A Portrait of Ottawa’s Muslims

ottawa-masjid(August 25, 2009) – The Ottawa Citizen newspaper has focused it attention on the city’s Muslim community in a special report in last Saturday’s edition titled, Islam, Here and Now.

The Citizen’s Faith and Ethics Reporter, Jennifer Green, conducted more than 30 interviews for the report on Ottawa’s Muslim community whose population has swelled to 65,000 members in less than three decades.

“The median age among Muslims is a young and fertile 28, compared to the national median of 38.8.,” according to the report.

According to Green she “found a community both bound and fractured by unprecedented stresses: faith torn between modernism and tradition; immigrants caught between their old culture and this one; women deciding for themselves what it means to be Muslim, with or without a hijab. Some parents fear their Canadian-born children will abandon Islam, others that their children, especially boys, might get alarmingly zealous.”

A great segment of the report deals with the community building efforts of Azhar Ali Khan, a distinguished community member, who has been attempting to bring about cooperation among the many mosques and community groups in the city.

Read the report at the Ottawa Citizen here