TORONTO - Thousands of Muslims are expected to descend on Toronto from across North America this weekend for the largest Muslim gathering in Canada to discuss challenges facing Muslim minorities.
Based on pre-registration, we are expecting a sold-out convention this year, an organizer of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention told OnIslam.net.
Themed Control, Chaos or Community: Three Ways, One World, Our Choice, the convention is organized by a group of young, active Canadian Muslims.
Organizers expect over 15,000 attendees as the convention celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The event, to run from December 23 through December 25, will be held in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, next to the iconic CN Tower.
'Reviving the Islamic Spirit' convention is an attempt by the youth to help overcome new challenges of communication and integration," the organizers said on their website.
An impressive galaxy of distinguished scholars and Muslim personalities from around the world will address the convention.
Leading among attendees are prominent scholar Dr Jamal Badawi and Sheikh Abdallah Idris from Canada, Prof. Tariq Ramadan from Switzerland and Dr. John Esposito from the United States.
Also attended are Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah from Mauritania), Habib Ali Al-Jifri from Yemen and Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury from Australia.
This year's gathering will also feature some leading artists such as world renowned artist Sami Yusuf, Sheikh Mishary Al-Afasy, a world renowned Qur'an reciter from Kuwait and Danish hip-hop group Outlandish.
Organizers believe the diversity of the speakers in this year's event projects the true image and diversity of Canada's Muslims.
By bringing a diverse range of speakers to Toronto, the world's most diverse city, we hope to build real and meaningful institutions to live together with others and contribute to Canada, Fouzan Khan, the convention's founder and director, told OnIslam.net.
Over the years, the convention drew notable Muslim and non-Muslim figures, including famed British journalist Robert Fisk, American rabbi and political activist Michael Lerner and Pakistani politician and cricket legend, Imran Khan.
Muslims in Canada are global citizens and are more interconnected than ever to humanity around the world, maintains Khan.
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country.
A recent report from the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life said that Muslims are expected to make up 6.6% of Canada's total population in 2030.
Toronto, the capital of Ontario, the province that one in three Canadians calls home, has the largest concentration of Muslims in Canada.A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.