Larry Shaben, 73, was Canada’s first Muslim cabinet minister. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Shaben was born in Hanna, Alberta and eventually settled in the north of Alberta represented Lesser Slave Lake. This article in The Globe and Mail chronicles how Shaben spent much of his youth at Canada’s first mosque, Al Rashid in Edmonton. Shaben became involved in politics early in his life in High Prairie, and retired in 1989 and returned to Edmonton to focus his energies on ecumenical groups like the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities, the Islamic Academy of Edmonton and the endowed chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. The cabinet minister is also known for miraculously surviving a deadly twin-engine plane crash in 1984.
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