Impact Analysis of Islamic Organizations
Given the present gap in existing bodies of knowledge about mainstream Muslim organizations in Canada, their function, civic role and influences, including the socio-political consequences of restricting and isolating them, this research aims to identify mainstream Muslim organizations and the role that they play within Muslim communities in Canada. This research specifically asks 1) what are mainstream Muslim organizations in Canada; 2) how do Muslim organizations engage, support and modify existing social relations within Muslim communities and the larger mainstream society to foster spaces of anti-Islamophobia, anti-extremism and anti-radicalization; 3) in what ways does the work of mainstream Muslim organizations facilitate access to government and community resources, while strengthening human services – such as refugee resettlement, charitable donations, family and youth support, and community building. This research will be interdisciplinary, community-driven, actionable, and focused on producing tangible results.
Trends and Issues for Muslims in Canada
A Composite Picture of a Diverse Set of Communities
Societal, political and media discourses surrounding Muslims in the West have attracted much attention, especially since 9/11, and not always for the right reasons. Discussions on Muslims in the West have overwhelmingly centred on the (in)compatibility of Islam and Western environs, extremism, or anti-Muslim hatred/Islamophobia, leaving many common Muslim narratives and an overall picture of complex, interrelated Muslim communities across the country unclear. Even in these thematically limited discursive environments, much of the academic research on Muslim communities in English-speaking Western countries has focused on populations outside of Canada. While the argument can be made that there is some benefit to examining communities in similar Western, Anglo contexts, Muslims in Canada, by definition, reject homogeneity and are primarily defined by their diversity in almost all areas of demographic measurement. Canadian Muslims shape their communities and identities through a number of converging factors that are demonstrably particular.
Following a comprehensive literature review and a meta-analysis of the existing demographic data available, some preliminary questions for this research are proposed as follows:
- What does a general map of Muslim populations across the country look like?
- What are the primary issues and foci of these communities at three levels of inquiry (individual or familial, localized or small community, and institutional and/or national)?
- How do these communities identify and understand themselves, and are there general trends in how they do so? Can any trends be understood regionally or by other categories of social location?
This research aims to map, contribute to, and update the existing research on Muslims in Canada today. It also aims to create a more complete snapshot of the current demographics and trends of Muslim communities across the country.