Muslim Canadians Who Won in the 2021 Federal Election 

Of note:

The 2021 Canadian Federal Election took place on Monday, September 20, 2021. 

The following is a list of newly elected and re-elected Members of Parliament who identify as Muslim Canadian.

Why does Muslim Link compile lists of Muslim Canadian Members of Parliament? Well, it’s interesting. It is a great way to showcase the diversity of Muslims in Canada. 

As the Editor in Chief, I always enjoy compiling these lists as I get to know more about quite interesting people and I get to learn more about what is happening in Canadian cities other than my own, which is the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa.

I have included information from DiversityVotes.ca about the immigrant and visible minority populations living in each riding the Members of Parliament won in.

Also, based on the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, I have noted if a particular federal riding has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Feel free to send me suggestions for other Members of Parliament to add to the list at info@muslimlink.ca if I have missed any.

Ziad Aboultaif, Conservative Member of Parliament for Edmonton Manning

Lebanese Canadian Ziad Aboultaif served as the Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Manning since 2015. He was appointed Official Opposition Critic for National Revenue (2015-2017), Shadow Minister for International Development (2017-2019) and Shadow Minister for Digital Government from 2019-2020. Ziad is a strong advocate for live organ donations.

About Edmonton Manning: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of Edmonton Manning is 121,048. Immigrants make up 31% of the population and visible minorities 40%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Black, South Asian, Chinese, and Arab. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, and Spanish. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China.

Ali Ehsassi, Liberal Member of Parliament for Willowdale

Iranian Canadian Ali Ehsassi is a lawyer who has served as the Member of Parliament Willowdale since 2015. He graduated from the University of Toronto (B.A.), attended the London School of Economics (M.Sc.) and received degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B) and Georgetown University in Washington, DC (LL.M).

About Willowdale: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of Willowdale in Toronto is 118,801. Immigrants make up 61% of the population and visible minorities 67%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Chinese, West Asian (Iranian), Korean, and South Asian. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Mandarin, Persian, Korean, and Cantonese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include Iran,

According to the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, the federal riding of Willowdale has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Omar Alghabra, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre

Syrian Canadian Omar Alghabra was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2006 and again in 2015 and 2019. He served as Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, as well as to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs) and International Trade Diversification.

About Mississauga Centre: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of Mississauga Centre is 124,849. Immigrants make up 62% of the population and visible minorities 71%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as South Asian, Chinese, Arab, and Black. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu, and Cantonese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include India, Pakistan, China, and the Philippines.

According to the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, the federal riding of Mississauga Centre has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Shafqat Ali, Liberal Member of Parliament for Brampton Centre

Shafqat Ali is an entrepreneur who has volunteered with youth, including forming a youth sports club, organizing festivals and fundraising for the local hospital, and food bank. He was a leading voice in successfully advocating for the cricket pitch on White Clover Way in Mississauga.

About Brampton Centre: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of Brampton Centre is  102,270. Immigrants make up 47%  of the population and visible minorities 60%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as South Asian, Black, Filipino, and Latin American. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Punjabi, Urdu, Spanish, and Gujarati.  The countries of origin of recent immigrants in this federal riding include India, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Pakistan.

Ahmed Hussen, Liberal Member of Parliament for York South-Weston

Somali Canadian Ahmed Hussen, a lawyer, has served as Member of Parliament for the riding of York South-Weston since 2015. From 2017, Ahmed served as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. In 2019, he was appointed as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

About York South Weston: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of York South Weston is 116,686. Immigrants make up 52% of the population and visible minorities 55%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Black, Latin American, Filipino, and South Asian. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Vietnamese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include Portugal, Jamaica, Italy, and the Philippines.

Majid Jowhari, Liberal Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill

Iranian Canadian Majid Jowhari was elected as the Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill in 2015.

About Richmond Hill: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of Richmond Hill in Toronto is 110,177. Immigrants make up 60% of the population and visible minorities 62%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Chinese, West Asian (Iranian), South Asian and Korean. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Cantonese, Mandarin, Persian and Russian. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include China & Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.

According to the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, the federal riding of Richmond Hill has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Iqra Khalid, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erin Mills

Pakistani Canadian Iqra Khalid served as Member of Parliament for Mississauga—Erin Mills since 2015. She chairs the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and as a member of the International Human Rights Subcommittee. She serves as Chair of the Liberal Women’s Caucus and the All-Party Women’s Caucus.

