What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . . - Macleans.ca

What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .

MACLEAN’S EXCLUSIVE: A disturbing new poll


What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .Canadians like to think of their country as a model for the world of how all sorts of people can get along together. But when it comes to the major faiths other than Christianity, a new poll conducted for Maclean’s finds that many Canadians harbour deeply troubling biases. Multiculturalism? Although by now it might seem an ingrained national creed, fewer than one in three Canadians can find it in their hearts to view Islam or Sikhism in a favourable light. Diversity? Canadians may embrace it in theory, but only a minority say they would find it acceptable if one of their kids came home engaged to a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Understanding? There’s not enough to prevent media images of war and terrorism from convincing almost half of Canadians that mainstream Islam encourages violence.

The poll, by Angus Reid Strategies, surveyed 1,002 randomly selected Canadians on religion at a moment when issues of identity are a hot topic in Ottawa. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has led a push by the Conservative government to revamp citizenship law, emphasizing the need for real bonds to Canada, and Kenney is looking for ways to encourage immigrants to integrate faster and more fully into Canadian society. But as federal policy strives to encourage newcomers to put down roots and fit in, the poll highlights an equal need for the Canadian majority to take a hard look at its distorted preconceptions about religious minorities. “It astonishes and saddens me as a Canadian,” said Angus Reid chief research officer Andrew Grenville, who has been probing Canadians’ views on religion for 16 years. “I don’t think the findings reflect well on Canada at all.”

Those findings leave little doubt that Canadians with a Christian background travel through life benefiting from a broad tendency of their fellow citizens to view their religion more favourably than any other. Across Canada, 72 per cent said they have a “generally favourable opinion” of Christianity. At the other end of the spectrum, Islam scored the lowest favourability rating, just 28 per cent. Sikhism didn’t fare much better at 30 per cent, and Hinduism was rated favourably by 41 per cent. Both Buddhism, at 57 per cent, and Judaism, 53 per cent, were rated favourably by more than half the population—but even Jews and Buddhists might reasonably ask if that’s a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty result.

Bernie Farber, chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was shocked that so many Canadians responding to a poll were willing to be so open about their negative feelings toward minority religions. “It tells me,” Farber said, “that our journey from intolerance to tolerance, to where we can actually celebrate each other’s cultures, is elusive.”

From the perspective of Sikhs and, especially, Muslims, that’s putting it mildly. When asked if they thought “the mainstream beliefs” of the major religions “encourage violence or are mostly peaceful,” only 10 per cent said they thought Christianity teaches violence. But fully 45 per cent said they believe Islam does, and a sizable 26 per cent saw Sikhism as encouraging violence. By comparison, just 13 per cent perceived violence in Hindu teachings and 14 per cent in Jewish religion. A tiny four per cent said they think of Buddhism as encouraging violence.

Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations Canada, said “reductive reasoning” in media coverage of armed conflict in largely Islamic countries is a big part of the problem. Violence in countries with Muslim populations is portrayed as rooted in their religions in what Gardee calls a “clash of civilizations” world view. “They’re not looking at the social and economic context in which these things are happening,” Gardee said. “It can’t be reduced to Islam, per se.”

Clearly, Islam and Sikhism face the highest hurdles when it comes to persuading many Canadians they are not inherently violent faiths. The problem varies across regions. By far the highest percentage who viewed Islam as encouraging violence was found in Quebec, 57 per cent. Sikh doctrine is mostly likely to be viewed as violent in the province where about half of Canadian Sikhs live: 30 per cent of British Columbians said they think Sikhism encourages violence.

Palbinder Shergill, a Vancouver lawyer who has long represented the World Sikh Organization of Canada on legal matters, said she might have expected such negative opinions about Sikhism in the 1990s. Back then, the 1985 Air India bombing, the work of Sikh separatist terrorists, was still a fresh memory. “Air India has had a very lasting negative legacy for the Sikh community,” Shergill said. “The majority of imagery of Sikhs in the media typically associates the community with that sort of violence.”

Patient work trying to overcome the widespread view of Sikhs as dangerous seemed to be paying off, she said—until recently. Shergill said Sikhs have lately faced a “huge resurgence” of the sorts of challenges to their distinctive practices that they thought were put to rest 15 years or so ago. In Ontario, a Sikh man is fighting in court for the right to wear a turban, but not a helmet, when he rides his motorcycle. In Montreal last week, Judge Gilles Ouellet found a Sikh boy guilty of having threatened two other boys with a hair pin, used to keep his hair neat under his turban.

But Ouellet said the boy didn’t use his kirpan, the small symbolic dagger many Sikh men carry. The judge gave him an unconditional discharge, leaving him with a clean record, and said the case would never have reached his bench if the incident hadn’t had a religious dimension. “Too much importance has been given this case,” he said. “This matter should end here.”

Shergill suspects that many more Canadians read about the initial charge being laid than the remarks of the obviously frustrated judge. And the fact that this episode unfolded in Quebec is not incidental. The province appears to be an incubator of deep suspicions concerning minority faiths.

A mere 17 per cent of Quebecers said they have a favourable opinion of Islam, and just 15 per cent view Sikhism favourably. Only 36 per cent of Quebecers said they hold a favourable opinion of Judaism, far below the national average, and in sharp contrast to neighbouring Ontario, where 59 per cent expressed a favourable view of the Jewish religion. “It’s sadly not a shock,” Farber said.

Farber said his group, a 90-year-old advocacy organization for Canadian Jews, recently rebranded its Quebec wing as the Quebec Jewish Congress, a bid to highlight its roots in the province and reach out to francophone Quebecers. He said Quebec’s perennial anxieties about the survival of the French language play into attitudes toward minorities. “There are built-in fears there that have to be overcome,” he said. In fact, all religions were regarded less positively in Quebec than in Canada as a whole, including Christianity, which 67 per cent of Quebecers view favourably, five points below the Canadian average.

A heated debate over how far to go in “reasonable accommodation” of minorities gripped Quebec in 2007 and 2008. A commission headed by sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor toured the province holding often controversial hearings on the subject, ultimately concluding in a final report that Quebec needed to adapt, but that its cultural foundations were not at risk.

Angus Reid took that debate national, asking how far governments should go to accommodate minorities. A strong majority of 62 per cent agree with the statement, “Laws and norms should not be modified to accommodate minorities.” A minority, 29 per cent, agreed with the alternative statement, “On some occasions, it makes sense to modify specific laws and norms to accommodate minorities.” Another nine per cent weren’t sure. In Quebec, 74 per cent were against changing laws or norms, the highest negative response rate on the accommodation question in the country.

Recent campaign trail experience in Canada has taught politicians to be cautious about anything that smacks of a concession to religious minorities. John Tory, the former leader of Ontario’s Conservatives, was largely expected to win the province’s 2007 election, until he pledged to extend public funding to all religious schools. That promise proved deeply unpopular, even with his party’s base. The Angus Reid poll suggests that lesson can be broadly applied. It found 51 per cent oppose funding of Christian schools, and the level of opposition soars from 68 per cent to 75 per cent for all other religions. On even hotter-button religious issues, opposition is overwhelming. Only 23 per cent would allow veiled voting, and just three per cent Islamic sharia law—an even lower level of support than the eight per cent who would allow polygamy. There’s substantial sympathy for recognizing religious holidays, 45 per cent, but a solid majority still opposes the idea.

