Moncton Muslim Association looking to hire full-time faith leader

·2 min read
For the first time, the Moncton Muslim Association is looking to hire a permanent full-time imam as the community grows and requires a dedicated faith leader. (Moncton Muslim Association/Facebook - image credit)
For the first time, the Moncton Muslim Association is looking to hire a permanent full-time imam as the community grows and requires a dedicated faith leader. (Moncton Muslim Association/Facebook - image credit)

For the first time, the Moncton Muslim Association is looking to hire a permanent full-time imam.

As the community grows, the association says it requires a dedicated faith leader to lead daily prayers, perform marriages and offer religious guidance on matters in the community.

Moncton is home to more than 2,000 people who identify as Muslim and the association members say they pride themselves on being inclusive.

Established in 2000, the association opened its first independent masjid, or mosque, in 2007.

So far, volunteers with the association have been cycling through the role but Abdal Khan, president of the association, said a dedicated imam is needed.

Tori Weldon/CBC News
Tori Weldon/CBC News

"The community has grown quite a bit and we need someone who is well qualified, who can spend more time because a volunteer can only give a certain amount of time," Khan said.

The association has been without a full-time imam for a decade now. One of the biggest issues is people aren't willing to move to a smaller city.

"Most of the candidates that we are looking for the most probably graduated from a big city Islamic school, So either it's in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver, these are the big centres where I think there are big Islamic schools where people graduate with a proper degree to be an imam," said Khan.

There are a variety of qualifications the association is looking for in an imam, including being a hafiz (someone who has fully memorized the Qur'an), someone who can speak to non-Muslims about Islam and the ability to communicate with people of all ages.

On average it takes three to six months to find an imam; however, Khan said the association has received far fewer applications than expected at around 40 applications.

Another issue is the fact that many of these applicants are not in Canada.

"I think we got three [applications] from within Canada and the issue we are facing is that we are not in a position to hire somebody from outside Canada, because it requires sponsoring to bringing them in....and we are not at a stage where we can do that," said Khan.

"People are looking for an imam for a long time...it's a big need here."

The job posting has been extended and interested individuals can reach out to the association at monctonmuslimassociation@hotmail.com or mail the association at 99 High Street in Moncton.

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