Canada: Quebec Youth Adopt Islamic Customs in ‘Solidarity’ with Muslims


Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec is seeing a new trend of young non-Muslim people adopting Islamic customs and holidays.

The new phenomenon was first noted by anthropologist Géraldine Mossière who found young people, mostly women, in Montreal who frequented Muslim associations and cafes and began to adopt Islamic practices without ever formally converting, La Presse reports.

According to Mossière, the subjects she met did everything from banning themselves from eating pork to celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“These are young people who have experienced in school a cultural mix conducive to the integration of certain cultural beliefs. Sometimes they do it in solidarity with their Muslim friends. Those who do not go to conversion see Muslim practices as personal development, such as yoga or meditation,” Mossière claimed.

Some women do convert to Islam, with Mossière claiming that the attraction stems from a desire to seek out more traditional female roles, suggesting “They see themselves as Quebecers and Muslim. They adopt a ‘pure Islam free of its origins’ of the patriarchal system which they associate with the culture of the Muslim countries of today.”

“They see Islam as a way to return to the family model of their grandparents, but being more valued than their grandmothers, because, in Islam, the role of mother and wife is sacred and recognized by God,” Mossière added.

Possible social pressure to conform to Islamic norms as an explanation for the trend does not appear to have been considered.

Last year, Quebecers elected the populist-right Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) into power, who campaigned on banning the full-face Islamic veil, along with other religious symbols, for anyone working in the public sector.

The ban was implemented this year in June as Bill 21, and bans teachers, police, and civil servants from wearing religious symbols while working.

In Europe, one of the most prevalent places for Islamic conversion and radicalisation tends not to be universities but the various prisons across the continent.

In the United Kingdom it was revealed in June that Muslim prison gangs were forcing other inmates to convert to Islam or face violence. The Ministry of Justice report found that Muslim gangs were operating in the three high-security prisons they surveyed.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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