‘Fear is the greatest factor:’ Survey finds Canadians worry about rise of racism against Muslims

The survey found 56 per cent believed that Islam suppresses women’s rights. There was a 54 per cent approval for imams and 35 per cent for Muslim leadership

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada hosts its largest Canada Day celebration at the Baitul Islam Mosque in Vaughan, Ont., on Saturday, July 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

CALGARY — A survey suggests Canadians have a generally positive impression of Muslims but that view doesn’t apply to some of the religion’s leadership and beliefs.

The poll, commissioned by Think for Actions and Insights Matter, found 78 per cent of Canadians agreed Muslims should adopt Canadian customs and values but maintain their religious and cultural practices. Some 88 per cent of those surveyed said Muslims should be treated no differently than any other Canadian.

But 72 per cent of respondents also believed there has been an increasing climate of hatred and fear towards Muslims in Canada and that it will get worse.

To celebrate Canada Day the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Ottawa organized a Canada Day Festival at Baitun Naseer Mosque in Cumberland Saturday July 1, 2017. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

Results of the poll — an online survey of 1,048 Canadians done from March 13 to Aug. 12 — were released Saturday at The Unity Conference in Calgary on Islamophobia, discrimination and systemic racism.

“The biggest takeaway is Canadians who are friends with a Muslim or know a Muslim individual have a positive view of Islam and Muslims and are more welcoming to them,” said Mukarram Zaidi, chair of the group that commissioned the survey.

“Fear is the greatest factor. The majority of Canadians believe the issue of racism has increased. They are concerned about the issue of general racism and hate crimes, religious discrimination, homophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Public perception isn’t all positive. The survey found 56 per cent believed that Islam suppresses women’s rights. There was a 54 per cent approval for imams and 35 per cent for Muslim leadership.

Fear is the greatest factor. The majority of Canadians believe the issue of racism has increased

“There needs to be work done within the Muslim community and their leadership to understand that the common person does not hold a lot of respect for what they’re doing,” said Zaidi.

“Children born and raised in North America need to become an imam, because when they stand up and speak, they can speak English clearly and they can relate Islam to North American culture.”

Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder of Muslims Against Terrorism and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, understands why Canadians would be suspicious of Muslim leadership. He said many imams discuss only religious teaching and morality when they should speak out against fanaticism, extremism and intolerance.

“Many Muslim leaders do not condemn ISIL, the Taliban, al-Qaida,” said Soharwardy. “A lot of imams are doing it, but not enough.”

Soharwardy, who was born in Pakistan, said imams should be fluent in English or French and have a good understanding of Canadian society.

“I think most of the imams, who come from overseas and outside of Canada, they still live in silos. They still do not help people to integrate in the mainstream Canadian society.”

Soharwardy has personal experience about the need for good language skills when talking to Canadian-born Muslims.

“At our mosque I speak in English and Urdu, like a bilingual sort of thing. My own son says, ‘Papa, when you speak English that is fine, but as soon as you start talking Urdu, you just  turn me off’ — and he understands it.”

SOURCE:   http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/fear-is-the-greatest-factor-survey-finds-canadians-worry-about-rise-of-racism-against-muslims

8 replies

    Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty QS 22:40.

    Most Muslims do not help the religion of Allah rightly actually they help their Imams or their masters. They fall into sinful Syrik, Q9:31

    Does Governement Saudi Arabia, Gulf States,Taliban, Al Qaida, treat all people fairly ? The answer is NO. All government above discriminate against minorities group such as; Muslim Shia, Christian, Jews, women and other minorities.The government of Saudi Arabia has routinely punished people for holding peaceful public gatherings of any religion other than its strict brand of Islam and criminalizes all forms of public dissent.
    May Allah those Islamic leaders who go astray and bring disaster on thier followers
    All love

  2. Why not ask the Muslim women? I’m a Muslim woman and I’m not oppressed and Islam is the ideal religion for me, it’s hijab provides with confidence and respect as well as protection that money can’t buy. I’m not apiece of meat or a trophy on display, I’m a person and I have a right to be heard but once you put a bikini on people look @ you and enjoy the view. There is more to me than just curves, I’m capable of compassion and volunteer work, I can struggle and I’m strong. And Islam gives me the courage and the confidence to reach my goals. Am I oppressed? NO

  3. It’s the right of a free country’s free citizens to live their lives according to their beliefs.
    If a Muslim women feel free and comfortable by wearing hijab then it’s her right to do so.
    As a true,peaceful and good citizen we have to respect others rights,believes and tradition.

  4. When people of other religions have right to lead their lives according to their teachings and beliefs than why do not muslim people have. As a Muslim woman we feel honour to wear hijab and we feel more comfortable and confident.

  5. As a Muslim woman it is my right to live my life as I want which is a Islamic way, and there is no one that can choose my life choices. I choose this life for myself which includes wearing a hijab and offering salat 5 times a day.

    • @ Asia.. I agree that no one can force you here in America or Europe.. you are lucky you can say like that. But if you live in Saudi or Iran or Pakistan your life will be change. Police will force you to do what police want you to do. You are not free to do what you want.. Asia?

  6. My suggestion.
    God us the most Powerful, better ask God helps than showing rebel attitude to public. Islamophobia will atack us back hader. Pray to God for help .

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