Leaders of religious groups contacted by Maclean’s commonly said their impression is that urban attitudes are more open, especially in Toronto and Vancouver—huge magnets for immigrants. Yet familiarity does not appear to be a reliable predictor of tolerance or acceptance. The Sikh community is prominent on the West Coast, but only 28 per cent of British Columbians surveyed reported a favourable impression of Sikhism. That was well below the figures in provinces where Sikhs are far less numerous, like neighbouring Alberta, where 47 per cent reported a favourable opinion of Sikhism, or Ontario, where Sikhism was rated favourably by 35 per cent.

Still, many advocates for Islamic and Sikh groups optimistically tout fostering personal contact—the sort of bonds that grow into friendships—as the key to creating acceptance of that religion. “The more that people have interactions with Muslims,” said Gardee from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada, “the more favourable an opinion they have of Muslims.”

To try to assess the extent and impact of friendships between Canadians of different faiths, Angus Reid asked, “Do you personally have any friends who are followers of any of these religions or not?” Not surprisingly, given that seven out of 10 Canadians identify themselves as Catholic or Protestant, the vast majority, 89 per cent, said they have Christian friends. Less predictably, given that only two per cent of the population follows Islam, fully 32 per cent of respondents claimed they have a Muslim friend. Only 16 per cent nationally reported having Sikh friends, but 36 per cent of British Columbians do. Across Canada, 45 per cent reported having Jewish friends, from a high of 61 per cent in Ontario to a low of 20 per cent in Quebec.

Digging into that data, Angus Reid checked to see if those who claimed to have friends of a particular religion tended to view that faith more positively. There is a correlation. Among those who said they don’t have any Muslim friends, a mere 18 per cent reported that their opinion of Islam is generally favourable. But among those who said they do have Muslim friends, 44 per cent had a favourable opinion of Islam.

For all other religions, well over half of the pool of people who have friends of a certain faith view that faith favourably: for example, 63 per cent of those with Sikh friends view Sikhism favourably, compared with just 23 per cent of those without Sikh friends. And 76 per cent of Canadians with Jewish friends are favourably disposed toward Judaism, while only 34 per cent of people with no Jewish friends have a favourable opinion of Judaism.

Beyond personal contact with adherents of different religions, there’s the question of whether Canadians really know much about what the various faiths profess. Asked about their level of knowledge, 86 per cent said they have a “good basic understanding” of Christianity, compared to just 32 per cent who make the same claim regarding Islam, 18 per cent for Hinduism, 12 per cent for Sikhism, 32 per cent for Buddhism and 40 per cent for Judaism. In fact, it’s a stretch to imagine that a third of Canadians really have a solid grounding in Islam. Or, to express that skepticism another way, is it likely that Canadians are much more likely to have a grasp of the basic tenets of Islam and Buddhism than of Sikhism and Hinduism?

More likely, the higher reported levels of “good basic understanding” actually represents superficial impressions gleaned from news reports, combined with images—both negative and positive—picked up from popular entertainment. Grenville pointed out that with common Old Testament roots, Christians, Muslims and Jews have a natural starting point for mutual understanding. As for Buddhism, he suggested the sixties cultural touchstones established good press. “Meditation, the Beatles, all these things that feel Buddhist, even if they’re not really Buddhist, feel friendly,” he said. “There haven’t been a lot of Buddhist wars.”

Muslims and Sikhs might well envy that vibe. But Buddhism is more than an odd case—it shows that even a fast-growing religion can avoid rubbing Canadians the wrong way. The Buddhist population increased 84 per cent between 1991 and the 2001 national census. Still, that left the total Buddhist population at only about 300,000, or around one per cent of the population—far too small for most Canadians to have anything beyond fleeting direct contact with the religion. Even so, Buddhism’s favourability rating of 57 per cent is four points higher than Judaism, a religion with much deeper roots in Canada. Buddhism was the only religion, including Christianity, for which more than half of people who said they don’t have a friend of that faith held a favourable opinion of it anyway.

Even among those who profess a broad acceptance of other religions, the prospect of one of your children marrying someone from an unfamiliar background can be a test of tolerance. On this delicate question, though, the poll suggests a paradox. Although only 28 per cent said they have a generally favourable opinion of Islam, fully 39 per cent declared that they would find it acceptable for one of their children to marry a Muslim. The pattern follows for the other minority faiths: Canadians surveyed were more likely to say they would approve of one of their kids marrying a follower of a given religion than tended to view that religion favourably. So while only 30 per cent view Sikhs favourably, 39 per cent wouldn’t object to a child marrying one. Similarly, 41 per cent have a favourable opinion of Hinduism, but 46 per cent would find their child’s marriage to a Hindu acceptable.

That pattern might signal an intriguing instinct to respect personal choice in marriage over misguided generalizations about religions. Still, the numbers hardly suggest open-armed tolerance: with respect to all three of Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, less than half of those surveyed said they would find it acceptable for one of their children to marry a follower of those religions. For the marriage question, the results again suggest the usual stratification: Christianity is by far most widely accepted, followed by Judaism and Buddhism, with Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism facing the most negative feelings. A resounding 83 per cent would accept a child marrying a Christian, 53 per cent a Buddhist, and 56 per cent a Jew.

Overall, the findings suggest minority religions aren’t getting a fair shake from the majority. But there remain legitimate questions, even misgivings, about the relationship between mainstream believers and fringe extremists. Outsiders, including journalists, sometimes have trouble gauging how many Sikhs support groups that have sometimes resorted to terrorism in their quest to carve a separate state out of India. Earlier this month, for instance, portraits of the assassins of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi were reportedly on display in Surrey, B.C., at celebrations of Vaisakhi, the birth of Sikhism, and the images even appeared on T-shirts. Palbinder Shergill responds to questions about this sort of issue by making the simple, but fundamental, point that not everything a particular Sikh espouses should reflect on Sikhism as a whole.

Muslim groups also face a minefield of image challenges, which often flow from international affairs rather than domestic life. Gardee admits, for example, his organization’s campaign urging the federal government to bring home Omar Kahdr might convey the wrong impressions to some Canadians. After all, Khadr, the Canadian being held by the U.S. at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, is the son of Ahmed Said Khadr, who was an al-Qaeda financier before he was killed in a gun battle in Pakistan in 2003. Other members of the Khadr family have made outrageous public comments. “Yes, some of the things his family have said have been troubling and outright disturbing,” Gardee said. “But as a Canadian citizen he still has rights. He’s a Canadian citizen and he’s a Muslim. That puts him squarely within our mandate to deal with.”

The problem of how to project a moderate face of Islam to a wider Canadian public is a pressing challenge. Within disparate Muslim communities—and the religion is anything but monolithic—the nature of mosque leadership is a subject of sometimes fierce debate. In fact, that argument is currently raging at Ottawa’s largest mosque, just a few minutes drive west of Parliament Hill. An imam recruited last year from Egypt to preach at the mosque is regarded by some who pray there as not fluent enough in English and too out of touch with modern Canadian society for the job. Others say he needs more time to find his place.

Karim Karim, a communications professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, recently released a report based on extensive surveys and focus group sessions in Canada, the U.S. and Britain that found Muslims in all three countries yearn for imams who better understand the West. “There was a lot of admiration for leaders who were engaging in issues of youth, poverty, employment, women’s issues,” Karim told Maclean’s, “rather than just knowing the theology and being able to recite the Quran.”

