Islamic Identity in the Canadian Multicultural Context

  • Abdullah A. Omar


This paper aims to explore aspects of Islamic identities in the Canadian multicultural context. It argues that Islamic identities face challenges in the Canadian liberal multicultural context, largely because multiculturalism in Canada was initially designed for well-integrated European ethnic groups and it may not have been intended to foster Islamic identity. Further, some Muslims have a significant problem with a multiculturalism that marginalizes religious beliefs and values in favor of secular inclusiveness. The paper presents the core elements of Islamic identities as well as the challenges of external pressures. It notes that while Islamic identities are anchored firmly on the concept of Ummah, Muslims may develop multiple affinities, which adds another dimension to the Canadian mosaic. The paper recommends accommodating faith communities, including Muslims meaningfully.  It invites Muslims to join the multicultural conversation with a genuine Islamic voice.  Further, it encourages the Muslim community to respond to the negative image effectively.