Muslim change leaders reflect on identity

Muslim change leaders reflect on identity

Two Muslim change leaders are featured as part of a series of short videos released by Inspirit Foundation in celebration of Eid al-Fitr.“At the Inspirit Foundation we recently commissioned a survey exploring ideas of identity, community, and belonging so it seems appropriate to share two of a series of short videos Inspirit has created that feature young Muslim change leaders, Nora Fathalipour and Mohammed Hashim,” said Lin Abdul Rahman, Communications Coordinator of the Inspirit Foundation.

In the video, Mohamed Hashim reflects on the need to normalize and accept the presence of Muslims in Canada.

“The stories that are not being covered are the everyday lives of Canadian Muslims,” said Hashim. “Canadian Muslims are everywhere doing all the things that everybody else is doing in Canada and they are doing it because this is where their two feet are planted and this is home.”

“Muslims across Canada and around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan,” added Lin Abdul Rahman. “It has always been an opportunity to bring together the Muslim community and strengthen independent identity but it is also an opportunity to build stronger relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim Canadians.”

The Inspirit Foundation’s vision is ‘to create a more inclusive and pluralist Canada where differences are valued and everyone has equal opportunity to thrive socially and economically.’

Through media and arts, support for young change leaders and impact investing, the Foundation’s mission is to challenge prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity, race and religion, and to promote inclusion and pluralism.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are very proud to be Canadian despite continuing to experience discrimination due to their religion and ethnicity, according to a recent national survey by the Environics Institute.

The survey found that Muslim youth stand out as being the most religiously observant generation in the Muslim community.

According to the survey, the vast majority, 83 percent of Muslims feel very proud to be Canadian, and this sentiment has strengthened since 2006, especially in the province of Quebec. By comparison, 73 percent of non-Muslims feel similarly proud to be Canadian.

A large majority of Muslims feel that they are treated better than Muslims in other western countries, and are optimistic the new federal government will lead to improved relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.

Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.

Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.