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Immigration, Community Building, and Islamophobia are Challenges Facing Winnipeg Muslims

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Immigration, community building, Islamophobia, and many other issues face Winnipeg’s Muslim population today and may in the future. This makes settling down and integrating members of the Islamic community extremely difficult. According to Dr. Idris Elbakri, the former President of the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA), to avoid these obstacles, awareness among Winnipeg’s Muslims so they do not face the same difficulties again.

Elbakri says, “The challenges we all face as a Muslim community in Winnipeg stem from the fact that we are still in the process of establishing ourselves in the sense that we are still building organizations and institutions, and we are still growing through immigration. So, we have yet to settle down and are still facing challenges, such as immigration, community building, and Islamophobia.”

Elbakri believes many of these challenges until now are due to a sense of isolation. Winnipeg is two days away from a big city like Toronto and distant from other large Muslim communities.

Elbakri continued, “I believe that Muslims in Winnipeg who are involved here are unaware of the greater North American community and its challenges, as well as what may be learnt from what has already been done in these places. I was able to bring my experience in the United States to Winnipeg to raise awareness about Islamic concerns such as Islamophobia and immigration challenges.”

Elbakri went on to say that Winnipeg is experiencing a parenting crisis.

“If we can solve the parenting concerns or assist parents in figuring out Canadian Muslim parenting, that will be very beneficial. I also believe that many of us deal with parenting concerns too late or with much anxiety. We must learn to deal with our difficulties actively to avoid additional confrontations.”

Winnipeg’s Muslim community is growing. Challenges cannot be avoided all at once. As a result, we must behave carefully and learn from the past experiences of people who have faced and overcome all these problems.

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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