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Below you can find a list of publications and references relevant to the study of Muslims in Canada.

The listing will be updated periodically.


  • Evra, R. & A. Kazemipur (2019), “The role of social capital and ethnocultural characteristics in the employment income of immigrants over time”, Statistics Canada’s Insights on Canadian Society. June 19.

  • Kazemipur, A. (2018), “Religion in Canadian Ethnic Landscape: The Muslim Factor”, in Wong & Guo (Eds), Immigration, Racial and Ethnic Studies in 150 Years of Canada: Retrospect and Prospects. Sense Publishers, Pp.261-280.

  • Kazemipur, A. (2017), “Muslim Immigration to North America: The Rise of New Challenges and the Need for New Perspectives”, in Victoria Esses & Don Abelson (Eds), Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade, and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in the Early Years of the Twenty-First Century, McGill-Queen’s University Press. Pp. 206-232.

  • Kazemipur, A. (2016). “Bringing the Social Back In: On the Integration of Muslim Immigrants and the Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities”, Canadian Review of Sociology. Volume 53, Issue 4 (November), 437–456.

Scholarship on Historical Muslims in Canada

  • Hamdani, Daood. 1984. “Muslims in the Canadian Mosaic.” Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs 5:1:7-16. DOI: 10.1080/02666958408715874. <>.

    Literature on Canadian Muslims is very scarce. Much of it is in the form of university theses or conference papers and is not easily available to, nor perhaps intended for, a wider audience. This paper is an attempt to fill some of the gap in the literature and provide for the general reader interested in Canadian Muslims a general survey. The approach in this paper is to reveal, although not always very explicitly, the challenges the Muslims in Canada face and the opportunities that are available.

  • Hamdani, Daood. 2007. “In the Footsteps of Canadian Muslim Women: 1837-2007.” Canadian Council of Muslim Women. <>.

    This brochure is intended to be a quick reference to some of the significant events which affected, or were influenced and shaped by, Muslim women. Their contributions are far too many to be covered here or even in a book. This chronicle only focuses on precedent-setting events; subsequent extensions or developments of the same events are not covered. There are many more stories to tell and I hope this brochure will serve to stir readers’ curiosity to explore and advance our knowledge of this uncharted but important part of Canadian history.

  • Hamdani, Daood. 2014. “Canadian Muslim Women: A Decade of Change 2001-2011.” Canadian Council of Muslim Women. <>.

    The purpose of this study is to provide facts on Canadian Muslim women with the aim of correcting misperceptions, starting informed discussion and making facts-based decisions. The source of information is the National Household Survey 2011, which replaced the long form census.


  • Hamdani, Daood. 2015. “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review.” The Canadian Dawn Foundation. <>.

    In spite of a long history that predates Canadian confederation Muslims are one of the most misunderstood faith communities in the country. This study is the first attempt to provide factual information about this growing community with the purpose of correcting stereotypes, starting information-based discussion and providing private and public sector organizations with hard facts to make intelligent choices and decisions.

  • Hussain, Amir. 2001. “The Canadian Face of Islam: Muslim Communities in Toronto.” <>.

    This dissertation is the first to examine the various Muslim communities of Toronto. Toronto has a Muslim population of some 200,000 of the over 500,000 Muslims in Canada. This dissertation provides a description of many of the Muslim organizations in Toronto. The description and analysis of those organizations are based on reading texts, conducting interviews, participation and long-term participant observation. Muslims in Toronto struggle with being members of a minority tradition in a city that is the most cosmopolitan in the world. They are also forced to deal with the issues that arise from living in the modern North American world. It is the interplay of these factors, being a minority, being multicultural, being North American, speaking English, having internal diversity and being modern that creates Canadian ways of being Muslim. Canadian Islam offers an important window through which to view a future role for Islam to play in the world. Muslims in Toronto are engaged in creating distinct religious lives for themselves. This thesis argues that Islam in Toronto is not simply a collection of diaspora Islams, but instead is its own local manifestation of Canadian Islam.


  • Zaman, Sadia. 1999. At My Mother’s Feet. Quarry Printing.

    Collected on behalf of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, this series of stories shows them as 20th century pioneers whose vision and determination, despite enormous negative forces from within their own communities and beyond, helped to create the first Muslim social institutions in North America.



Scholarship on Contemporary Canadian Muslims

  • Environics Institute. “Survey of Muslims in Canada 2016.” The Environics Institute. < content/uploads/survey_of_muslims_in_canada_2016_final_report.pdf>

    In 2006, the Environics Institute’s inaugural project was the first-ever national survey to examine the relationship between Canadian Muslims and Canadian society-at-large (in the context of 13 other countries from research conducted by the respected Pew Research Center). In 2016, the Environics Institute partnered with the Tessellate Institute, the Olive Tree Foundation, Inspirit Foundation, The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and Think for Actions, to update this important research to 􀌎ind out how Muslims in this country are faring almost a decade later.


  • Ajrouch, Kristine J. and Abdi M. Kusow. 2007. “Racial and religious contexts: Situational identities among Lebanese and Somali Muslim immigrants.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30(1): 72-94. doi: 10.1080/01419870601006553

    This study addresses the racial and religious contexts of identity formation among Lebanese immigrants to the United States of America and Somali immigrants to Canada. Each enters with a different racial status: Lebanese as white; Somalis as black/visible minority. Ethnographic interviews explore the strategies of adaptation and identity development within these groups. Specifically, we compare and contrast the Lebanese and Somali experience through an analysis of ethnic relations in the country of origin, the conditions of immigration, and through accounts of their encounters and identity negotiation with the host society. We demonstrate the strategies each group implements to negotiate both race and religion in identity development. Our findings reveal that each group attempts to make their religious identity evident, however, Somali immigrants must negotiate the effects of ‘othering’ processes with both race and religion, while Lebanese immigrants build a religious identity from privileges afforded to them by virtue of their white racial status.

  • Hussain, Saima S. 2016. The Muslimah who fell to earth: Personal stories by Canadian Muslim Women. Toronto, ON: Mawenzi House Publishers.

    These are twenty-two personal stories, told by women from practically all backgrounds and persuasions-- devout and not-so devout, professionals and housewives, westernized and traditional, wearing jeans, hijab, or ni􀌍ab, and originally from Africa to North America to Pakistan to the Middle East--revealing in their own ways what it means to them to be a Muslim woman (a "Muslimah"). What we get is a complex of stories, all united by two simple ideas--faith and nationality (Canadian). Included here is an account by Zunera Ishaq, who challenged the Harper government in court on the issue of niqab.


  • Kazemipur, Abdolmohammad. 2014. The Muslim Question in Canada: A Story of Segmented Integration. University of British Columbia Press. Preview available at <>.

    To those who study the integration of immigrants in Western countries, both Muslims and Canada are seen to be exceptions to the rule. Muslims are often perceived as unable or unwilling to integrate, mostly due to their religious beliefs; Canada is portrayed as a model for successful integration. This book addresses the intersection of these two types of exceptionalism through an empirical study of the experiences of Muslims in Canada. Drawing on data from large-scale surveys as well as face-to-face interviews, Kazemipur draws a detailed picture of four major domains of immigrant integration: institutional, media, economic, and social/communal. His findings indicate that the integration of Muslims in Canada is not problematic in the institutional and media domains. However, there are serious problems in the economic and social domains, which need to be addressed. A fresh account of the lives and experiences of Muslim immigrants in Canada, this book gets at the roots of the so-called Muslim question in Canada. Replete with practical implications, the analysis shows that instead of fixating on religion, the focus should be on economic and social challenges faced by Muslims in Canada.


  • Korteweg, Anna C. and Jennifer A. Selby. 2012. Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics, and Family Law Arbitration. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    When the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice announced it would begin offering Sharia-based services in Ontario, a subsequent provincial government review gave qualified support for religious arbitration. However, the ensuing debate in􀌎lamed the passions of a wide range of Muslim and non-Muslim groups, garnered worldwide attention, and led to a ban on religiously based family law arbitration in the province. Debating Sharia sheds light on how Ontario's Sharia debate of 2003-2006 exemplified contemporary concerns regarding religiosity in the public sphere and the place of Islam in Western nation states. Focusing on the legal ramifications of Sharia law in the context of rapidly changing Western liberal democracies, Debating Sharia approaches the issue from a variety of methodological perspectives, including policy and media analysis, fieldwork, feminist examinations of the portrayals of Muslim women, and theoretical examinations of religion, Sharia, and the law. This volume is an important read for those who grapple with ethnic and religio-cultural diversity while remaining committed to religious freedom and women's equality.

