Ontario facing ‘epidemic of Islamophobia’ survey finds.
Daily Caller After welcoming almost 12,000 refugees to their region, three-quarters of Canadians living in the province of Ontario now say that Muslim immigrants hold fundamentally different values and a majority believe mainstream Islam promotes violence, according to a new survey to be released this week.
While 60 percent of Ontarians say they initially supported the decision to import Syrian refugees, 75 percent now say Muslim immigrants hold fundamentally different values and a majority now say Islam’s mainstream doctrines promote violence. Only one-third of those in the region have a positive impression of the religion.
The survey was funded by the province and the city of Toronto as part of a joint educational campaign “to address xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments.”
The Star While Canada rides a wave of global praise for welcoming Syrian refugees, a new poll suggests we’re also facing a wave of something sinister — Islamophobia.
“There is an epidemic of Islamophobia in Ontario. Only a third of Ontarians have a positive impression of the religion and more than half feel its mainstream doctrines promote violence (an anomaly compared to other religions),” said the 51-page survey to be released this week by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and advocacy group Mass Minority. “These sentiments are echoed with Syrian refugees in Ontario where acceptance often coincides with acceptance of Islam.”
Ontario has seen a number of recent incidents targeting Muslims. A woman wearing a hijab was attacked at a supermarket in London (by another MUSLIM) in June and a Western University student from Iran was beaten by two men who taunted him and told him to go back to his country. Also, in June, an anti-immigrant group rooted in Germany held an anti-Muslim protest in Toronto.
While the survey’s respondents agreed that immigrants play a valuable role in society (72 per cent) and are an important part of our cultural identity (71 per cent), three-quarters of the survey participants said we need to focus on taking care of the people “here” instead of spending resources on refugees.
“Taken together, this suggests that Ontarians see non-immigrants as more entitled to social care. This entitlement is, in some ways, a contradiction given the inherent value that immigration offers,” said the poll of 1,009 Ontarians conducted between May 11 and 16.
The survey was funded by the province and the City of Toronto for its recently launched public awareness campaign on Islamophobia, which has sparked heated debate over its provocative posters, seen by some as reinforcing stereotypes and fuelling tensions.
Comparing Canada’s six major mainstream religions, Islam is the most likely to be viewed by the respondents as a promoter of violence. Three-quarters of Ontarians said they feel Muslim immigrants have fundamentally different values, largely due to perceived gender inequality, the survey found.
“Opposition to Syrian refugees is higher among those with unfavourable impressions of Islam,” said the report. “Opposition is mainly because of concerns that Syrian immigration will mean less help at home. Those opposed see Canadians as needing support first and foremost.”
Despite a generally positive view of immigrants, 53 per cent of Ontarians said we should only allow immigrants from countries that have similar values to our own while 74 per cent said we need to be more strict about what kinds of immigrants we accept.
“There are imbalances in the worth of immigrants relative to ‘the people here.’ They are seen as valuable to society but less deserving of our resources,” the poll found. “This shows that acceptance of immigrants is not without its limits.”