Canada a sanctuary for Ahmadiyyas; community working hard to fit in

Canada a sanctuary for Ahmadiyyas; community working hard to fit in

Members of the faith have been persecuted in places like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in the U.K., where a Scottish shopkeeper was murdered by another Muslim man earlier this year in what a court heard was a sectarian attack.

Excerpts:

Thousands of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community composed largely of immigrants lined the streets outside a mosque in Maple, Ont. on Monday night to wave, cheer and pray as their caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, arrived.

The caliph last visited Toronto in 2012. He’s expected to remain in the city for several days.

That rejuvenation comes at a welcome time. This week, CBC News and the Angus Reid Institute released a poll showing that 68 per cent of Canadian respondents believe immigrants should be doing more to fit in, as opposed to keeping their own customs and languages.

The online survey was conducted in early September from a sample of 3,904 Canadians. The results have a 2.5 per cent margin of error 19 times out of 20.

Ahmadi Muslims are, it should be noted, especially motivated to fit in to Canadian society.

Members of the faith have been persecuted in places like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in the U.K., where a Scottish shopkeeper was murdered by another Muslim man earlier this year in what a court heard was a sectarian attack.

In Canada, however, the group enjoys religious freedom.

“We’ve seen nothing but good here,” said Ata Haee, one of a number of young men helping journalists navigate through the whirl of festivities.

“We want to be a part of this country.”

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