  • Moghissi, Haideh, Saeed Rahnema, and Mark J. Goodman. 2009. Diaspora by Design: Muslim Immigrants in Canada and Beyond. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    Few groups face as many misconceptions within their new countries as do Muslim immigrants. This book challenges the common misperceptions of Muslim immigrants as a homogeneous, religiously driven group and identities the tensions they experience within their host countries. A comparative, multi-ethnic study, based on over two thousand interviews, Diaspora by Design examines Muslim populations that have settled in Canada, Britain, Iran, and Palestine. Utilizing hard socio-economic data as well as qualitative analysis, the authors show the remarkable diversity and divisions between Muslim immigrant populations along urban-rural, cultural, class, and gender lines. They argue that integration is a two-way exchange that requires a readiness on the part of the host society to remove barriers that prevent the full social and economic participation of immigrant populations. Extensively researched and thoughtfully provocative, Diaspora by Design is a much-needed work that provides an accurate and dynamic depiction of the lives of Muslim immigrants away from their homelands.


  • Mugabo, Délice. 2016. “On Rocks and Hard Places: A Reflection on Antiblackness in Organizing against Islamophobia.” Critical Ethnic Studies 2(2): 159-183 < blackness_in_Organizing_against_Islamophobia>.

    Throughout Europe and the Americas, groups and communities have been organizing against Islamophobic violence and policies that seem to be multiplying. France and Quebec have been among the societies whose laws have received international media attention and activist opposition, especially for the manner in which they have regulated religious symbols in the public sphere. By looking at the intersections of antiblackness and Islamophobia, the subjugated position of the Muslim Black subject becomes clearer. Délice Mugabo offers a genealogy of Islamophobia that centers on enslaved Black people rather than the conventional Arab or South Asian figure. Through an Afro-pessimist approach, this article then offers a critique of how antiblackness not only grounds Islamophobic policies but has also shaped grassroots organizing against Islamophobia in Quebec. The article provides a timely inquiry on the antiblackness that is foundational to coalition politics that center the state, citizenship, and rights.


  • Nagra, Baljit, and Paula Maurutto. 2016. “Crossing Borders and Managing Racialized Identities: Experiences of Security and Surveillance Among Young Canadian Muslims.” The Canadian Journal of Sociology 41(2): 165-194. S/article/download/23031/20579>.

    While it is widely acknowledged that Canadian Muslims are targeted at airports and borders, few studies have focused on their actual experiences of state surveillance practices. Moreover, little attention has been paid to how these experiences impact and shape identity formation and their understanding of citizenship. To address this gap, we conducted 50 in-depth interviews with young Canadian Muslims living in Vancouver and Toronto. Our interviewees referred to being repeatedly stopped, questioned, detained, and harassed by security personnel. They felt that any evidence of their Muslim identity – name, country of birth, appearance, or clothing – makes them a target for extra surveillance, resulting in heightened fears about being stripped of their rights and a lack of ability to assert their religious identities. This paper explores the implications of racialized border practices on identity formation and citizenship depletion among Muslim Canadians.

  • Nagra, Baljit. 2011. Unequal Citizenship: Being Muslim and Canadian in the Post 9/11 Era. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto. <>

