(December 22, 2011) – Thousands of Muslims are expected to descend on Toronto from across North America this weekend for the 10th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention.
“Based on pre-registration, we are expecting a sold-out convention this year,” the organizers told IQRA.ca.
The event is organized by a group of young, active Canadian Muslims and is considered the largest Muslim gathering in Canada.
The organizers are expecting over 15,000 attendees as the convention celebrates its 10th anniversary. The event, to run from December 23 through December 25, will be held in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, next to the iconic CN Tower.
“’Reviving the Islamic Spirit’ convention is an attempt by the youth to help overcome new challenges of communication and integration,” the organizers said on their Web site.
An impressive galaxy of distinguished scholars and Muslim personalities from around the world will address the convention on the theme “Control, Chaos or Community: Three Ways, One World, Our Choice.”
Galaxy of Muslim Personalities
Speakers include Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah (Mauritania); Habib Ali Al-Jifri (Yemen); Dr. Jamal Badawi (Canada); Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury (Australia); Dr. John Esposito (USA); Dr. Yasir Fazaga (USA); Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (USA); Shaykh Abdalla Idris (Canada); Yusuf Islam (UK); Dr. Abdal Hakim Jackson (USA); Dr. Umar F. Abd Allah (USA); Shaykh Sulaiman Mulla (South Africa); Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (USA); Prof. Tariq Ramadan (Switzerland); Ambassador Shabazz (USA); Imam Zaid Shakir (USA); Tayyibah Taylor (USA).
Organizers believe the diversity of the speakers projects the true image and diversity of Muslims who make up around 2.8 percent of Canada’s population.
“By bringing a diverse range of speakers to Toronto, the world’s most diverse city, we hope to build real and meaningful institutions to live together with others and contribute to Canada,” Fouzan Khan, the convention’s founder and director, told IQRA.ca
This year’s gathering will also feature some leading artists such as the world renowned artist, Sami Yusuf; Shaykh Mishary Al-Afasy, a world renowned Qari from Kuwait; Danish hip-hop group, Outlandish; Khalid Belrhouzi of France; the Fez Singers and Benammi of Morocco; and Junaid Jamshed of Pakistan.
“The gathering will aim to promote stronger ties within the North American Society through reviving the Islamic tradition of education, tolerance and introspection, and across cultural lines through points of commonality and respect,” according to the organizers.
The event will also feature a grand Souk (bazaar), with vendors from all across North America selling and promoting their products and services.
Over the years, the convention drew notable Muslim and non-Muslim figures, including famed British journalist Robert Fisk, American rabbi and political activist Michael Lerner and Pakistani politician and cricket legend, Imran Khan.
“Muslims in Canada are global citizens and are more interconnected than ever to humanity around the world,” maintains Khan.
A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.
Toronto, the capital of Ontario, the province that one in three Canadians calls home, has the largest concentration of Muslims in Canada.
The number of Muslims in Canada is expected to nearly triple in the next 20 years, from about 940,000 in 2010 to nearly 2.7 million in 2030.
A recent report from the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life said that Muslims are expected to make up 6.6% of Canada’s total population in 2030, up from 2.8% today.