About Mississauga Erin Mills: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of Mississauga Erin Mills in Toronto is 122,560. Immigrants make up 55% of the population and visible minorities 64%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as South Asian, Chinese, Arab and Black. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Urdu, Mandarin, Arabic, and Cantonese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include Pakistan, India, China, and the Philippines.

According to the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, the federal riding of Mississauga Erin Mills has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Yasir Naqvi, Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

Pakistani Canadian Yasir Naqvi was elected as Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre in October 2007. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2014. He served as the Attorney General of Ontario, Government House Leader, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Minister of Labour. 

According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of Ottawa Centre is 118,038. Immigrants make up 20% of the population and visible minorities 20%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Chinese, Black, South Asian, and Arab. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, and Spanish. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include China, India, the United States, and the Philippines. 

Taleb Noormohamed, Liberal Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Granville

Taleeb was a senior official in the federal government (2002 to 2007), which included establishing the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security. He served as Director of the Air India Review Secretariat and Special Advisor to the Hon. Bob Rae. He is CEO at an online marketplace for apparel and home goods.

About Vancouver-Granville: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of Vancouver-Granville is 103,456. Immigrants make up 41% of the population and visible minorities 48%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, and Japanese. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Japanese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and South Korea.

Arif Virani, Liberal Member of Parliament for Parkdale–High Park

Ugandan Asian Canadian Arif Virani served as Member of Parliament for Parkdale–High Park since 2015. He was an analyst with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and as an assistant trial attorney at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He founded the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO).

About Parkdale-High Park: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of the federal riding of Parkdale-High Park in Toronto is 108,805. Immigrants make up 32% of the population and visible minorities 26%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as Black, South Asian, Chinese, and Filipino. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Polish, Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include Poland, the United Kingdom, India, and the Philippines.

Salma Zahid, Liberal Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre

Pakistani Canadian Salma Zahid served as Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre since 2015. She chairs the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, and is a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. She presented a successful private member’s motion designating June as Filipino Heritage Month.

About Scarborough Centre: According to DiversityVotes.ca, the population of Scarborough Centre is 112,603. Immigrants make up 56% of the population and visible minorities 70%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as South Asian, Filipino, Black, and Chinese. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Tamil, Tagalog, Mandarin, and Cantonese. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, and China.

According to the research of Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani in “Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review“, the federal riding of Scarborough Centre has a population where over 10% of people identify as Muslim.

Sameer Zuberi, Liberal Member of Parliament for Pierrefonds-Dollard

Sameer Zuberi, who is of South Asian and Scottish-Italian heritage, served as Member of Parliament for Pierrefonds–Dollard since 2019. He holds degrees in law from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and in mathematics from Concordia University. He served in the Black Watch, a Canadian Forces Reserves unit.

About Pierrefonds-Dollard: According to DiversityVotes.ca the population of Pierrefonds-Dollard is 108,587. Immigrants make up 38% of the population and visible minorities 38%. The top four visible minority communities in the riding identify as South Asian, Black, Arab, Filipino. The top four languages spoken in the riding after English and French are Arabic, Spanish, Tamil, and Romanian. The countries of origin of immigrants in this federal riding include the India, Philippines, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Source: https://muslimlink.ca/news/muslim-canadians-who-won-in-the-2021-federal-election

Khan: The London attack reaffirms why Muslims often feel unsafe in their own country

Good commentary:

Every few years, I feel very vulnerable and unsafe. This is one of those times.

On Sunday, five members – three generations – of a Muslim family went out for a walk on a summer’s evening in London, Ont., an opportunity relished by many Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this family, it was a regular activity before returning home to offer the sunset prayer, according to a neighbour.

Yet this simple act of enjoying nature with one’s family is no more because of an act of pure, unadulterated hatred.

While waiting at a stoplight, Madiha Salman, her husband Salman Afzaal, 15-year-old daughter Yumna, nine-year-old son Fayez, and 74-year-old mother-in-law were allegedly rammed by a 20-year-old driver who, according to police and witnesses, deliberately accelerated his pickup toward the family, targeting them because they were Muslim.

Initially, police said the extended family requested to keep the victims’ names private, but the family identified them in a statement Monday. Only Fayez survived. Now an orphan, he is recuperating in hospital.

What kind of world are we living in?

