Shanifa Nasser: Battling extremists and assumptions: Why young Muslim Canadians are reclaiming their identities

Shanifa Nasser: How Islamophobia is driving young Canadian Muslims to reclaim their identityPressure to answer for Islamic extremism might explain why young Muslims feel more Muslim than Canadian

Laya Behbahani never questioned her Canadianness until a recent incident at the Vancouver airport.

The 31-year-old lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., was born in Iran and moved to Canada when she was 13. While going through the passport check after returning home from a trip, she said, she was pulled aside by a border services agent and questioned about her religion and why she frequently travels outside the country.

At one point, Behbahani said, the agent asked her: “How Canadian do you really feel?”

“It made me stop and wonder, ‘Why would you ask me that? Would you ask someone without a headscarf that question?'” she said.

The majority of young Muslims in Canada feel Muslim first and Canadian second, an Environics Institute surveyreleased Wednesday suggests.

More at the source: Shanifa Nasser – Apr 27, 2016 – CBC News, Canada

Shanifa Nasser is a Toronto-based journalist who covers everything from radicalization to foreign adoptions to the right-to-debate. She completed the Munk Fellowship in Global Journalism in 2015 and holds a Masters in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto.



Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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