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Islam thrives in Quebec: Catholicism tops - Montreal Gazette, Canada

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  • Zafar Khan
    Islam thrives in Quebec: Catholicism tops Immigration bolsters Muslim numbers beyond those of Jewish community Harvey Shepherd Montreal Gazette May 7, 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2004
      Islam thrives in Quebec: Catholicism tops
      Immigration bolsters Muslim numbers beyond those of
      Jewish community

      Harvey Shepherd
      Montreal Gazette
      May 7, 2004

      http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/features/onlineextras/story.html?id=97b22fcc-8a7f-4d87-abc2-dc3de8a33a72

      This article first appeared in the Montreal Gazette on
      Wednesday, May 14, 2003

      Islam has become the No. 1 non-Christian faith in
      Quebec, as in Canada as a whole.

      Swollen by immigration from south Asia, north Africa
      and the Middle East, the number of Quebec Muslims
      increased by almost 11/2 times in the 10 years between
      1991 and 2001.

      This pushed them past Jewish Quebecers.

      Salaam Elmenyawi, chairperson of the Muslim Council of
      Montreal, said he hopes the Muslim growth will help
      defuse East-West polarization.

      "Now Islam is going to be a Western religion and we
      look forward to making a positive contribution," said
      Elmenyawi, a chaplain at Concordia University.

      "We hope that this will help to bring the world closer
      together."

      Data from the 2001 Canadian census made public by
      Statistics Canada yesterday show that the 108,620
      Muslims in Quebec were up by 141.8 per cent from a
      decade earlier.

      The Jewish figure slipped by eight per cent, to
      89,915.

      Elmenyawi said there might actually be more than
      150,000 Muslims in Quebec. Quite a few Muslim
      residents of Montreal had not become Canadian citizens
      when census data were collected.

      Bashir Hussain, chairperson of the Montreal Chapter of
      the Council of Muslim Communities in Canada, can
      remember when there were only a handful of Muslims in
      Montreal in the early 1960s. "Now we have about 30
      mosques and places of prayer, and it's still not
      enough," he said.

      Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for
      Canadian Studies, says the Muslim community is a young
      one.

      "By the time the data are collected in the 2011
      census, if they are collected, there may be more
      Muslim than Protestant students in Montreal schools.

      "Clearly, the conventional Catholic-Protestant
      dichotomies in Quebec are going to be more and more
      difficult to justify."

      He noted that not all Montreal Muslims are Arabs.
      There are large groups from south Asia and elsewhere.

      Joseph Gabay, president of the Quebec Region of the
      Canadian Jewish Congress, is not surprised that
      Montreal's Jewish community had a small decline.

      "Cities like Vancouver and Toronto have an increase in
      their Jewish populations, and part of that increase
      comes from Montreal."

      The census data show Roman Catholics are still by far
      the largest group in Quebec. The 5.9 million Catholics
      in 2001 were up by 1.3 per cent, although they
      declined to 83.2 per cent from 86 per cent of the
      population.

      Protestants declined a little in both absolute and
      percentage terms. However, Baptists rose by 28.9 per
      cent to almost 35,455.

      Buoyed by some of the same factors as Muslims,
      Christian Orthodox rose 12.4 per cent, Buddhists 30.8
      per cent, Hindus 73.7 per cent, Sikhs 81.7 per cent.

      Harvey Shepherd writes about religion.

      hshepherd@...

      - - -

      Top Religious Denominations in Quebec - 2001

      Religion Number %

      1. Roman Catholic 5,930,380 83.2

      2. No religion 400,325 5.6

      3. Muslim 108,620 1.5

      4. Jewish 89,915 1.3

      5. Anglican 85,475 1.2

      6. Protestant 64,040 0.9

      not included elsewhere*

      7. Christian 56,750 0.8

      not included elsewhere+

      8. United Church 52,950 0.7

      9. Greek Orthodox 50,020 0.7

      10. Buddhist 41,375 0.6

      *Includes persons who reported only "Protestant."

      + Includes persons who reported "Christian," as well
      as those who reported "Apostolic," "Born-again
      Christian" and "Evangelical."

      SOURCE: statistics canada

      Major Religious Denominations in Quebec - 1991* and
      2001

      2001 1991 change

      Religion Number % Number % %

      Roman Catholic 5,930,385 83.2 5,855,980 86.0 1.3

      Protestant 333,595 4.7 359,750 5.3 -6.7

      Christian Orthodox 100,370 1.4 89,285 1.3 12.4

      Christian 56,750 0.8 38,975 0.6 45.6

      not included elsewhere+

      Muslim 108,620 1.5 44,930 0.7 141.8

      Jewish 89,915 1.3 97,730 1.4 -8.0

      Buddhist 41,380 0.6 31,640 0.5 30.8

      Hindu 24,530 0.3 14,120 0.2 73.7

      Sikh 8,220 0.1 4,525 0.1 81.7

      No religion 400,325 5.6 257,270 3.8 55.6

      *For comparability purposes, 1991 data are presented
      according to 2001 boundaries.

      + Includes persons who report "Christian," as well as
      those who report "Apostolic," "Born-again Christian"
      and "Evangelical."

      SOURCE: Statistics Canada

      Religious Affiliations of Immigrants Arriving in
      Canada

      Before 1961- 1971- 1981- 1991-

      Religion 1961 1970 1980 1990 2001

      Roman Catholic 39.2 43.4 33.9 32.9 23.0

      Protestant 39.2 26.9 21.0 14.5 10.7

      Christian Orthodox 3.8 6.3 3.8 3.0 6.3

      Other Christian 1.3 2.2 3.8 4.9 5.3

      Jewish 2.7 2.0 2.2 1.9 1.2

      Muslim 0.2 1.3 5.4 7.5 15.0

      Hindu 0.0 1.4 3.6 4.9 6.5

      Buddhist 0.4 0.9 4.8 7.5 4.6

      Sikh 0.1 1.1 3.9 4.3 4.7

      No religion 11.0 13.5 16.5 17.3 21.3

      Other religion 2.1 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.4

      SOURCE: Statistics Canada







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