On September 16, Think for Actions presented the results from their nationwide Canadian Community Engagement Study accessing the interaction between Canadians of all faiths. They addressed ways to combat Islamophobia, Racism, Discrimination and provided solutions to build a stronger and safer Canada.
Summary of the Study
The Canadian Community Engagement Study was undertaken to understand the level of communication between Canadian Muslims and their fellow Canadians. Think for Actions and Insights Matter, along with nine researchers, eleven advisors and nineteen students from eight different Canadian Universities designed and conducted the survey. All Canadians 18 years and older could participate in the survey.
A total of 1048 Canadians across Canada participated in an online survey from March 13, 2017 to August 12, 2017. The data is a fair representation of Canadians across the country with: age, gender, faith, employment status, education, marital status, and total annual household income.
The study concludes:
- Systemic Racism and Religious Discrimination present as a Growing Issue in Canada
- Canadians have concerns about systemic racism and religious discrimination which includes: Islamophobia, general racism, hate crimes, homophobia and anti-Semitism;
- Two thirds of Canadians believe that the atmosphere towards Muslims in Canada is negative;
- Canadian’s Respect and Uphold Human Rights for Muslims
- Two thirds of Canadian’s want the government to invest resources towards reducing and eventually eliminating systemic racism and discrimination on religious grounds;
- There is an increasing evidence of hatred and fear towards Muslims in Canada while Islamophobia and religious discrimination presents as a growing problem in Canadian communities;
- 78% of Canadians approve that Muslims should be allowed to maintain their religious/cultural practices and adopt Canadian customs and values;
- 71% of Canadians support motion M103
- Impression of Canadian Muslims
- Canadians belonging to other faiths have a mostly positive (53%) impression of Muslims compared to negative (40%)
- Individuals of other faiths discussed topics related to Muslims 1/3rd of the time with Muslims
- Majority of Canadians of other faiths have often to occasionally have contact with individuals who are Muslims and have a Muslim acquaintance, and 2/3 personally have any Muslim friends;
- Canadians of other faiths who are friends with Muslims and/or have contact with Muslims have favorable opinion of Muslims;
- Regardless of having interaction with Muslims, Canadians of other faiths support human rights of Muslims;
- 2/3rd of Canadian Muslims had a discussion with individuals of other faith on topics related to Muslims
- 98% Muslims have at least one non-Muslim friend;
- 2/3 of Canadian Muslims have had some discussion with Non-Muslims on a variety of topics related to Muslims/ Islam;
- Canadian Muslims perception of an average Canadian’s impression of Muslims is negative
- Majority of Canadian Muslims believe that an average Canadian’s impression of Muslims is generally negative and is getting worse; 2/3 believe that average Canadian’s understanding of Muslims/ Islam is poor.
- 2/3rd of Canadian Muslims faced discrimination and ½ of them have faced verbal abuse
- 2/3 of Muslims have personally experienced discrimination due to their race or ethnicity in the last 5 years; almost 1/2 of the incidences were verbal abuse or attack;
- 82% Muslims believe that discrimination against Canadian Muslims has increased in the last 5 years;
- Muslims show resilience and are adopting Canadian values
- Majority of Muslims are comfortable expressing their religion in public or around non-Muslims
- 95% would like to maintain their religious/cultural practices and adopt Canadian customs and values
Think for Actions is a Calgary-based non-profit organization and think tank, focused on professional development of youth and establishing a research institute on community affairs. The organization aims to engage the public at a local and national level, and offer new and effective solutions. Think for Actions’ vision is to strengthen and empower youth by mentor-ship provided by professionals, and to develop a research institute. Its mission is to: strengthen and empower youth; professional development and mentoring of youth; create a network of Muslim professionals to mentor Youth; develop a think tank of researchers and scholars; and develop a research institute addressing needs of north American Muslims.