Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Professor Anver Emon, Canada Research Chair in Islamic Law and History and Director, Institute of Islamic Studies, recently received three years of funding for “The Muslims in Canada Archive (MiCA) Project” from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) under its Partnership Development Grant Program.

The MiCA Project brings together researchers and community leaders to develop an archive (both analogue and digital) representing the diverse and wide-ranging contributions of Muslims to Canada’s history and documentary heritage. It is designed at a time when the academic study of Islam and Muslims is profoundly framed by concerns of national security. Against this backdrop, and with the professional guidance of Moska Rokay, MI, MiCA will design archival standards and collection practices for Muslim Canadian archival records that reflect those communities’ descriptive lexicon and lived realities. By developing these best practices, MiCA will contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of Canada’s archival profession with regard to the archival and digital under-representation of minorities in Canada. The Project will host annual workshops to encourage the use of the archival holdings for research and multi-media projects that explore the possibility of narrative plurality about Islam/Muslims in Canada’s multicultural landscape. It will also critically examine the implications of security narrative frames on the formation of academic approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims and policy issues in which Muslims or Islam have become touchstones in Canadian political (if not polemical) debate.

MiCA is a partnership that resulted from years of consultation, engagement, and discussion with key stakeholders across Canada. As a partnership focused on Ontario and testing for enhanced scale by sequencing Quebec and Atlantic Canada, MiCA is a collaborative project of academic, archival, and community organizations. MiCA’s academic partners are the University of Toronto, York University, Université Laval, and Memorial University. MiCA is fortunate to have both the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) and Library and Archives Canada as partners to advise on best archival practices. MiCA would not be possible without the efforts, support, and confidence of six national community organizations that serve and support the Muslim community, i.e., The Black Muslim Initiative, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Inspirit Foundation, National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and The Tessellate Institute.