The Study of Islam and Muslims in Canada research lab exists at a time when Muslims and Islam have become global subjects of legislative agendas, immigration bans, counter-radicalization programs, and vexatious cultural politics. In Europe, Islam and Muslims have represented the fault line of cultural debate about the identity of Europe. In the United States, we have witnessed a slate of states banning sharia legislatively, mass protests against the construction of mosques, and most recently, a ‘Muslim ban’ under the Trump administration. Canada has also experienced its share of public debates in which certain constructs of Islam and Muslims are deployed, often to foment political outrage. Ontario’s Sharia arbitration debate of 2004-5, Quebec’s niqab ban and Charter of Values, and the Federal government’s 2015 plan to create a ‘barbaric cultural practices’ hotline are just a few examples. In all these contexts, Islam and Muslims become tropes in public debates that have less to do with what Islam and Muslim are, and more about the scope of freedom in democratic societies plagued with the stresses of economic inequality.
This research lab explores knowledge production at the intersection of academic method and public policy deployment. It explores both academic approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims, and how those approach inform and affect the tenor and tone of policy debates in the public and private sectors concerning the symbolic place of Islam and status of Muslims in democratic liberal states.
The research lab brings together leading Canadian research scholars, community partners, and international research units from both sides of the Atlantic. The research lab is organized around different research nodes that focus on different facets of this broad field. Leading the nodes are Canada’s brightest scholars in the field:
- Valérie Amiraux, Université d Montreal (QC)
- Amélie Barras, York University (ON)
- Faisal Bhabha, York University (ON)
- Ayesha S. Chaudhry, University of British Columbia (BC)
- Paul Eid, Université du Québec au Montreal (QC)
- Anver M. Emon, University of Toronto (ON)
- Abdie Kazemipur, University of Calgary (AB)
- Jennifer Selby, Memorial University (NL)
Participating in the project are community stakeholder organizations that have a long history supporting the study and engagement of this field at the grassroots level, and in the fields of the creative arts, media and public policy sectors. They are:
- The Black Muslim Initiative (BMI)
- The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)
- The Canadian-Muslim Vote
- Inspirit Foundation
- The Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
- The National Council of Canadian Muslims
- The Tessellate Institute
Under the umbrella of SIMiC, the IIS now oversees the development of an archive project and is designing a collaborative demographic project on Muslims in Canada.
For more information on the research lab and its ongoing activities, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org