Perhaps a new generation of Muslim leaders more attuned to Canadian sensibilities can help bridge the obvious gaps in understanding. Karim points to negative connotations that have built up around a handful of loaded terms. According to him, sharia is a “very malleable, very diverse” set of ethics and values about leading a Muslim life—not a rigid legal code. He describes a fatwa as an “informed opinion by a learned scholar”—not a death edict. And Karim says most Muslims think of jihad as “a daily struggle to be a good Muslim.” But he adds, “It would be disingenuous on my part to say that, no, the other side does not exist. It does exist—the taking up of arms for a cause of justice.”

His willingness to try to explain details, convey nuances, even underline contradictions—it all suggests that Karim craves dialogue on a level the Angus Reid poll suggests too few Canadians are ready for. Even Grenville, who has long experience tracking all sorts of opinions, finds the landscape of attitude toward unfamiliar faiths bleak. “This runs counter to all we espouse,” he said. “We need to face up to the reality of it.” No doubt leaders of the fast-growing, little-understood religious minorities need to consider the image they project. But the rest of Canadians might try a little soul-searching, too. For a country that often boasts of modern identity based on acceptance of diversity, this poll suggests that’s still a goal to strive toward rather than an achieved reality.

Angus Reid’s online poll was conducted from April 14 to April 15, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results were statistically weighted for education, age, gender and region to ensure a sample representative of the adult population of Canada.


What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .

  1. Interesting piece but it’s findings are hardly surprising. Most of our perceptions of unknown religion and cultures comes from media. If they don’t report the sunnier side of people then all we hear about are the bad apples.
    Take PEI for example, many Islanders still think that everyone here is either Protestant or Catholic.

    • I think that comment shows how your perceptions about your own country are inaccurate, University of PEI has one of the best structured and highly attended Religious Studies programs in the country. So I would blanket disagree with that assumption, and posit that it is no better then the one you accuse PEI'ers of.

  2. Makes me wonder about all these religious surveys… How many people polled are Agnostic and Atheist?

    Personally if I had children, and they wanted to marry a religious person, I would be upset by it. Why? Because I don’t want my children marrying some regular person. Anyone with some brains (and a little guts) is able to discern reality from fantasy.

    I would also find it offensive if my children became religious. I would think “Where have I gone wrong?” Does this rational view make me intolerant to religious people? If I tell religious people “Wow, that’s really silly. What if it’s not true?” am I intolerant, or am I actually *HELPING* them? I think the latter.

    It’s been some time since my sisters found the christmas presents hidden under the bed and ruined the magic. Hopefully in a generation or two North America will grow up too.

    • Well it depends on how much of a dick you are being about it.

      For example, if you say “I do not believe in god, and these are the reasons you shouldn’t believe in God” then that is being helpful and contributing positively to the debate.

      If you say, you feel that someone of religious faith lacks guts or brains and is unable to distinguish fantasy and reality, you are being a giant douche.

    • You’re quite right that telling someone their religion is silly is not intolerant – a point this article seems to miss altogether. If you think you’re right, then presumably you think other people are wrong, and therefore that their view isn’t as worthwhile as your own. That’s just plain sense.

      However, the fact that you think religion is somehow on a par with believing in santa shows that you’re a much less thoughtful person than you think you are. Or maybe much less well informed than you think. Could be both or either.

    • I’m calling your bluff Social Liberal and saying you are a troll who is trying to smear atheists as intolerant.

      You should learn to be a little more subtle and not use such laughable arguments– “I’d be *offended* if one of my kids married a ‘religious’ person” and they shouldn’t marry a ‘regular’ person. LOL!! The chestnut though is your (sic) rationalism=intolerance sentence. I’d be cruel and say chalk it up to you being home schooled or something but will only say try harder next time.

    • SL = LF?

      • Like sands through the hourglass, so are the trolls of our lives.

        • Bo Brady, is that you?

      • “SL = LF?”

        As if, they delete LF’s comments on sight now. They delete comments that look like they may be LFs.

        LF tried, CR. Don’t say he didn’t try and he didn’t warn you.

        “, so are the trolls of our lives.”

        You’ve been admonished repeatedly by the Maclean’s staff for being a troll, sweetie, not LF.

        • Ah, that “sweetie” is a giveaway. Style will out.

      • Oh well, at least I got the giant douche part right.

        He’s Conan the Agrarian too right?

    • So you don’t believe in God, eh? Well, image this. You’re in a plane with a crazed gun man (like the incident that happened last week) everyone thinks he will shoot and kill someone. They see their own lives flashing past them..they fear for their loved ones with them. So they all start to frantically pray that they won’t die. My question to you…. “Who will you pray to?”…or what will you do?

    • Wow i did not think rational intelligent people still walked this planet.
      thank you! there may be hope for my kids afterall.

  3. This article draws a lot of unwarranted conclusions.

    For example, the fact that many Canadians think mainstream Islam encourages violence is used to suggest a “troubling” prejudice against Moslems. It’s not prejudice, it’s at worst ignorance of Islamic doctrine. I’m not even sure that mainstream monetary policy doesn’t foster violence; I have had many interesting debates on the subject. Does that make me prejudiced against money?

    Similarly, Geddes speaks in finger-wagging terms of all those who object to a child marrying a Moslem. Prejudice? Maybe. Or perhaps they are inclined to think that inter-faith marriages are less likely to succeed. This is neither unreasonable nor prejudiced. I’ll bet most Moslems wouldn’t be too happy if one of their children came home with a Christian, and I wouldn’t blame them! Prejudice? Or common sense?

    Come on Geddes. It’s not enough to read the stats. You have to think a little more carefully about what they imply rather than jumping to conclusions.

    • I completely agree!
      When it says that 44% don’t want their child to marry a Jewish person, that does not mean that 44% of people polled are anti-semitic. There are many other reasons for not supporting an interfaith marriage besides intolerance.

      I don’t think the questions on the survey were a valid measure of the conclusions MacLeans made.

      I also think more information on the people who complete the survey is needed. What percentage of the people who have a positve view of Christianity are Christian? What percentage identify as nonbelievers? Before conclusions can be drawn about these numbers, it’s important to understand where the numbers came from.

  4. I am glad to see that only 4% – think Buddhism teaches violence as I honestly can not think of another religion that is so against it, and for obvious reasons if they know anything about it. In point of fact depending upon the flavour of Buddhism I sometimes wonder whether it really should be defined as a religion at all! The thing is Canada may like to think of itself as open minded and multicultural but that is more myth than reality – more of a wish and an ideal rather than reflection of reality.

  5. A garbage article.
    Surprise! Canadians can think for themselves and will not be spoon-fed the liberal multi-culti illusion.
    Surprise! Canadians care about their religion and would prefer to see their kids follow in their footsteps when getting married rather than throw their religious and cultural heritage out the window in favour of a mut-culti undefined nullity.
    Surprise! Most muslim-majority countries around the world are almost uniformly prejudiced against rival faiths, gays and women, and Canadians notice!

    • Well be thankful you have the time to comment even on garbage!

