A new report reveals that the Muslim population of Canada, most of whom are immigrants, have a strong attachment to Canada and feel that the country is heading in the right direction. A full 83% of Muslim Canadians report being ‘very proud’ to be Canadian, compared to 73% of non-Muslim Canadians.
The report was carried out by the Environics Research Group, a polling and market research firm based in Toronto.
Other key findings from the report include the following:
- Muslims are as likely as non-Muslims in Canada to say their Canadian identity is very important.
- Muslims are as likely as non-Muslims to place strong value on diversity and connections between cultures.
- Having a strong Muslim identity is increasingly associated with also having strong pride in being Canadian.
- Muslims are almost universally satisfied with the general direction of the country today, and considerably more so than other Canadians. Nine in ten (89%) say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today.
- Most Muslims in Canada strongly identify as both Muslim and Canadian. The survey reveals that strong majorities consider both religion (84%) and country (81%) to be very important parts of their personal identity.
- Muslims tend to believe their community wants to integrate into Canadian society rather than remain distinct.
- Nine in ten (90%) Muslims are optimistic the new federal government will lead to improved relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Overall, the Muslims who took part in this survey attribute their greatest source of pride to Canada’s freedom and diversity. Seven in ten Muslims living in Canada are immigrants.
Of all respondents (Muslim and non-Muslim), 84% believe Muslims in Canada are treated better than Muslims are treated in other western countries, and this view has strengthened since 2006 (when it was 77%).
The survey also found that a whopping 79 per cent of Muslim Canadians voted in the 2015 federal election, with about two-thirds voting for the now-governing Liberal Party.
Fairness, freedom and diversity
“One remarkable aspect of this report is that Muslims in Canada believe they are treated better than how Muslims are treated in other countries. South of the border in the United States, for example, you have a potential presidential candidate who has indicated that he would make it official policy to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the country. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Canada personally went to the airport to welcome Syrian refugees this winter. The difference couldn’t be starker,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“At a time where global tensions are high, Canada stands out as a place where families of all faiths or of no faith at all can be proud of where they are from, and proud of where they are. The report provides reason to be positive about where Canada is heading, for newcomers and long-time residents alike.”
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