Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, issued the following statement on Islamic Heritage Month:
“Islamic Heritage Month is recognized throughout October in Alberta and across Canada.
“The first Muslims arrived in Canada in the 1870s. They worked hard to build community and preserve their faith in their new home. Their hard work and perseverance was demonstrated by the opening of the Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton in 1938 – the first mosque in Canada.
“Since then, the Muslim community has continued to contribute to our province’s culture and beauty. In 2018, the Aga Khan Garden, a gift from His Highness, the Aga Khan, opened in the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. The architecture and design reflects how Muslim tradition has thrived and adapted in our province.
“Many Muslim Albertans have devoted themselves to giving back to their community, and have paved the way for others to follow. They are entrepreneurs, industry leaders, doctors and many other prominent Albertans who help create the rich tapestry of our great province.
“Throughout October, we celebrate and thank the Muslim community for enriching our heritage and helping to build this province. For all Albertans, this is a time to attend events being hosted by Islamic community groups and learn more about our Muslim neighbours.
“Our diversity makes us stronger, and by celebrating each other’s unique traditions and beliefs, we create a province that welcomes everyone.”