Growing Muslim Population an Increasing Political Force in Ottawa

February 21, 2004

Source: Ottawa Citizen

On February 21, 2004 the Ottawa Citizen reported, "According to Statscan census data, during the last provincial election 39,345 residents of Ottawa declared themselves to be Muslim. That makes Muslims the second largest voting block in the city -- dwarfed by more than 500,000 Catholics and Protestants, but nearly double the combined strength of Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. At least 20,000 of those Muslim voters hail from Arab countries, according to the data. So it wasn't surprising that Somali leaders who met with members of their community yesterday consider that soiree only a first step. Under the slogan, 'We vote, we are the majority,' speaker after speaker at last night's meeting of the Somali community urged visible minorities -- and especially Ottawa Muslims -- to take note of the power that comes with a growing population. 'Demographically we are not a majority, but we want to be, and will be, a political force,' said Mohamed Awal, a consultant for the Canadian Association of Francophones of the Horn of Africa, one of the meeting organizers."