      It’s not surprising that Canadians are more comfortable with their kids marrying into faiths that are more familiar to them or have a better media profile. Your argument implies that those who wouldn’t have a problem with it can’t think for themselves and are only mindlessly thinking “Trudeau Trudeau Trudeau” instead of reacting to their own experiences adjusting their outlook. It’s the hysterical can’t-get-over-Trudeau-after-all-these-years conservatives who use this “multi-culti” terminology. Nothing more important to worry about?

      I agree though that Canadians do notice when other countries– Muslim majority or not, but to concede, it’s mostly Muslim majority countries– display deep hostility and active rights violation against rival faiths, gays and women. Er, but that’s not a surprise either.

      • No, I did not intend to imply anything about right or wrong about “those who wouldn’t have a problem with it”.

        I’m just saying there would be few of them, because most religious people care deeply about their religion and their children.

  6. I found the article to be elusive on its statistics. What political and religious views lended one to be disapproving of which religion? Who makes up the 10% that finds Christianity encourages violence? Who makes up the 28% who thinks that Islam is a religion that encourages peace? Is Quebec less favourable to minority religions and religion in general because they are less religious, or is monocultural Catholicism skewing the numbers?

    If all the polls with graphs were provided, and perhaps a few more questions were asked, we might get a better idea of where the negative and positive feelings are coming from. As it is, we just have to guess.

  7. Opinon polls…investigative journalism at its finest.

    I’m taking out three subs to MacLean’s right now. To triple the enjoyment when I cancel them.

    • Sikh doctrine is mostly likely to be viewed as violent in the province where about half of Canadian Sikhs live: 30 per cent of British Columbians said they think Sikhism encourages violence.

  8. I have no amosity towards any religion. Just keep them out of my back yard. I do not need their perception of religious beliefs that has been the cause of most of the the worlds deaths over the last 2000 years. All religion is a tool for the enslavement of different cultures. Only the weak minded in the world need religion. The rest of us are just find with our own conscience and morality.

    • Sounds like a bit of animosity to me or is hypocrisy the word I’m thinking about?

  9. What we have inherited in Canada is the Roman perception of the “barbarians,” that the short haired, clean shaven face is civilized while the bearded fellow with the funny hat is not. That’s why Buddhism ranks so highly among Canadians. It is the only Asian religion (aside from Christianity) that does not aspire to holiness through a beard and a hat. Buddhists look and act like us and their work ethic and philosophy in life are very similar to our own, which allows them to assimilate into their host country much more quickly. On the other hand, the fellows with the beards and funny hats, all seem to be much more concerned about creating their “own” religious/race specific state/country to the exclusion of others. Their marches of protest always include weapons either in hand or on their flags. An AK-47or a sword embedded within a flag show that they have no intention of playing nice with others so it is no wonder that we view them with suspicion.

    • My Chinese friends growing up always used to complain they couldn’t grow much facial hair actually

      • So we should all live with what God gives us, I have no problem with no facial hair on chinese or native Indians, but I hope you don't have a problem with long hair of Natives now? Come on, get over this Hair, turban, no hair, clean shaven etc. you are missing on the person inside. When are we going to be cicvilized eough to see past outer symbols.

    • If by funny hats and beards, you mean Sikhs, then you should look into why Sikhs even march in protest. For much of the 1970's Sikhs used peaceful means to try to state their point, no body listened to the Sikhs and they had no other means than using violence. Then, when the world finally noticed them, they were called terrorists, people with "funny hats", and arabs(after 9/11). Mr.Johnson, it would be wise of you to research into why Sikhs protest or have AK-47's in flags (even though I have never seen AK-47's in any protest.

      • boo hoo

    • On one hand you are acknowledging the perception of "barbarians" as a baseless learned behaviour. On the other hand you seem to be acknowledging some kind of hat/turban phobia enough to equate a Sikh to being as violent ( if not more )as someone from a religion who blow themselves up everyday killing hundreds, or to someone from a religion who has the history of sexual abuse of thousands of innocent kids. or to all that killing that went on in Ireland. Don't you think all that is violence against someone too? We hear about these things everyday on news, yet we ignore them and not hold everyone in the religion responsible. Why then are peace loving Sikhs with turbans percieved to be violent or feared. A Sikh by nature will neither fear nor give reason to be feared from,( hence the saint soldier)You cannot blame the unproven Air India affair on whole of Sikh religion, I hear there is too much Indian poltics behind that case. If you read the history of Sikh religion who will see they always fought for the weak and helpless and that is why they were given a unique identity with keeping hair uncut (and uncut hair have to be covered, hence the turban), including the beard and the symbolic sword. Asking to keep these harmless symbols should not be percieved as voilent by nature. Just to prove the non violent nature of a baptised Sikh, you will see they do not even kill a living creature (hence vegetarian) for food, nor drink liquor to keep rationality at all time.(smoke and drugs are out of the question) If you shun them for thier turbans (a piece of cloth!) you are just floundering your own superiority, If you can get past the turban phobia, I promise you you will find a good friend in a Sikh,

  10. Once again, the self-appointed and so-called “elite” of Canadian society are trying to tell the “unwashed masses” that we are not tolerant enough, not liberal enough for their liking. Afterall, it’s for our own good, right? Wrong. I don’t buy it, not in the least. Especially when the article looks to quote Bernie Farber who sees anti-semites around every corner. Talk about loading and opion poll!

    • You’re not tolerant enough, not liberal enough for my liking.

      • On the other hand, you’re not tolerant enough, nor liberal enough for my liking.

        • All well and good, but you’re not tolerant enough, not liberal enough for my liking.

          • You are both too tolerant and too liberal for my liking.

          • It would be cool to have all the people who are too tolerant face off against all the people who are too liberal in some crazy tagteam mudbowl UFC event.

          • LOL. I fear the too tolerant would be quickly overwhelmed by the too liberal, although the real battle would not be the mudbowl event, but the litigation that followed.

          • I’m afraid that idea is ahead of its time. Very afraid.

    • And only the masses should be heard ? What is your idea of peace and Goodwill?

  11. Geddes, like many of the people he quotes, seems to want us not to think. I’m a Christian, and I have a favorable view of Christianity, and a less favourable view of other religions. Why? Because I think that I’m right, and that they’re wrong, and it matters whether you have the right religion. How could I *not* think other religions are inferior to Christianity? Why would I even a Christian in that case? I would expect a muslim to have similar views in the other direction, and how on earth could I be offended by that? Likewise, I wouldn’t want my kids to marry someone of another faith, just as I myself wouldn’t marry someone of another faith, because that makes it harder to maintain your own faith, or to raise kids in the faith. And that’s bad, if you take your faith seriously in the first place. Maybe Geddes doesn’t think religion actually matters in any way. Fine. But don’t expect everyone else to pretend the same thing. Thus getting offended about this sort of thing makes no sense whatsoever.

    I’ll also admit I think that Islam promotes violence, but that Christianity and Buddhism don’t. Why? Because I’ve read the New Testament, the Quran, and Shantideva. That’s just in fact what those religions are like, if you bother to look into their tenets. To expect me to think all religions are somehow equally good or bad in various respects is *simply absurd*. How do journalists manage to pretend they think it isn’t absurd? I’d love to know.

    Also, drawing a distinction between a negative view of a religion and a negative view of people who adhere to that religion is surely crucial, but basically ignored here (I don’t like Islam, but that doesn’t mean I actually dislike any particular muslims – in fact all the muslims I’ve met have been very decent people). And the distinction means there is no “paradox,” as Geddes thinks, in the fact that people who have unfavorable views towards a religion may be ok with interfaith marriage.

