Pakistani Canadian Daood Hamdani is a pioneer in the study of Muslims in Canada. A retired statistician, his most recent publication, "Canadian Muslims: A Statistical Review", has been used to highlight key statistics about Muslim demographics in Canada, including the ridings with the largest Muslim populations in the lead up to the 2015 Federal Election.
Daood Hamdani was born in Ferozpur, British India in 1939. His family immigrated to the new nation of Pakistan in 1947 where he grew up in the small town of Jhang in the province of Punjab. He grew up surrounded by the religious diversity of the region, attending schools run by Christians, following Islamic Studies from both Shia and Sunni teachers, and having meetings of his debate team at the Ahmadiyya community centre. Hamdani is proud to say he graduated from Jhang Government College, the same college that produced Pakistan's first Nobel Prize winner – Professor Abdus Salam. After graduating, Hamdani moved to Lahore to attend the Forman Christian College.
Islamic History Month was first recognized in the province of Manitoba. It has been recognized federally since 2007 and on October 6, 2016 it was recognized in Ontario, the province with Canada's largest Muslim population. The bill to recognize Islamic History Month in Ontario was introduced by the Provincial NDP. Below are two press releases, one from the Liberal Party of Ontario and one from the NDP of Ontario discussing Islamic History Month in Ontario.
Update (September 29, 2016) Despite setbacks this week, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Teresa Armstrong will not give up the fight to designate October as Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario.
“We have to take action on rising Islamophobia and hate-motivated crime in our Province,” noted Horwath. “Celebrating Islamic culture, history and the contributions of people of Islamic heritage to our society is an important step that the Ontario NDP will continue to fight for, despite the Liberal government this week not allowing Unanimous Consent on Bill 23.”
At one time in Ottawa's history, Eva Afife Wahab was the go-to person in the Muslim community.
Born in 1914, Wahab was the first Muslim child born in Ottawa. Her father emigrated from Lebanon to Canada in 1903, and her family was the first Muslim family in the nation's capital. Prior to that, it was individual Muslims who had settled here.
Canada reluctantly bade farewell to a loving daughter with sorrow, admiration, respect and warmth.
In a poignant memorial ceremony on June 11, the country and the Muslim community said good-bye to Lieutenant-Commander Wafa Dabbagh after she succumbed to her long battle with cancer.
Wafa made history when she joined the Canadian armed forces in 1996 wearing the hijab. Officers were baffled by why a practicing Muslim woman wanted to join, and wondered how her recruitment would work out. She won that battle easily -- everyone she met loved her friendliness. They not only accepted her, they embraced her.