Muslims are less likely to vote than other Canadian religious minorities. That is a finding of a study sponsored by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW). CCMW engaged Daood Hamdani to produce a report on the political involvement of Muslim women in Canada. Funding was received from governmental sources.Looking at Canada’s 2000 election, of non-Christian groups, a higher percentage of Jews voted than members of any other religion. Hindus were 91% as likely to vote as Jews were, Sikhs 86%, Buddhists 76%, and Muslims only 61%. 42% of Muslims voted in 2000, compared to a general population average of 61%, and while 44% of Muslim men voted, only 39% of the women did so. Arab Muslims were more apt to vote than other Muslims.Why is there such a low participation rate for Muslims generally and for women in particular? One factor accounting for the low rate of participation is the view of some Muslims that participating in the political process in a secular democracy is inconsistent with Islam. While this view is certainly not the dominant one, it may nevertheless encourage a more widely felt attitude that voting is not that necessary. As well, many Muslim immigrants come from countries where political processes leave little opportunity for genuine participation and meaningful voting, so that they come without that expectation.The especially low rate of female Muslim voting brings down the general rate. Hamdani argues that women participate less politically because they are more restricted institutionally. The mosque is the major Muslim organization and for many women it is the only one to which they are affiliated. Mosques often leave little opportunity for women to exercise leadership skills. In worship, they are usually segregated, and when politicians come to mosque to campaign, the women are often excluded from interaction with them.One aspect that Hamdani does not discuss is education. As with a number of immigrant groups, not just Muslims, the wife is often less educated and has less opportunity for social interaction, both because of language and because of the traditional view that a woman’s place is in the home. The economic necessity for both parents to be in the workforce is a pressure in the opposite direction, but the old ways still persist.As a social worker, I have found that Muslim women whom I have helped to obtain disability benefits often have limited education. They speak neither English nor French, and many are illiterate in their native language, be it Arabic, Somali, or other. Consequently, even while these are clearly a minority of Muslim women, they have an impact on the over-all rate of female Muslim voter turnout. While Hamdani sees a slow improvement in voting, and political participation more generally, for Muslim men and women, the rate of participation and voting remains low. The consequences in terms of political influence, both for domestic and international policies, are self-evident. If one looks at Canada’s position on questions of Middle Eastern politics, Jews, who vote at a very high rate and for whom illiteracy is extremely rare, are going to have greater influence than Muslims, even though Muslims are around twice as numerous.