Montréal has a Crescent Street.
To my knowledge, there is no Muslim prayer space on Crescent Street.
Nevertheless, some steps away and around the the corner, there is one.
Centre Al-Madinah is a couple of doors south of Rue Sainte-Catherine at 1260 Rue Mackay.
Sisters enter using the same front entrance as the brothers, before continuing through doors on the left. Brothers walk down a hall to the right into their prayer hall.
The sisters area is on the other side of the barrier set up in the rear overflow/upper prayer space.
The Acoustics are Awesome. Quieting down the suplus sound is awesome.
When people are washing up before saying their prayers, the echoes of splashing water is NOT loud enough to disturb worshippers who are concentrating in their prayers.
With the direction of Makkah, the Qiblah, off on a 45 degree angle, Centre Al-Madinah makes wise use of the non-prayable nooks and crannies by placing bookshelves there.
Perhaps two hundred and some worshippers can fit in the upper prayer space on Fridays for Jumah.
The Lower prayer space, is where we find the Imam, about to give the Sermon.
The Friday Sermon, Al-Qhutbah, begins in Arabic, and ends in English.
After the Obligatory Friday Prayer, Jumah, is completed, I hang back.
Awaiting The Imam until he completes his supplementary Sunnah Prayers and indicates he’s open for a brief Q&A.
Turns out he’s a Visiting Imam. Not the Regular Imam of this centre.
He teaches in a nearby college, and delivers Jumah Qhutbahs, Friday Lectures, all over town, when he’s asked.
So that changes my questions about this particular centre, as he doesn’t know much about Centre Al-Madinah’s congregation.
Instead, I ask about Racism towards Muslims in his province.
He agrees that it’s subtle yet entrenched in Quebec Society.
People may not say anything to Muslims outloud in a negative sense, but a Muslim here will feel it all the same.
Though he teaches at an area College, his interactions with his students remain academic in nature, so he doesn’t know how Muslim College students may handle Racism.
The Imam shares an observation of his daughter at her school. Her classmates are all between 12 and 14 years of age. Numerous Muslims attend the same school as his daughter, yet despite their numbers, there is no prayer space.
This despite Québec’s Human Rights Commission saying they have a right to such a space.
He’s observed this Subtle Racism is enough to pause less self-confident Muslims here in the province. But, he’s found when Muslims do Stand Up for their Rights, Québeckers will say “Of Course” and then support and accept the “Ask”.
Though he has yet to see an increase in such “Asks” by Muslims of their wider Rights.
Yet as a Muslim, and indeed one who Delivers Friday Sermons and leads Jumah Salat, this one Montréal Imam keeps his faith in Allah, God-Alone, for things to improve in his province.
As a Muslim Montréaler, he is Always Optimistic Racism will fail and not prevail.