    There are so many other points I want to make here. This article just manifests so much shoddy, shoddy thinking. Maybe it’s purposeful?

    • “How could I *not* think other religions are inferior to Christianity?”

      i suppose you could attempt to sublimate your base instincts towards chauvinism.

      “I’ll also admit I think that Islam promotes violence, but that Christianity and Buddhism don’t. Why? Because I’ve read the New Testament, the Quran, and Shantideva.”

      psst, read the Old Testament.

      • Psst. Read then new testament; the legalism of the Old is made null by the New, and the administration of grace ushered in on the day of pentacost. ;)

    • Religions are just different roads to the same destination, religions cannot be bad but people following them sure can be.
      If your religion does not make one tolerant, loving and kind then the fault is not of the religion but of the individual following the religion. Human beings are humans first whether good ot bad and we should deal with humans, No religion should be stereotyped to good and bad. Have you ever heard "God is hatred" not likely, God is Love and only Love, why else would you 'forgive those you tresspass against you'. All else, including such articles are 'point of views' not neccessarily the voice of true Christian, or a true Muslim, or a true Hindu, or a true Sikh or true Buddist, if you will. We can build our walls of hatred based on religions but Christ, as all other prophets would be greatly disapointed with our behaviour.

      • Very well said Sandy.  The best comment so far.

    • Religions are just different roads to the same destination, religions cannot be bad but people following them sure can be.If religion does not make one tolerant, loving and kind then the fault is not of the religion but of the individual following the religion. Human beings are humans first whether good ot bad and we should deal with humans, No religion should be stereotyped to good and bad. Have you ever heard "God is hatred" not likely, God is Love and only Love, why else would you 'forgive those who tresspass against you'. All else, including such articles are 'point of views' not neccessarily the voice of true Christian, or a true Muslim, or a true Hindu, or a true Sikh or true Buddist, if you will. We can build our walls of hatred based on religions but Christ, as all other prophets would be greatly disapointed with our behaviour.

  12. It can’t be said that many members of other faiths are any more accepting of a variety of religions. Education about the backgrounds of various faiths would prove beneficial for all Canadians, despite their personal religious background, as every religion has its bias’ against another. Most times these can be either created out of or amplified by the media’s irresponsible use of negative imagery on a consistent basis. Sometimes various religions are represented poorly on a global stage by a few people, yet the entire faith is slandered. Frankly, Christianity simply has more exposure than any other religion; if this was the case for other religions I’m sure results would be different.

    in regards to the inter-religious marriage issue, i don’t feel that would be considered prejudice as i doubt most of the minority religions would approve of an inter-religious marriage either. Its more a matter of preserving culture and familiarity if anything.

  13. I would have been interested to see the cross-tabs – what do Sikhs think of Hindus; Buddhists of Muslims, etc. Why not just post them on Google Docs as a spreadsheet for further analysis?

  14. I suspect that most people don’t know much about their own religion other than that they were born into it.
    The poll probably reflects the mainstream view on the political issues associated with the various religions.
    But, then , I hate polls so I’m sorry I even posted this.

  15. In a recent article in National Post columnist Barbara Kay have eloquently explained how Macleans’s magazine endured a series of attacks by some human rights protagonists because of its efforts to safeguard the rights of free speech in Canada. The notion of compassion in Islam is largely misunderstood and sometimes conveniently explained by some Muslims. These explanations are so grossly illogical and counter productive that others take them as extremism. These so called Islam lovers by their most unenlightened actions encourage the extremists in the faith and strengthen the culture of hatred and intolerance. They have utterly failed to identify the root causes of Islam’s crisis in the contemporary times. The failure of the Muslims to condemn and confront the extremists in the faith has deepened the crisis further. There is a hypocritical silence in this respect which is tantamount to supporting the extremists. The true spirit of faith has been hijacked by these ignorant elements. They never realized that Salman Rushdie, Ayman Al hirji, Taslima Nasreen, Irshad Manji or Tarek Fatah did not do anything harm to Islam. It’s the dogmatic mullahs who have brought shame to this faith by giving fatwa’s to slaughter them. Their actions have demonized this faith to such an extent that this once vibrant faith has lost its mission. The philosophical basis of a faith is not in rituals. This lies in its inner power to push people to the future and embrace changes. If a faith is taken as a thought process than we will not be bogged down in the quagmire of dogmas. This will free peoples mind to see things in a more realistic manner. The everyday tragedies of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are ominous signs how reluctance to accept changes can harm a people. These so called vanguards of human rights must think how their actions are serving their faith.

    Akbar Hussain

  16. This article definitely attempted to draw some totally unwarranted conclusions from the data. To start with, a negative view of a religion doesn’t have to mean that a person will be judged based on their religion. In fact, there are some very positive things, such as a significant percentage of people that may view a religion negatively but have friends that practice that religion, showing they are very tolerant.
    As well, the underlying assumption of the author is that all religions are equally reasonable, which is not true at all. To use Islam as an example: While many individuals that practice Islam are good people, in large parts of the world the way Islam is practiced it is clearly a brutal religion that denies basic rights to most of the population. In denying the relation of Islam to violence in these places moderates prevent progress within those societies. The Christian and Jewish religion has many violent aspects to it as well, but western societies that have large percentages of Christians have separated state laws from the more violent religious laws and moderated both the relgion and the societies. (Old testament rules anyone?)
    Finally, it totally ignores the atheists and agnostics, of whom most view all religions negatively…. but aren’t necessarilly intolerant.

  17. One conclusion that I can draw from this article is troubling indeed. And I feel a clever portrayal of only select data in conjunction with the things that we generally hold to be true assumptions will make the conclusion all too easy to come by; but probably quite false. That is this:
    Notice that negative views are held in general for all three of Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, the ethnically South Asian/Middle Eastern religions whereas positive views are held for Christianity and Judaism, the ethnically ‘white’. We can assume we as a people hold negative views of Sikhism and Islam as a result of media portrayals and terrorism etc and positive views of Christianity because >70% of Canadians actually identify as Christians, but what of Hinduism and Judaism. Noone, in my opinion, should have a negative opinion of Hinduism as most people know virtually nothing about it beyond Mahatma Gandhi, a veritable saint to many. Judaism? Is there any reason we can come up with for the positive light they are shown in given the rash of negative portrayals of Israeli actions in the recent past. I fear that the conclusion Geddes WANTS us to draw is that Canadians are divided on racial lines. That troubled me. Because I drew that conclusion, and I am a visible minority. I am a reasonable well read person, but tell me the country I call my own actually disapproves of me, and it takes some doing to bring my logic back. When the smoke clears, I think we can all realize that this article implies many sinister things in the minds of Canadians that either aren’t true, or aren’t true to the extent that they matter.

    • I’d suggest that it’s a poor strategy to disparage Judaism in the process of accusing Mr. Geddes of “sinister” racialized motives.

    • Very well said Bikram. Its easy to plant evil seeds and most people are crowd followers. It is wisely said that the world stands today because of a few good people, otherwise it would all be over in a day.

