Because I am without a doubt the coolest kid on my block in Prague (and didn’t particularly feel like writing some dumbass numbered THREAD on Twitter), I spent a few minutes on Saturday night trolling through Canadian census data on Muslim populations in census metropolitan areas (CMAs: basically cities + suburbs and/or commuter areas), seeing how big or small they are compared to the population(s) of Muslims in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. (FWIW, all part of prepping a piece on Islamophobia in Slovakia and the general theme of Islamophobia really being trendy in places with barely any Muslims).
Background: there’s between 10-20,000 Muslims in the Czech Republic – a country of 10.6 million people, so at best 0.2% of the population – and around 5,000 next door in Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million (i.e., not even 0.1%). On the other hand, Canada’s got more than a million Muslims, making up more than 3% of the population.
Using the 2011 National Household Survey data (the most recent where religion is broken down by CMA), I estimated just how different some cities/CMAs in Canada are from both the Czech Republic and Slovakia:
- Saskatoon: Around 295,000 people – the 17th largest CMA in Canada – with around 5,600 Muslims (~1.9%), more than the entire country of Slovakia.
- Halifax: Around 400,000 people – the 13th largest CMA in Canada – with around 7,500 Muslims (~1.9%), also more than the entire country of Slovakia.
- Winnipeg: Around 778,000 people with around 11,200 Muslims, as much as some of the low estimates of the Czech Republic and twice as many as Slovakia.
- Edmonton (the entire CMA including us assholes from Sherwood Park, not just the city): 1.3 million people, with around 46,000 Muslims (3.5%-4% of the population).
- In other words, my hometown has almost twice as many Muslims as the Czech Republic and Slovakia combined.
- Even Fort McMurray (“Wood Buffalo,” technically) has around 3,400 Muslims in a population of around 73,000 and, unlike Slovakia, has a mosque.
Even tiny Lac La Biche, AB, population 8,300, has a mosque thanks to a longstanding Lebanese community there. It also has a community of Russian Old Believers outside of town. #TheMoreYouKnow.