The Islam in Canada reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Islam in Canada

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Canada has a small, but growing Muslim population. There are no official number as to how many Muslims live in Canada, but it is today estimated at around 600 000.

Most Canadian Muslims are either recent immigrants to Canada, or the children of recent immigrants. There are two distinct streams of Muslim immigration to Canada. For decades many skilled professionals have emigrated to Canada to pursue a higher standard of living. There have also been large numbers of refugees. In the 1980s Canada became a haven for those fleeing the Lebanese Civil War. In the 1990s the largest source was Somalia.

The Canadian Muslim population is very diverse being drawn from across Africa and Asia. It is divided into many linguistic and cultural groups, and also between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims.

The majority of Canadian Muslims are in the province of Ontario. The Toronto region is home to many Muslims, especially in Scarborough. Ottawa has one of Ontario's oldest Muslim populations and is an especially important centre for Lebanese Muslims. Other Canadian metropolitan areas also have substantial Muslim populations including Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Muslims in Canada face no official discrimination. The wearing of the Hijaab is permitted in schools and places of work. Religious holidays and dietary restrictions are also respected, but outside major centres it can be very difficult to find Halal food. It is also often difficult to maintain Islamic rules against usury. One issue Canadian Muslims face is that of second and third generation children becoming absorbed into mainstream Canadian culture.

History

The first recorded Islamic presence in Canada was the 1871 census which found 13 Muslims among the population. The first Canadian Mosque was constructed in Edmonton in 1938, when there were only about 700 Muslims in the country. The years after World War II saw a swift increase in the Muslim population, in the 1981 census the population was still below a hundred thousand.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks many Muslims have begun to look to Canada as an alternative to the United States, where they fear bias and harassment. This is especially true with international students who have come to Canada in much larger numbers since 9/11.

Famous Canadian Muslims

This is a list of some prominent Canadian Muslims:

See also: Religion in Canada