Our friendly neighbors to the north seem to have been infected with the same xenophobic, jingoistic, extremist anti-Muslim rhetoric sweeping the USA. (H/T: JB)
More than half of all Canadians believe Muslims can’t be trusted and nearly as many believe discrimination against Muslims is “mainly their fault,” say the results of a new national survey released before Wednesday’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The online poll of 1,522 Canadians, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and Toronto-based Canadian Race Relations Foundation, also highlights how Canadians see the Internet as by far the leading conduit for racism in the country.
ACS executive director Jack Jedwab described the results as a “disturbing” sign that racism not only remains a problem in the country but that many Canadians feel comfortable holding transparently discriminatory views, then saying things like: “If we feel this way about you, it’s your fault.”
Ayman Al-Yassini, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, said the findings provide more reasons to promote better inter-faith and inter-cultural relations and to “build bridges among different communities” in Canada to combat discrimination.
Asked if Muslims can be trusted, a countrywide total of 52 per cent of respondents said either “not at all” or only “a little.” Conversely, 48 per cent of those surveyed said they trusted Muslims “a lot” or “somewhat.”
No other group asked about in the survey registered such low levels of trustworthiness.
On the question of who deserves blame for such negative feelings, Muslims again fared significantly worse than other groups in Canadian society.
Forty-two per cent of respondents said they agreed (either “strongly” or “somewhat”) with the statement: “If there is discrimination against Muslims, it is mainly their fault.”
By comparison, 36 per cent of those surveyed said aboriginal Canadians were mainly responsible for any discrimination directed toward them, while respondents considered Jewish Canadians (26 per cent), homosexual Canadians (20 per cent) and Black Canadians (19 per cent) less responsible for the discrimination they suffer.