    My dissertation is the first empirically based study to closely examine the impacts of 9/11 on Canadian Muslim youth. It develops a critical analysis of how the general public supported by state practices, undermine the citizenship of Canadian Muslims, thereby impacting their identity formation. Conducting qualitative analysis, through the use of 50 in-depth interviews with Canadian Muslim men and women, aged 18 to 30, I have arrived at several important findings. These include findings related to citizenship, the racialization of gender identities and identity formation. First, despite having legal citizenship, Canadian Muslims often do not have access to substantive citizenship (the ability to exercise rights of legal citizenship), revealing the precarious nature of citizenship for minority groups in Canada. My research shows that the citizenship rights of Canadian Muslims may be undermined because they do not have access to allegiance and nationality, important facets of citizenship. Second, young Canadian Muslims are racialized and othered through increasingly stereotypical conceptions about their gender identities. Muslim men are perceived as barbaric and dangerous and Muslim women are imagined as passive and oppressed by their communities. As a result of these dominant conceptions, in their struggle against racism, young Canadian Muslims have to invest a great deal of time establishing themselves as thinking, rational, educated and peaceful persons. Third, to cope with their marginalization, many young Canadian Muslims have asserted their Muslim identities. In order to understand this social process, I extend the work done on ‘reactive ethnicity’ and theorize Muslim identity formation in a post 9/11 context, something not yet been done in academic literature. To do so, I coin the term ‘reactive identity formation,’ and illustrate that the formation of reactive identities is not limited to strengthening ethnic identity and that religious minority groups can experience a similar phenomenon. Furthermore, I find that while claiming their Muslim identity, most of my interviewees also retain their Canadian identity in order to resist the notion that they are not Canadian. By doing so, they attempt to redefine what it means to be Canadian.


  • Nakhaie, Reza. 2018. “Muslims, Socio-cultural Integration, and Pride in Canadian Democracy.” Canadian Ethnic Studies 50(3): 1-26.

    In this paper, I use the General Social Survey 2013 (Cycle 27) and address three aspects of Integration anxiety about Muslims in Canada: a) the extent to which Muslim immigrants’ level of integration differs from other religious denominations, b) how Muslims differ from other groups in their support for democracy, and c) whether there is a relationship between integration and support for democracy. Results show that contrary to the anxiety of some academics, policymakers, and the public, Muslim immigrants in Canada are equally, if not more, integrated than Christians or other religious immigrants. They also express a higher sense of pride in Canadian democracy when compared to Christians or other religious groups. Finally, integrated immigrants have as much pride in Canadian democracy as assimilated ones, and both have more pride in Canadian democracy than those who are marginalized or have a separatist orientation. The implication of these findings for anxiety about Muslims’ incompatibility with Western values are discussed.


  • Selby, Jennifer A., Amelie Barras, and Lori G. Beaman. 2018. Beyond Accommodation: Everyday Narratives of Muslim Canadians. University of British Columbia Press. Preview available at <>.

    Problems – of integration, failed political participation, and requests for various kinds of accommodation – seem to dominate the research on minority Muslims in Western nations. Beyond Accommodation offers a different perspective, showing how Muslim Canadians successfully navigate and negotiate their religiosity in the more mundane moments of their lives. Drawing on interviews with Muslims in Montreal and St. John’s, Selby, Barras, and Beaman examine moments in which religiosity is worked out. They critique the model of reasonable accommodation, which has been lauded internationally for acknowledging and accommodating religious and cultural differences. The authors suggest that it disempowers religious minorities by implicitly privileging Christianity and by placing the onus on minorities to make requests for accommodation. The interviewees show that informal negotiation occurs all the time; scholars, however, have not been paying attention. This book advances a new model for studying the navigation and negotiation of religion in the public sphere and presents an alternative picture of how religious difference is woven into the fabric of Canadian society.


  • Zine, Jasmine. 2006. “Unveiled sentiments: Gendered Islamophobia and experiences of veiling among Muslim girls in a Canadian Islamic school.” Equity & Excellence in Education 39(3):239–252.

    The practice of veiling has made Muslim women subject to dual oppressions—racism and Islamophobia—in society at large and patriarchal oppression and sexism from within their communities. Based on a narrative analysis of the politics of veiling in schools and society, the voices of young Muslim women attending a Canadian Islamic school speak to the contested notion of gender identity in Islam. The narratives situate their various articulations of Islamic womanhood in ways that both affirm and challenge traditional religious notions. At the same time they also are subject to Orientalist representations of veiled and burqa clad women that represent them as oppressed and backward. Focusing on ethnographic accounts of veiling among Muslims girls who attended a gender-segregated Islamic high school in Toronto, this discussion allows a deeper understanding of how gendered religious identities are constructed in the schooling experiences of these Muslim youth.

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