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Canada Celebrates Islamic History Month

TORONTO – Canada will be celebrating Islamic History Month in October and the government is encouraging Canadians to partake in activities across the country to build greater understanding of Muslims.

“As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I encourage all Canadians to take advantage of Canadian Islamic History Month to enhance our understanding of the rich heritage of Canada’s Islamic community,” said Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage in a press release.

“Through education and sharing positive stories, all Canadians can grow and connect in the best way possible.”

“Today marks the beginning of Canadian Islamic History Month and this year’s theme, Muslim Contributions – Enriching Canada, provides an opportunity to recognize the valuable role Muslim Canadians play in our country.”

Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) aims to celebrate, inform, educate, and share with Canadians the rich Muslim heritage and contributions to society – in sciences, humanities, medicine, astronomy, and other disciplines that have greatly benefited human progress.

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Bridge-building with understanding is one of the goals of IHMC.

This year’s theme for IHMC is ‘Muslim Contributions – Enriching Canada’ and the organizers believe that through education and sharing positive stories, all Canadians can grow and connect in the best way possible.

Previous IHMC themes have included Islamic Art and Architecture; Islamic Banking and Finance; Irrigation and Water systems; Medicine and Pharmacology; and Islam and the Environment.

The month provides a time to focus on celebrating and educating the Muslim and non-Muslim community on the rich history, heritage and culture of Canadian Muslims and Muslims around the world.

Nationwide Effort

A number of cities across Canada have been proclaimed October as Islamic History Month.

“Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is a vital, powerful and ambitious approach to making our country a great place to live,” said Minister Melanie Joly in her statement.

“There are so many talented and skilled Muslim-Canadian trailblazers who have enriched our lives-the internationally acclaimed musician K’Naan, award-winning foreign correspondent Nahlah Ayed, Canada’s first female Dean of Engineering Hoda ElMaraghy, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, and Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie, to name just a few,” added the Minister.

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.