Toronto may get Canada’s first Muslim campus chaplain

News Agencies – June 15, 2012

Students at the University of Toronto have set a goal of raising $70,000 by September to fund a year-long contract for the first-ever full-time Muslim chaplain on a Canadian campus. In a video on the campaign website various young people make the case for donations. “I had to sit in class and listen to my professor tell me Islam degrades women,” says one young woman. “In my field, relationships are built at the bar. What am I supposed to do about that?,” says a young man. “There’s something about mosques that makes me uncomfortable,” says another man.

Muslim Chaplains provide spiritual guidance at dozens of universities in the United States. Unlike Imams, chaplains may be women. The chaplain’s role includes spiritual guidance for students and interfaith work too. Richard Chambers, director of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto told the Toronto Star that a Muslim Chaplaincy could help fix an “imbalance” created by the fact that Jewish and Christian campus groups have full-time staff, while Muslim groups currently rely on volunteers.