For Muslims, it is unfortunately one where the slow drumbeat of hate-filled violence has become louder. The 2017 Quebec City massacre, in which worshippers were gunned down at a mosque – a place of spiritual refuge – shook all of us to the core.

As a nation, we vowed to fight the scourge of Islamophobia. Muslims wondered if a visit to their local mosque might be their last. Such was, and is, the fear. Enhanced safety features – including screened entries and guards – became the uneasy norm.

Yet this was still not enough back in September, when 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis was killed outside an Etobicoke, Ont., mosque by an apparent white supremacist. Mr. Zafis was a volunteer caretaker of the mosque he cherished. On that fateful evening, he sat outside, controlling entry to the mosque in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. The accused perpetrator slipped behind Mr. Zafis, slashed his throat and fled.

Violence is happening all over the country. This year alone, there have been multiple reported assaults in Edmonton, where strangers have threatened Muslim women. In at least five cases, women were pushed, kicked and/or punched in public.

Calgary has similarly witnessed numerous cases of assault against Muslims; three involved women physically attacked in broad daylight because of their hijab. Understandably, the women have been emotionally and physically traumatized.

And now, a family has been killed in London. Is it any wonder why Muslims – especially women – don’t feel safe?

Yet this country is far greater than the hate-filled zealots who seek to intimidate, sow fear and spread the bigotry that fuels them. The outpouring of grief and support from Canadians has been a balm to the shock felt by Muslims across the land.

Since the news came out about the attack, I have received heartfelt messages of support, including the following from my friend and colleague Myriam Davidson: “It breaks my heart,” she wrote. “The best I have is we are here standing with you. There is no place for Islamophobia in our communities – it is despicable. Whenever a synagogue gets attacked – what brings me comfort is when non-Jews speak up, call it out and reaffirm that we are an inclusive society where this is not tolerated. So I’m modelling the best I know how.”

And that is the key: reaching out the best way each of us can. Our society will be stronger for it. While Muslims will rely on their faith for spiritual succour, we will need emotional support from others to overcome our fears and to know that we are valued members of the Canadian family.

There are many ways to help. Some Muslims are fearful to go for a simple walk, so offer to accompany them. Donate to a fund for nine-year-old Fayez. Attend a vigil. Perhaps the most powerful gesture is to simply say, “I am here for you.”

Last week, I was mesmerized by the haunting, powerful rendition of O Canada by Winnipeg folk singer-songwriter Don Amero, accompanied by Elders Wally and Karen Swain, prior to a Habs-Jets playoff game. While Mr. Amero sang, I asked myself: “How does he have the fortitude to sing an anthem of a country whose government, for 150 years, committed cultural genocide against the Indigenous peoples of this land?”

I know I could not. Yet Mr. Amero taught me something that resonates today, which is that the power of love, of resilience, of dignity always conquers bitterness.

We will come together – whether it is to address deep-rooted historical prejudices against Indigenous communities, or contemporary hatred against minority communities. Let us dig deep into the well of human compassion to continuously build a more just, inclusive society.

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-london-attack-reaffirms-why-muslims-often-feel-unsafe-in-their-own/

Sheema Khan: What Muslim Canadians can teach Asian communities about the discrimination that sadly lies ahead

I suspect the teaching can go both ways, given the historical experience of Asian Canadians with racism (e.g., Chinese head tax and immigration restrictions, Komagatu Maru being sent back to India etc):

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I remember making a frantic call to Dudley Herschbach, a former chemistry professor at Harvard, to make sure no one was on the Boston-based flight that crashed into the World Trade Center. The next day, he called me back to reassure me that everyone was safe. The relief of his words, however, was punctuated by his worry: that hate was about to be unleashed against Muslims, Arabs and people who looked Middle Eastern. I didn’t quite appreciate the gravity of his words – that is, until they were borne out.

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic is unfortunately reminiscent of 9/11 – except that it is now Asian-Canadians (and in particular, Chinese-Canadians) who have become prime targets of xenophobia. There has already been an uptick in the number of hate crimes. Many in the Asian-Canadian community feel the spectre of racism while out in public.

I have spent almost two decades fighting xenophobia directed against Muslim communities in Canada, from hate crimes to discriminatory employment practices to state-sanctioned rendition policies. I was the chair of a grassroots advocacy group that worked with civil institutions – such as the media, human-rights commissions, school boards and the courts – to advocate that Canadian Muslims be treated fairly in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What I’ve learned might be useful for Asian-Canadian advocacy organizations needing to push back on current and future discrimination.

