Black Muslims in Canada:
A Systematic Review of Published and Unpublished Literature

Date: February 2019

Authors: Dr. Fatimah Jackson-Best

Produced in partnership with The Black Muslim Initiative


Black Muslims have a long history in Canada, but there has not been a consolidation of the published and unpublished information about these communities that can give a more nuanced understanding of these groups’ lived experiences. To explore the scope and content of the available work about Black Muslims in Canada, a systematic review was done that focused on available published, unpublished, and grey literature.

Thirty four (n=34) research papers, organizational reports, Masters and PhD theses, and government documents were retrieved through a systematized search of the literature and were included in this review. Most (94%, n=32) of the retrieved literature explored the experiences of 1st and 2nd generation Somalis in Canada, and the majority (94%, n=32) of the work on all Black Muslim groups in Canada used qualitative research methods.

Across the literature, people’s lived experiences were typically described as being mediated by being both Black and Muslim. Knowledge production about the lived experiences of Black Muslims who are not Somali, and which also includes quantitative methods, is needed in order to continue the documentation of the histories and contemporary contexts of Black Muslim communities across Canada.

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