In an effort to encourage Muslim-Canadians to vote in the upcoming federal elections, The Canadian-Muslim Vote (TCMV) - a non-profit, non-partisan civic education organization - has been holding campaigns spanning the country's regions.
The most recent campaign and in partnership with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) was the "Muslim Vote Weekend," which held "Get Out the Vote" sermons in over 100 mosques in six provinces and territories; it began on Oct.11 and ended on Oct. 14.
As explained by the Executive Director of TCMV, Ali Manek, this campaign is a way to incite Muslim-Canadians to vote without any complications or difficulties, as the organization is "making sure they [Muslim-Canadians] are registered and educated on how and where to vote."
According to Manek, the results from their community survey allow them to expect a higher Muslim turnout for this year's federal election than the general average.
In preparation for the campaign, 130 "Campaign-in-a-box" were distributed to volunteers at the participating mosques to aid in educating and bringing Muslims to the ballot. Edmonton's Al Rahma Mosque was one of the 100 which helped the campaign progress.
"As the Muslim Association of Canada, we believe in our responsibility for encouraging people to be active in the community as well as take their role at being active citizens and participating in making this country a better place to live in and choosing the best leadership for our nation," said Tamir Ali, an imam representing Al Rahma Mosque and MAC.
According to GlobalNews, TCMV is focusing on 113 out of 338 Canadian electoral districts — a number they believe will result in a great enough influence to sway the election's outcome.
Muslims around the world are facing Islamophobia and hatred, especially with the recent rise in Islamophobic attacks in the West. For Muslim-Canadians, not only will their vote affect their lives on the social and economic scale, but also their right to proper healthcare, inclusivity in the workplace, and their right to feel safe in their own country.
"Muslim-Canadians are concerned about the economy. They are concerned about jobs, affordability," said debate moderator Ginella Massa during a debate at the Ottawa Mosque. "But then there are issues that impact them directly like racism and Islamophobia, immigration [and] Bill 21," she continued.
TCMV and MAC are not the only organizations working on empowering Muslim-Canadians with knowledge of politics. The Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), a non-partisan organization created by the Ottawa Mosque in Westboro, is also proving its presence. On Oct. 12, the Ottawa Mosque hosted its first-ever federal election debate following afternoon prayers.
"For us, this is an education session for the community. The issue we are seeing is people don't know who to vote for. We are helping them to make their own decision," president of OMA, Ahmed Ibrahim, noted.
He further asserted that Muslims are part of Canada and will always be.
Another such organization is the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), which works year-round to provide cutting-edge training in human rights and civil liberties, public relations, community outreach, and leadership development to Canadian Muslim communities. NCCM also plays a role in Muslim inclusivity at the workplace as it educates employers and service providers about basic Islamic religious practices to break down barriers of misunderstanding.