Current Projects

Trends and Issues for Muslims in Canada

A Composite Picture of a Diverse Set of Communities

Primary Researcher: Nakita Valerio 

Research Assistant: Conrad Leibel

Intern Support: Romaisa Hameed

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.

Approaches to Islamophobia in Global Contexts

Primary Researcher: Hassina Alizai

Given the ongoing prevalence of structural Islamophobia and increase in overt anti-Muslim hatred and violence in Canada and other western contexts, this research aims to identify approaches to addressing Islamophobia that have been developed and implemented in other western contexts at both the governmental policy and the community levels. Successes and failures will both be examined.

Muslim Family Units in Canada – A Comparative Analysis

Primary Researcher: Emily Hanlon

Conceptualizations of Muslim family units and kinship in Canada have been studied by researchers in sociology and other social sciences; however, a meta-analysis of the existing studies and literature to determine emerging themes or contradictory elements remains to be seen. Similarly, a comparative analysis of conceptualizations in other Western contexts (even as case studies), the reasons for their similarities or differences, and the implications of these comparisons also remains to be seen.

Muslims Re/Converts to Islam in Canada

Primary Researcher: Nakita Valerio

Muslim re/converts to Islam in Canada are a vastly understudied sub-group within wider Muslim communities and often only receive attention for problematic reasons, including a disproportionate focus on extremism and issues of securitization. This paper examines the priorities and issues for Muslim re/converts is three locales across the country in the hopes of contributing to ongoing discourse and informing future research. 

Regional Profiles of Muslim Contributions in Canada

Research Team: Romaisa Hameed, Amina Abdille, Labiba Aboguddah

Supervisor: Nakita Valerio

Muslims across Canada have made vast contributions to society in multiple senses: socio-economic, cultural, religious, diversity and other key points that make up the fabric of our shared communities. Muslims deserve to have these stories told in a comprehensive way, representing the history and contemporary development of communities in 6 different regions:

  • British Columbia
  • The Canadian North
  • The Prairies
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • The Maritimes

Traditional Islamic Scholarship on Families and Kinship – A Meta Analysis

Primary Researcher: Dr. Mawloud Mohadi

 As a companion piece to I-RSS’s recent comparative analysis of Western Muslim conceptualizations of family units and kinship, this research paper will offer a preliminary look at the following questions:

  • What do traditional Islamic scholars say about normative conceptualizations of family and kin in Deen? What are foundational writings on the topic and how can they be situated within their contexts?
  • What are the key themes in the discourse on this topic? What areas exist for disagreement and why?
  • How have scholarly opinions shifted, at all over time and what are some of the discernible reasons for these shifts or differences in opinion, if any?