In an effort to generate interest among Muslims in careers in the Canadian military, the Canadian Forces have begun making appearances in mosques. Reception is mixed. At Burnaby, British Columbia’s Al-Salaam mosque, some members claim a religious institutions should not be used to showcase the military, while others warn of an organization involved in a combat mission in Afghanistan where fellow Muslims are being killed.
Lieutenant-Commander Kris Phililps of the Canadian National Defense Public Affairs Office says that like women and Aboriginal people, Canadian Muslims are underrepresented in the Forces. The sessions seek to disseminate information in a direct, unfiltered manner to minority groups. They also highlight the army’s “Muslim-friendly” accommodations, including the availability of halal foods and Muslim chaplains.
The Canadian Forces has made strides in attracting women (about 37% are now women), but only 5.4% are visible minorities and just under 4% are aboriginal.
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