian Mosque) at Bosnian Islamic Centre. According to the Canadian Census of 1971 there were 33,000 Muslims in Canada. 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, 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. The 1991 Census indicated 253,265 Muslims. By 2001, the Islamic community in Canada had grown to more than 579,000. Estimates for the Census 2006 pointed to a figure of 800,000.
 The Muslim community in Canada is just one among many ethnic, religious, racial and cultural communities that together make up Canada. Canadian Muslims may be classified as Muslims for official governmental statistical and policy-making purposes.
The Muslim community in Canada is represented by several organizations:
- the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada
- the Chinese Muslim Association of Canada
- the Canadian Islamic Congress
- the Ahlul Bayt Assembly of Canada
- the DawaNet which runs MuslimFest, Understanding Islam Academy, TorontoMuslims.com, and coordinates Imams list in Toronto as well as Muslim youth activism.
- the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) which has its foundation rooted in traditional Islamic ideology with a focus on dynamic application within the current Canadian socio-political context.
- the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), a Muslim civil rights organization, which has become one of the leading advocacy voices for the Muslim community,
- the Muslim Canadian Congress, a secular group founded by Tarek Fatah,
- the Canadian Muslim Union another liberal group which split from the MCC,
- as well as other large organisations such as
However, the major aspect of the Muslim community in Canada is the widespread of cities associations such as the Muslim Council of Montreal for example, Toronto's Council, that deals mainly with issues pertaining to the community in that city and they support the national associations.
Most of these organisations are not grass root organizations, except MAC, but are umbrellas and coordination bodies between local associations.
These are only some of the key organisations within the Muslim Canadian community. As the community is large and diverse with well over 60 ethno-cultural groups various organisations are continually emerging as they seek to meet the needs of community members.
Prominent Canadian Muslims 
Prince Karim Aga Khan became the first Muslim and second religious figure after the Dalai Lama to get the country's honorary citizenship. Aga Khan is a spiritual leader for 20 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide and received his honorary Canadian citizenship in May, 2010.
Ingrid Mattson (born 1963) is a Canadian Muslim convert professor and activist and a former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. She went on to be very active in educating Canadian Muslims to become active participants in Canadian society at large. Later, she became the Director of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. There Mattson founded the Islamic Chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary, the first Islamic chaplaincy program in the United States. In 2011, Huron University College of The University of Western Ontario announced that its Anglican theology department will appoint Mattson as the Chair of the Islamic Studies Program.
- Little Mosque on the Prairie is a Canadian sitcom on CBC Television created by Zarqa Nawaz. The series focuses on the Muslim community in the fictional prairie town of Mercy, Saskatchewan (population 14,000).
- Zarqa Nawaz, with the National Film Board, has produced Me and the Mosque (2005) a documentary about the role of women in Islam, both throughout history and in contemporary Canada, told from a personal perspective.
See also 
- Religion in Canada
- Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Category containing Canadian Muslims
- Canadian Islamic Congress
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Islamic Society of North America
- List of mosques in Canada
- List of Canadian Muslims
- List of Canadian Shia Muslims
- Population by religion, by province and territory (2001 Census)
- The Future of the Global Muslim Population, Pew Research Center.
- The Profile of Muslims In Canada, Abdul Malik Mujahid.
- 2001 Census of Canada: http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/home/index.cfm
- Region: Americas
- Canada Census 2001
- 2001 Census of Canada
- Canada Census 2001
- "Quebec health board not obliged to accommodate minorities". CBC News. 16 March 2010.
- Boase, Sharon, "Women's groups fight sharia in Ontario; Two reports submitted by a Muslim women's organization say introducing Islamic law into the province will harm the rights of vulnerable women", Hamilton Spectator, September 16, 2004
- Ogilvie, Megan, "Canadian Muslims give mixed reviews on moratorium; Debate urged on Islamic penal code Proposal would halt death penalty Proposal would halt stoning, death penalty Debate urged on Islamic penal code", Toronto Star, April 1, 2005.
- Smith, Teresa (16 December 2011). "Veiled threat: Niqab ban has some fearing a less tolerant Canada". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- 1871 Census of Canada
- Saudi Aramco World: Canada's Pioneer Mosque: http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/199804/canada.s.pioneer.mosque.htm
- 1971 Census of Canada
- Shia Muslem Centres in Canada
- 1981 Census of Canada
- 1991 Census of Canada
- Muslims and Multiculturalism in Canada. March 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Canada's Muslims: An International Comparison: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/islam/muslim-survey.html
- PM, Aga Khan open Ismaili centre | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun
- Javed, Noor (27 May 2010). "Spiritual head of Ismaili Muslims returns to Toronto". The Star.
- NFB - Collection - Me and the Mosque
- Ahlul Bayt Assembly of Canada
- Canada Religious Census 2001
- Islamic Association in Canada
- Canadian Council Of Muslim Women
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