Measuring Islamophobia in a settler state

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Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street, Room 530

The first session of the 2020-2021 IIS workshop: Theoretical & Methodological Advances in Studying Islam & Muslims in Canada

About this Event

As social scientists grapple with how to theorize and measure Islamophobia, Canada offers a unique site to address these questions. Canada has long been hailed as an exceptional country when integrating immigrants, yet researchers have documented a significant and salient increase in anti-Muslim violence. Therefore, this monthly workshop will create an opportunity for all interested in the topic to reflect on methodological design in how scholarship claims to investigate the social experiences and outcomes among Canadian Muslims.

Canada is home to the second fastest growing Muslim population worldwide. There are over one million Canadian Muslims, and this population is expected to increase by 183% between 2010-2030, 10 times that of the general Canadian population. Beyond the increasing numbers of Canadian Muslims, the increasing salience of Muslims and Islam in Canada is also important to note. Concerns about Canada’s Muslims have peaked during the past two decades, evidenced by Ontario’s Sharia arbitration debate of 2004-2005, Quebec’s niqab ban and Charter of Values, the Federal government’s 2015 proposed “barbaric cultural practices hotline,” and its more recent debates on Islamophobia-based violence. In this climate, it is disheartening yet not surprising that attacks against Canadian Muslims doubled in Ontario, and almost tripled in Quebec, in 2017, the year of the Quebec mosque shooting. Given this climate of Islamophobia, it is both timely and necessary to critically assess the ways in which Canadian Muslim life experiences and outcomes are captured, theorized, and measured.

In this first session of the workshop, we will lay the groundwork for interrogating how we think of and measure Islamophobia, as well as "Muslim" and "Islam" in Canada.

Participants are recommended to read the requested reading below:


Cainkar, Louise, and Saher Selod. 2018. "Review of Race Scholarship and the War on Terror." Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 4(2):165-177.

Selby, Jennifer A., and Lori G. Beaman. 2016. "Reposing the 'Muslim Question.'" Critical Research on Religion 4(1):8-20.


Kumar, Deepa. 2018. "The Right Kind of 'Islam.'" Journalism Studies 19(8): 1079-1097.


This event is free and open to all. Registration is required. For further information, please contact the Institute of Islamic Studies at (416) 946 5241.