How Canada’s Expat Muslim Community is Bringing Hope This Ramadan
February 9, 2021
Over 3.2% of Canada’s population belong to the Islamic faith, which means that over 1 million have already immigrated to Canada to join its Muslim expat community. As Muslim people enter the first week of Ramadan, many will be facing challenges as COVID-19 lockdown continues in Canada. Although many will not be able to go to mosque for prayer or eat suhoor (meal before dawn) and iftar (meal at dusk) with their family members, many have chosen to see it as a test of their faith more than anything else. For example, many Muslim people are taking to virtual ways to partake in the daily call to prayer as well as hosting virtual iftar dinners to break their fast. Many Canadian Muslims are also using this opportunity to give back. Various Islamic charity groups have stepped up to make a difference in the lives of all Canadians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of their race or religion.
“This is a human problem. It doesn’t know any race or religion.” - Imam RizviAccording to CBC News, Penny Appeal Canada in Toronto has donated over 4,000 relief kits to help families during these trying times, while Imam Sayyid Rizvi’s mosque (Jaffari Community centre) donated $25,000 in personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid Canadian hospitals. Canadian Islamic business owners are also doing their part to help frontline workers. Fredericton local restaurateur, Naz Ali, has taken to preparing and offering delivery from a special Covid menu from his Caribbean Flavas restaurant to anyone in need. These are just some of the many acts of kindness that the Canadian Muslim expat community continue to exhibit daily during the holy month of Ramadan. Besides offering an amazing quality of life, including social benefits such as free public healthcare and secondary education, great job opportunities with high salaries, extra parental leave and job insurance, Canada is also known to be one of the most tolerant, inclusive and welcoming nations in the world. In fact, Canada embraces immigrants so much that it has dedicated over 80 immigration and visa options to help welcome 340,000 newcomers in 2020 alone. But what is everyday life truly like for Muslim expats in Canada in 2020?
Top 5 Reasons Why Muslim People Choose to Immigrate to Canada?
1. Quality of LifeCanada is world-renowned for its high quality of life. It is not only one of the safest countries to live in globally but offers its citizens and permanent resident’s free public healthcare, low air pollution and healthier lifestyle, political stability as well as tolerance and freedom of religion. Being one of the most welcoming and accepting communities worldwide, when you immigrate to Canada, both you and your loved ones can enjoy the life that you deserve, without having to lose your cultural identity. Canada’s liberal government prides itself in incorporating multiculturalism and welcoming newcomers with open arms. The Canada For Me Immigration Office has developed a Newcomers Support Program to help you prepare for your new life in Canada and if you have kids, Kids New to Canada is a great website to get information on regional community resources in each province or territory to help you become acquainted with and settle into life in Canada.
2. Jobs OpportunitiesCanada has thousands of jobs available that not only offers high salaries but fantastic job security and additional benefits, such as paid maternity and paternity leave. Canada also has one of the highest levels of job satisfaction, ranking 9th in The World Happiness Report. And who wouldn’t be happy with so much to look forward to. By immigrating to Canada, you could stand to earn an average salary of $55,806 per year, work for only 36 - 40 hours per week, enjoy 2 - 3 weeks paid vacation, and for those expecting a new baby, both mom and dad can spend between 35 - 61 weeks paid! And to top things off, the border remains open to temporary foreign workers amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, which means that you can migrate to Canada and join the Muslim expat community sooner than you think. Visit our blog here for the top in-demand jobs in Canada for 2020.
3. Supportive Muslim Expat CommunityCanada has a large supportive Muslim community. Canada has over 90 mosques across the country, predominantly located in Ontario with the largest of which, Baitun Nur, in Alberta. Canada also has various support systems in the form of community centres, such as The Islamic Community Centre of Ontario and muslimservices, as well as online communities, such as muslimlink and macnet which will not only allow you to connect with other fellow Canadians within the Islamic community but partake in events and find useful information that will help your integration into the Muslim expat community that mush easier.
4. World-Class EducationWhen you immigrate to Canada, your children will not only have access to an exceptional secondary public school system that is free to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents but there are also many private Islamic Schools administered by the Muslim Association of Canada. Below are some full-time Islamic schools to consider:
- Calgary MAC Islamic School - Bridgeland Campus (Calgary)
- Al-Furqan (Ottawa)
- Toronto Al-Furqan (Toronto)
- Niagra Islamic School (Niagra)
- Olive Grove (Mississauga)
- Maple Grove (Kitchener)
- MAC Edmonton Islamic School (Edmonton)
- Abraar Elementary School (Ottawa)
- Abraar Secondary School (Ottawa)