Such organizations should document incidents, no matter how small, because such data is vital for public policy initiatives. As such, there should be ample publicity in community publications about what constitutes an incident, and where individuals can report this information. Currently, the Chinese Canadian National Council has an online reporting form, and there should be open lines of communication with police forces to ensure that any incidents are promptly investigated.

These advocacy organizations should also educate community members about their basic rights as provided by the Charter. For example, no one should face discrimination in housing, education or employment simply due to their cultural heritage or ethnicity. Individuals have the right to be treated fairly at border crossings. Our organization developed a popular pocket “Know Your Rights” guide that is still highly useful today.

With the possibility of a “Cold War” with China, Canadian security agencies might begin interviewing Chinese-Canadians. These interviews can be traumatic, inducing fear. Community members should be educated about their rights prior to such interviews, along with their duty to speak truthfully. Recourse to legal assistance will be necessary. In addition, there should be lines of communication open between advocacy organizations and CSIS.

An important component is the education system. Efforts should be under way to contact school boards to ensure that once students return to the classroom, there will be heightened vigilance of anti-Asian discrimination. In the long-term, Asian Heritage Month in May can be used to educate students about the rich contribution of Asian-Canadians to Canadian society.

All of the above requires human resources and money. As such, members of the business and legal communities need to step up and offer funds and their time. Members of the law profession can provide assistance pro bono, to help community members navigate through the legal system. Many disputes involving discrimination are resolved through human-rights commissions, rather than through the courts. Community members will require assistance to proceed with their complaints.

Chinese-Canadian advocacy organizations should network with anti-discrimination organizations that have a wealth of expertise. Examples of national organizations include the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. A common goal should be the declaration of Jan. 29, the day of the Quebec City mosque massacre, as a National Day of Action against Hate.

However, not all of the burden should be placed on the Asian-Canadian community. Every one of us has a role to play to ensure that ours is a safe, inclusive society. Civic leaders have an added responsibility to speak forcefully in favour of inclusion, and any politicians who scapegoat Asian-Canadians for political gain must be denounced unequivocally.

Finally, the coming period will be another crucible for the continuing project of forging our Canadian identity. Post-9/11, Canadian Muslims asked themselves what it meant to be Muslim and Canadian. Without hesitation, we denounced terrorism repeatedly, along with the ghastly practice of “honour killing.” We became more involved in the fabric of Canadian society. We shared our personal stories with the wider public. We developed resilience along the way and gained strength from the loving support of wider society. Our journey is not over, but we extend a hand to our fellow Canadians who are of Asian heritage: we are with you, on yours.

Source: What Muslim Canadians can teach Asian communities about the discrimination that sadly lies ahead: Sheema Khan

Canadian Muslims: The Highlight of A Mosaic

Imam Delic provides a good demographic overview of Muslim Canadians, as well as some general thoughts on what it means to be a Muslim in Canada. A bit overly general as, like with all religions, the challenge arises when one’s beliefs are in conflict with society:

To be a Canadian Muslim is to act according to the teachings of Islam within the adopted society.

By exploring core Islamic sources regarding the notion of Muslim identity and at the same time considering the texture and Canadian lifestyle, we can see that there is no contradiction for Muslims in taking up full citizenship and embracing Canada as their own country.

This is what is meant by the path of constructive integration of Muslims, as compared to the less constructive choices of assimilation and exclusion.

This is the path that will take Canadian Muslims towards new horizons of opportunities and help them express their beliefs openly while enjoying Canada’s democratic standards.  Only as such they will be able to claim the Qur’anic title of honour — UmmatanWasata (A community of enlightened moderation).

Being part of Canadian society means facing reality, with all its challenges, head on. It means reforming themselves individually and collectively within the positive contexts of their adopted liberal democratic pluralist culture, while remaining faithful to the basic religious principles that define their core religious identity as Muslims.

Thus, when they settle suitably and reconcile effectively, they can productively live in harmony amid new environments and contribute to the well-being of all. This is a responsibility of both — Canadian Muslims as well as policy makers in Canada.

Canadian Muslims: The Highlight of A Mosaic – Americas – Politics – OnIslam.net.