About Imam Zijad Delic
Dr. Zijad Delic was born in Bosnia, where he received his formal training as an Imam (Muslim spiritual leader). He received his BA (Hons) in Islamic Studies and Arabic Language from the International Islamic University of Islamabad, Pakistan. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Oregon, Faculty of Education, Eugene OR, the United Sates of America and a Doctorate from Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Education, Vancouver BC, Canada.
From 1990 through 1995, Dr. Delic served as an Imam and teacher in Bosnia and Croatia. Since immigrating to Canada in 1995, he has held a variety of leadership responsibilities, initially within the BC Muslim Association where he served as head Imam, Vice-Principal of the BC Muslim School, community spokesperson, and other related positions. In 2006, he moved to Ottawa, where he now resides, to take on a national NGO position (2006-2011).
Since 2001, Dr. Delic has also worked extensively as an expert consultant on Islamic and interfaith issues to all levels of government, as well as advising a number of Canadian NGOs and social justice organizations. In 2008 and 2010, he presented reports to the federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration on topics pertaining to integration and faithful citizenship among Canadian Muslims. These reports have been accepted as source references for further development and improvement of Canadian integration and citizenship policies.
Imam Dr. Delic upholds Islamic formative principles as the source of his inspiration, spirituality and intellectual energy and is a passionate advocate for living as an engaged, contemporary Muslim in today’s multicultural society. His Doctoral thesis and subsequent public work and writings have focused on building bridges of cooperation and informed understanding between Canadian Muslims and mainstream society.
As a dynamic promoter and motivator of interfaith relations in Canada, Dr. Delic has forged enduring relationships with numerous religious leaders. In October 2007, the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) invited him to address their Plenary Assembly — the first Muslim Imam in CCCB history to do so.
Imam Dr. Delic is frequently invited to lecture on themes about Islam, Muslims, leadership and educational issues at Canadian, American, Australian and European universities and colleges. He has also presented lectures, seminars and workshops for various governmental agencies; written articles for major Canadian and ethnic newspapers; and been a regular guest on Canadian TV and radio shows.
His sincerity and versatility on behalf of BC Muslims earned Dr. Delic the affectionate nickname, “The People’s Imam” — a compliment well-earned through his passionate energy as a motivational speaker and fund-raiser who has been known to spontaneously break into song to raise people’s spirits.
He is among the leading generation of his community who envisions building a new Canadian Muslim identity – one that truly reflects both the formative principles of Islam and the richness of our multicultural society. He believes that Canadian Muslims and their fellow citizens possess the collective spirit and potential to make enduring positive social, cultural and professional contributions to Canada’s national fabric.
In 2008 Dr. Delic was honored for a decade of continuous volunteer service by the Province of Ontario and in both 2009 and 2010 he was included in the prestigious publication, “The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World,” edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, Islamic Studies scholars at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He currently works with South Nepean Muslim Community and serves as their resident Imam. He resides in Ottawa ON with beloved wife Senada and daughters Lejla and Emina.