  18. Why do they do such surveys and what they are trying to prove. Had such survey was done in India, Iran or some other non christian country, the results would have been completely opposite. I live here in British Columbia, I am a non-christian and the place where I work –all of my colleagues are white christians. They are all very cooperative and well behaving individuals. My impression was that all them like me. None of them have ever shown any kind of dislikes of me. Well, looking at this poll, it is really shocking for me that actually 73% of them don’t like me. Does that mean they are hypocrites when they show smile on their face but actually the processor processes completely opposite data. This means people respond differently to polling agent than what they actually show to the real person. I think this is a very cunning dangerous society. After reading this poll, my opinion about my colleagues has been changed.

    • This poll is flawed. Please do not think that you are any less valued as a person as a result of what this article says. The article refers to people's views of other religions not their views of people of other religions. There is a difference. One is a series of beliefs and rules and how they've seen people live that out as a whole, this includes a lot of people doing wrong things in the name of their different religions. The other is who you are and how you personally live out your convictions and how you act. Your co-workers may not agree with everything you believe but they can still like who you are and value you as a person. If they are good followers of Jesus then they might not only like you but they should genuinely love you from their hearts. They should belive that God took great care in creating you, that He loves you and that He made you with innumerable things that He loves about you. You're a walking, talking, lovable creation of God, please do not miss that because this article says that some Canadians have gotten a bad impression of what you believe or because they may not agree with what you believe, that doesn't change how you were made or how your co-workers feel about you.

      • Kent you obviouly sound like a real Chistians( I assume), who can do no harm as any real Sikh, or real Muslim. As we get closer to God, we begin to look past religions, skin colours, and outer symbols to embrace the humanity as a whole. For therin lies the true test of religion.This is the message for which God and his prophets of various religions came to earth. I am a Sikh and I read a lot of books by Joel Goldsmith about Christanity. Well, I tell you, I read them because they sound like 100% Sikh teaching, all about the inner journey, which makes me think why are interpretation of our respective holy books dividing us. There is some human error playing havoc with our precious life on earth. Instead of embracing each other, religions are now used for killing each other ito satisfy our vanity. Why is the real message being ignored and pitting us against each other/each other's religion. It also makes me think of the need to clean our house as best as we can at our religious places ourselves, so the negative interpretation by ungodly men do not devide the humanity. I do believe we are created in God's image, and the real spirit is buried in each of us, only an occasional holy warrior has the courage to uncover it from beneath the confusion of this world. Thanks for your effort and kind words.

  19. Here we see the effects of the media combined with misinformation. Religion is clearly a sensitive issue.

  20. Hinduism is inherently violent in its teachings. Hindu society for this reason is inherently violent. Hinduism created the caste system — the worst form of apartheid in human history for the purpose of enslaving the black aboriginals of the Indian sub continent. Today Hinduism still holds its tight grip over India’s aboriginals (Dalits), women and minorities violently oppressing anyone and everyone who oppose it. Hindus eradicated Buddhism from its birth place — the Indian sub continent after demolishing all its monestaries and killing all its monks thousands of years ago. Today it is systematically doing the same thing to Sikhism having already subdued Jainism. Gandhi was inherently violent. He despised India’s aboriginals and other people of African origins seeing them as just above the level of animals. Indian media machinery has only allowed us to see what they want us to see. Check out Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity

    • yep. all true. there was a reason the Brits were inclined to like Jinnah so much.. and why Islam got so many converts back in India. Monotheism and equality for men have strong appeal versus something as crazy as Hinduism. It’s only recently that Islam got crazier.

      I was unaware the Dalits were African in origin though. Interesting

      • Islam got converts because so many people were FORCED to convert, back when India was ruled by the Mughals. I’ll admit the caste system is terrible.

        • Chinty, …so explain to me why are so many North Americans now converting to Islam? Have you heard it’s the fastest growing religion? You didn’t state this, but if Islam is so oppressive to women, why are more women in the US converting to this so called “backward” religion?

          • Maybe because they are fed up with hyporcracy in their own religion and want to try something new?

        • That is when the Sikh religion was born to help Hindus keep their religion safe from forced conversion. In return Hindu radicals have treated Sikhs badly by attacking their holiest shrine Golden Temple and the 1984 killing of thousands of sikhs in New Dehli. To date there are no convictions. All religions are playing the number game, convert as many as possible, one way or the other, to make a majority and flex your muscle to abuse the minority religion. Its no wonder some people in the west have lost faith in all religions. That takes immence courage. But my suggestion is use wisdom of the holy books, (forget the interpreters) meditate yourself and find your own path to God.

  21. Is it even necessary to read this article? Screamingly Liberal Maclean’s and frightfully PC Boomer Geddes…guys, it is wholly predictable what this article is going to say, I’m not even going to bother reading it, I saw enough with your “Is God Poison?” issue.

  22. Just wondering from the comments how those who consider themselves “liberal” also think they are more “tolerant” than others? When my Mother was younger she was punished by my grandparents for playing with the Catholic kids next door. The irony is that I married a catholic (although like many is nonpracticing).
    Change takes time and more often than not stirs animosity if forced.

    A reality check is that only 1002 Canadians were polled. That’s a pretty small sample size, especially if it’s form the whole country. Urban, suburban and rural? Coast to coast to coast? Doubt it.

  23. It’s only one poll and so I can’t take the results too seriously.

    Here’s one thing that interests me though. There is, according to the poll, a high degree of acceptance for Christianity. But, has any one noticed how often certain Christians, mostly evangelicals with a right wing political stance, complain that they are hard-done-by and sufferning from onslaught of numerous slings and arrows? I certainly have.

    • This article is a bait and switch, it talks about attitudes in aggregate not on an individual basis (aside from the guess who’s coming to dinner question) , people generally have favorable of the folks they know. I believe Canadians by in large are at least willing to give folks a chance on a personal level.

      Also with out the age identifier, and the fact that phone surveys discount the “cell phone only” homes which trend predominately young, these results could be horribly off.

      Another thing, since there are no outside comparatives these could be the most tolerant numbers among any industrialized country, would that be a bad things?

      Thumbs down on this one.

  24. This is total crap, I know plenty, and particulary within my own extended family, my cousins (sikhs) are married ‘inter-religion’ (one a hardcore catholic Polish woman and another a generally christian white female) and the mere fact that they are married and have kids together gives you alot more insight into whether people actually think like how it says in this poll.

    Plenty of sikh people in mainstream canadian society have earned respect -police officers, academics, businessmen, even the ex-BC premier and currently over 5 MPs

    So the actual facts say it well !

  25. This is an interesting article – I have three questions that would help me understand the results better:

    (1) The focus of the article is on ‘favourability’ ratings – was there a neutral category when the question was asked? For example, I suspect there are people who feel ‘neutral’ towards all religions, or neutral towards religions they don’t know much about but would still describe themselves as accepting of the religion. I’d be curious to see the stats with ‘favourable + neutral ratings’.

    (2) Is there a difference based on age? I would hypothesize that younger Canadians are more accepting of diverse religions, but don’t have the data.

    (3) Is there a difference based on urban / rural divide? I grew up in a small town and had no exposure to almost any of the non-Christian religions mentioned. But when I went to University and moved to the city that all changed and I think my own personal “favourability ratings” have changed – I wonder if that is a broader trend among Canadians.

    The answers to my questions may not change your overall narrative – but I think they are important pieces in order to tell the full story.

