Beyond the Divide: A Century of Canadian Mosque Design (by Tammy Gaber)

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H Masud Taj


architecture, design, Islamic architecture, mosque, contemporary mosque, gender, Canada, Immigration, Islam and contemporary issues, Muslims in the West, Muslim women, Muslimah, Muslims


Muslim immigrants first pray in each other homes, and later in the basement of churches and rented premises. They progress to buying an existing building and repurpose it to serve as a mosque. Finally, the fledgling community raises the funds to buy land and build a mosque that reflects both their native nostalgia and aspirations as new Canadians. A century of mosque-building by Muslim immigrants to Canada is such an expatriate phenomenon. However, the “Divide” in the title refers not to crossing the oceans but to another telling subtitle from the author’s ear-lier paper with the same title: “Women’s Spaces in Canadian Mosques.” The two subtitles, one documentary (book) and the other didactic (paper), vie for the reader’s attention, crossing the genre divide.

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