Sam Kadri Becomes Second Muslim to Play in the National Hockey League

Eighteen year-old centre Sam Kadri will be the second Muslim to play in the NHL when he suits up for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him with the seventh pick in the 2009 draft. Canada’s increasing diversity hasn’t been quickly reflected in the nation’s favourite sport. Born and raised in Montreal, Ramzi Abid was the first Muslim to play in the NHL after being selected in the second round by the Phoenix Coyotes 11 years ago. He played 68 games for the Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators. But his brief foray into the NHL received little attention. Kadri has received far more attention in Toronto.

“If this has a ripple effect on the young players in the Muslim community to take up hockey, then that’s a wonderful side effect,” Leafs GM Brian Burke said. “If that increases our player pool in a part of society we’re not touching right now, that’s great.”

Second Muslim elected to congress

On Tuesday, Indiana voters elected Andre Carson to Congress, making Carson the second Muslim elected to Congress in U.S. history. Andre Carson is the grandson of the late Democratic Representative Julia Carson, and was elected to serve the balance of her term in the House of Representatives; Julia died in December 2007, after serving 11 years in the district. Andre, who beat the republican candidate with 52% of the vote compared to his opponent’s 44%, converted to Islam about a decade ago. He becomes the second of that faith to be elected, the first being Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, also a Democrat.