  26. Religion and culture are often so intertwined there is difficulty in separating one from the other. Its not necessarily religion that is at issue here but rather what is perceived as inappropriate cultural behaviour i.e the treatment of woman. I am an immigrant and now an expat. There is real value in integrating into a society which you live, work and economically prosper. The most successful in religious minorities are those who integrate and not flagrantly demand recognition for their religion and culture.

  27. There’s a surprise. A small sliver of Canadians, the intelligentsia, are trying to impose their ridiculous ideas on the rest of us and it’s not going too well for them. Typically, instead of examining what they are doing, the intelligentsia wants to lash out at everyone who doesn’t live up to their ideals.

    Canadians should be proud of how multi-culti we already are and not downplay the achievements we have made already. Human beings define themselves through religion, culture, language, nation/region, sports teams, work …. etc, the list is endless really. The important fact to remember is that people of different religions and cultures are living side by side here and no pogroms or the like have been launched. Actions are far more important than thoughts.

    • I agree. For example, in spite of the elite at CBC to portray Muslims as wacky but kind people living in a small town, most Canada already knew that most Muslims are law abiding individuals, but that there is an extreme segment of their religion that holds gays, women and non-Muslims in contempt and that violence is the only solution (bombings, beheadings, etc. etc. etc.). We are not stupid and that this is nothing wrong with making discriminatory decisions. But we all know that when the unwashed masses step out of line and express an opinion that the elite don’t approve of, we will be called uneducated, racist (and rednecks – which to me is a complement since it means I’m probably doing some hard physical labour to put food on my families table – hence the red neck from both generating heat and being out in the sun!). Canadians know what our values are (hard work, treat people with respect but don’t be conned into believing what others say just because they say it, abide by the laws of the country, self-sufficiency combined with willingness to help out our communities) – all without the need for governments to ‘tell’ us what we value.

      I’m very disappointed in Macleans for calling this a ‘disturbing’ poll – the only disturbing thing about the complete and utter failure for the elite of Canada to change some core values of Canadians.

      • “most Canada [sic] already knew that most Muslims are law abiding individuals, but that there is an extreme segment of their religion that holds gays, women and non-Muslims in contempt and that violence is the only solution (bombings, beheadings, etc. etc. etc.).”

        kinda reminds me of the extreme element of the Christian faith that holds gays, women and non-Christians in contempt and use violence (bombings of abortion clinics, murdering doctors etc etc etc).

        in regards to the poll, is it wrong to say unfavourable to some aspects of all of the above; or favourable to some aspects of all of the above. hard to make a blanket statement w/o qualifiers. as for the quebec numbers being higher; likely as much a reflection of greater securalism as anything else.

        • While agree with that there is a extreme wing of Christians, but how many are we really talking about – how many people have died at the hands of Christian extremists in say the last 50 years (and not just some drunk who the media then notes that he attended a church at some time in his life!). And more importantly the mainstream Christian communities speak out clearly that this is not acceptable. I don’t see the same with the ‘moderate’ Muslim community. Christian symbols are frequently debased in truly awful and demeaning ways – usually in the name of art and often supported by our granting system to artists – yet I don’t believe that there were riots in the streets and people killed because a silly artist thought it was ‘cutting edge’ to depict Christ on the cross in a vat of urine. Yet I seem to recall mass riots and many, many people killed by extreme Muslims because of cartoons! Remember that!!!

          • “how many people have died at the hands of Christian extremists in say the last 50 years”

            Tens of thousands in Iraq.

          • How cute. Count yourself impeccably progressive to be against the Iraq War.

            I think you’d have to say that the vast majority of non-combatant Iraqis died at the hands of Baathists, al Qaeda jihadis, and Iranian-supported Sadrists. Just how many extremist Christians are in that lot?

          • Why, very few, why do you ask, little angel?

          • In the US and Canada, acts of Christian terrorism are referred to as “abortion clinic bombing” or “abortion doctor/nurse murdered” or “gay man beaten to death” or “IRA sympathizers kill guard during robbery”. In my lifetime, this list would also include “black church/synagogue firebombed”, etc.

            So, in the last 50 years, I’d venture to say Christians across north America have killed or injured several thousand people. Many of their “moderate” neighbours then stare into TV cameras and say things like, “he was a quite man and a good father.”

          • Opps — that was “quiet man…”

          • crikey — oops

  28. A quote from this article…

    “Understanding? There’s not enough to prevent media images of war and terrorism from convincing almost half of Canadians that mainstream Islam encourages violence.”

    How can there be a “mainstream” Islam since, as the article claims, Islam is “anything but monolithic”.

    Not how the above quote is carefully phrased to get Canadians hystericasl about their alleged shortcomings. This article is an exercise in self deception.

    I’ve worked in Saudi. I’ve read the Koran.
    What percentage of those respondants with a negative image of Judaism were unassimilated Moslem innigrants and their NDP enablers?

    What is being promoted here is not “understanding” but willful denial of the conflict between the liberal values of the West and Islam. Suppose you rephrase the loaded words in the quote at the top and asked “Does a substantial element of within Islam encourage violence?” The answer is clearly “Yes”. Does the Koran incite violence and discrimination against those people who are not Islamic?” The answer is clearly “Yes”. Suppose you asked “Is the inferior status accorded to women in Islam acceptable in a liberal society like Canada?” The answer is clearly “No”. Perhaps those with a negative view of Islam who also object to their children marrying into a Moslem family are concerned about the oppression of their daughters and the radicalization of their sons.

    Neurotic handwringing about “understanding” only makes the problem worse.

    • There are many places in the blogsphere for this sort of tripe.

      I like to think macleans is not one of them.

      • Wow! Gee! Aren’t you just the perfect liberal fascist, Mike T. Just because your ideology gets in the way of your common sense (not to mention recognition of a few truths) anything that doesn’t meet your group-think standards must be dismissed as “tripe”. And tripe must be silenced at all costs, musn’t it. Here’s a thought for you: open and honest discussion of thoughts and ideas and, yes, fears is much preferable to your nasty prediliction for stamping out anything you and your liberal fascist pals don’t like. And your reaction is pointless, really, because the truth has its own nasty way of making itself known.

    • “Does a substantial element of within Islam encourage violence?”

      No. As a person who has worked with Muslims from many cultures for years, and has been within their circles, I do not find any “substantial element within Islam” encouraging violence any more than any other community. I dare you to make these claims based on concrete evidence, not taking an armchair TV-watcher attitude.

      “Does the Koran incite violence and discrimination against those people who are not Islamic?”

      No. The Koran does not incite any such violence. People who claim that it does, based on citing a few verses of the Koran have absolutely no understanding of the Koran. Studying the Koran is a deep subject, which requires YEARS of study. Trying to take a single quote from the Koran to make claims, is like a layman trying to make medical decisions based on a few sentences from a university-level doctorate book (having not read any other part). For more explanation on verses that “seem” to be “inciting violence”, see: http://www.themodernreligion.com/terror/terrorism_verses1.htm

      “Is the inferior status accorded to women in Islam acceptable in a liberal society like Canada?”

      Of course not. An inferior status towards anyone should never be tolerated. But such an inferior status is NOT accorded to women in Islam, like you claim. Why not study Islam, instead of trying to make presumptions based on a few incidents (which are highly publicized in the media). Islam takes a DIFFERENT approach towards women, NOT an inferior one. Islam believes everyone has a role to play in society to make it fully functional and balanced. Men have roles, and so do women. All roles are equally as important. Just as we can’t have functional society if everyone was, say, an engineer, Islam believes that a society cannot be functional if everyone did what men do (i.e. work outside the home). Islam believes the duties within the home are equally as important as the duties outside. And Islam accords the role of women to being inside the home. This is in NO WAY an inferior role given to women. In return for their duties at home, women get complete financial and moral support from men (and vice-versa).

