Poll Suggests Canadians Don’t Share Values With Muslims

The National Post – September 9, 2010
Nine years after the devastating 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, a majority of Canadians don’t believe Muslims share their values, according to a new public opinion poll released exclusively to Postmedia. The poll, conducted earlier this week by Leger Marketing in Canada and Caravan in the United States, found that 55% of Canadian respondents and 50.3% of Americans disagreed when asked whether “Muslims share our values.”
However, the poll reveals there are also significant regional differences in the way Muslims are viewed in Canada. While 72% of Quebecers said Muslims didn’t share their values, compared to 19% who said they do, that rate dropped to 35.5% in British Columbia where 40.8% saw shared values with Muslims. Ontario and Alberta were closer to the national average. In Ontario, 54.5% said Muslims don’t share their values, compared to 34.9% who said they do, while in Alberta 57.9% of Albertans said values weren’t shared, compared to 32.4% who said they were. Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, which commissioned the poll along with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, said the opinion Canadians have of Muslims has been deteriorating over the past few years. Ayman Al Yassini, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, agreed the situation is getting worse and suggested Canada’s Muslim community reach out more to other Canadians. Jedwab said controversies and media reports in Quebec over the past few years on questions such as the reasonable accommodation of ethnic minorities or Muslim women wearing the niqab face veil likely contributed to the attitudes among Quebecers and francophones.
The surveys were conducted via the web during the week of Sept. 6 with 1,700 respondents in Canada and 1,000 in the U.S. The Canadian survey is considered accurate to within 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, while the American survey is considered accurate to within 3.5 percentage points.

Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in Europe, two out of five Canadians also feel that way

Negative sentiments against Muslims and Jews are on the rise in “old Europe” more than anywhere else around the world today, a survey released in September by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project has shown. In contrast, negative attitudes towards Christians in Europe are “less common than negative ratings of Muslims or Jews,” the Pew survey said. Nonetheless, it noted that negative attitudes towards Christians are on the rise in a few countries, particularly in Turkey – to 72 per cent from 52 per cent in 2004. Meanwhile, a recent Leger Marketing poll has shown that nearly two out of five Canadians hold anti-Muslim sentiments. The Leger survey, commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies, shows that “more needs to be done to combat discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment,” according to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). Anti-Jewish sentiment also increased slightly, with the number of Canadians offering favourable views of Jews dropping to 73 per cent this year from 78 per cent. The poll, conducted among 1,500 respondents across the country, showed an increase in the number of Canadians with an unfavourable view of Muslims – to 36 per cent this year from 27 per cent. (Respondents were asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable view of Muslims). Marites N. Sison reports.

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Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in Europe, two out of five Canadians also feel that way

Negative sentiments against Muslims and Jews are on the rise in old Europe more than anywhere else around the world today, a survey released in September by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project has shown. In contrast, negative attitudes towards Christians in Europe are less common than negative ratings of Muslims or Jews, the Pew survey said. Nonetheless, it noted that negative attitudes towards Christians are on the rise in a few countries, particularly in Turkey – to 72 per cent from 52 per cent in 2004. Meanwhile, a recent Leger Marketing poll has shown that nearly two out of five Canadians hold anti-Muslim sentiments. The Leger survey, commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies, shows that more needs to be done to combat discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment, according to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). Anti-Jewish sentiment also increased slightly, with the number of Canadians offering favourable views of Jews dropping to 73 per cent this year from 78 per cent. The poll, conducted among 1,500 respondents across the country, showed an increase in the number of Canadians with an unfavourable view of Muslims – to 36 per cent this year from 27 per cent. (Respondents were asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable view of Muslims). Marites N. Sison reports.