The Toronto Star – August 6, 2011


Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the television hit Little Mosque on the Prairie, reflects on the situation of Canadian Muslims in this feature article about her family during the month of Ramadan. The freelance filmmaker and TV comedy writer worries when the extended family comes home about the “way things look.” “You can’t make a mistake — you will be judged.”

As for Muslims in Canada, life is not perfect, says Abdul-Basit Khan, a Toronto lawyer and past chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Canada. But, adds Khan, if you look at the experience of co-religionists in Europe and some parts of the U.S., “there isn’t a better country in which to be a Muslim.” Nawaz says 9/11 forced Muslims, and other religious minorities, out of their “bubble” world and to engage the greater community as never before. In charity work, for example, they moved beyond supporting only Muslim causes. “Never was there a time in history when it was so important to be active and prove to the world that we care,” says Nawaz. She also pays tribute to Canadian tolerance. “I believe that Little Mosque on the Prairie could not have been made in any other country,” says Nawaz, 43.

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