      And lastly, remember this verse of the Koran: “There is no compulsion in religion” 2:256

      No one is forced to follow Islam’s way of life if they do not want to. It is a complete way of life beneficial to the individual himself/herself, and nothing is gained by forcing others to comply. So what problem does Canadian liberal values have with a religion that tries to create a balanced society wherein no one is forced to comply? What “clash” is there with liberal values? Muslim women and men practice Islam because they want to, and know it’s for their own benefit. As long as it stays that way, what problem does Canada have with Islam?

      • Dude, google the term “separate but equal” and see if that teaches you anything about how misguided your logic is.

        • Why don’t you google the term “different but equal” instead? People can be doing different things, have different roles, and still be equal. It’s your logic that is misguided.

          Nevertheless, if you don’t agree with me, don’t. I’m not trying to force my way of thinking on you. It’s YOU who is trying to do that. Either way, my point was that there are different interpretations of different issues (e.g. equality), and Canada as a multicultural nation should have no problem accepting these different interpretations.

      • no compulsion in Islam?
        What is the punishment for apostasy?

        • The punishment for apostasy in Islam is the same as the punishment for treason in most countries. And remember, that punishment is only carried out in a Muslim state.

    • “Does a substantial element of within Islam encourage violence?” The answer is clearly “Yes”.

      “Does the Koran incite violence and discrimination against those people who are not Islamic?” The answer is clearly “Yes”.”

      Clearly not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQrCO8cp9yk.

  29. Everybody love his religion so why one will give good comments for the another religion. This type of survey must be banned because they spread racism.

    • I have to agree. The sampling of 1,002 people is very small. The skewed questions are impossible to answer. Everyone knows that all Religions of the world have at one time or another been associated with violence. So the question really is: which religions of today are more closely associated, in your mind, with violence?”. And to what end, is the answer, useful?

    • You cannot ban surveys, in Canada we have free speech. People can do whatever surveys they like.

      • God, sf, you’re so confused.

        • Fine then, go ahead and ban the survey Jack, with your almighty legislative powers.

          • Surveying people has nothing to do with free speech; publishing the results does.

          • Wrong. There is nothing that can stop anyone from asking anyone else a question in a public place. That is called free speech.

          • Wrong. Organised polling companies (e.g. telemarketers) are regulated.

          • That is because they are calling you on your phone, which is not a public place. If that were banned, then survey companies would simply move to the more inconvenient public square.

          • Ah. So when A Singh said, “This type of survey must be banned because they spread racism,” you honestly interpreted “this type of survey” to mean all types of survey and made your patronising remark on that basis, not because you think people with foreign-sounding names need to be lectured on free speech. Interesting if true.

          • He was saying to ban a survey based on the questions involved. Which is a violation of free speech. Yet somehow you made the illogical and tantastical jump to interpret singh’s comment as a general comment on the nature of surveys, and that he was saying they should be banned because they use telemarketers, which would have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the article.

            That is why you are the king of straw men. You are incapable of sticking to a topic.

            Now you have gone off on another tangent, trying to paint my completely harmless and direct statement of fact as a patronizing remark? Puhleaze.

            Your third crazy tangent is a completely wild tangent trying to bring the guy’s name into it, which identifies yourself as a rather disturbed person by making judgements about him according to his name.

          • I’m afraid you’ve proven my original point.

          • So, your point is that I am confused because you cannot say something directly?

            Yes, I guess you are correct there.

            Look, if your point is that you want to tell Singh that he cannot possibly be a Canadian because of his name, why don’t you just say that to him directly? Why do you have to put me through your merry-go-round of prejudice?

          • For Pete’s sake, you’re the one who patronisingly told him that “we have free speech in Canada.” As opposed to where, sf? You may have noticed this is a Canadian blog site! The implication of your “in Canada” was plainly that our good friend A Singh didn’t know the Rules ’round these parts and you were setting him straight. But what am I expecting, that you’ll admit it? God help me.

          • The reason I said the word Canada is because the article talks about a poll that was done in Canada, as opposed to a poll in the USA or worldwide. Yes, it was a Canadian poll, hence my inclusion of the word Canada.

            If the poll were done elsewhere, maybe it could have been banned, depending upon the location, but since it was done in Canada, such a poll cannot be banned. Why on earth you came to your prejudiced conclusion is beyond me.

            If you think a little:
            1- maclean’s, being a Canadian magazine, is frequented mostly by Canadians, therefore singh is most likely a Canadian!
            2- macleans’s, being a generalized current affairs magazine, reports on polls and opinions and trends occuring worldwide, hence the word Canada can be useful to specify the country we are talking about!

            Thirdly, read what he said, and read what I said. There are no nuances, no insinuations, no nothing. If you take the direct meaning from both statements, you were obviously leaping to unjustified conclusions. There was no insinuation, only the one you invented in your head.

            So yes, you are wrong. You have such an overinflated ego.

          • Ok, sf, you’re right. My apologies.

          • Holy shit. SF said something, Jack misinterpreted, and twelve blog comments later, we finally attain a resolution. This sort of comment thread rarely ends by resolution, so kudos to both SF and Jack for figuring things out.

    • There is wave of new age research has proved that people who are led by their nonintegurous frame of mind will do damaging, unproductive, activities to hurt, attack, by using sarcastic comments, surveys, even though, multiculturalism, equality and embracing everyone from all the world has benefited Canada tremendously; in more ways anyone can imagine. All knowing Spirit in infinite, who are tuned into it can easily tell truth from false. With these surveys in witch they will make themselves as victims thus make themselves righteous in defending their self creative ideas, without thinking through. These kind of surveys are done and published by these kind of people, pay no attention to them they are minority, even they show their majority through a certain surveys. The judges and the statesmen and women are not influenced by them.
      God Bless

  30. These types of polls and articles are skewed and incite resentment. Why don’t you ask, for example, what percentage of Muslims support Judaism? Or ask the Sikhs how tolerant they are of the Hindus? Why does it always come down to what the white Christian thinks of everyone else?

    I live in Vancouver and from my perspective it’s hard to believe white Christians are a majority in this city. None of my friends or acquaintances are hard core Christians or even go to church. I can’t imagine which hard core Christians answered your poll.

    • "Or ask the Sikhs how tolerant they are of the Hindus?" It has no relevance, Sikh are a minority in India, one should ask the majority how they treat their minority.

  31. the problem is that when more and more of these people started coming to our country, we were told that we couldnt say merry christmas let alone write it on a business window as it would offend others. then what we always called the easter bunny turned into the spring bunny? then wanting to take the lords prayer out of our classrooms. all this because it offends some people. our religion wether we practice or not is our religion and thats why i think this has all gotten out of hand. if these people dont like our relgion and our celebrations , then why come here. i’m sorry but this is a freedom of speech country and thats how i see it.

    • “these people” ” our country”

      sorry to say, but your words seem to be extremely loaded and unless you yourself are aboriginal , this really isn’t your country either. A majority of Canada is composed of immigrant population , whether it be from Europe, Asia, