Murray HogbenNov 5, 2021
Minarets on the Horizon
Muslim Pioneers in Canada
Mawenzi House 2021
Minarets on the Horizon: Muslim Pioneers in Canada (Mawenzi House 2021) by Murray Hogben is an incredible archive of some of the early Muslim settlers in Canada. The book is a collection of wonderful oral histories of the early Muslims and their descendants from the east to the west coast of Canada. Be they the settlers from Syria/Lebanon or Punjabi men who worked in timber mills of British Columbia, to those who migrated later in the 20th century as a result of the changes to the Canadian immigration law, such as South Asian Muslims, Hogben captures the trials and tribulations of migration, and the challenges of adapting religious and cultural practices as minorities in a new nation state. Central are the voices of Muslim women, such as Hilwie Hamdon, who led the way to building the first mosque in Canada, the al-Rashid masjid, in Edmonton, while stories of inter-religious friendships abound through the early formation of the Muslim communities across Canada. This is an important book that adds deep texture to our understanding of the history of Islam in Canada and will be of interest to anyone who thinks and writes about Muslims in Canada and in the global west, generally.
Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier.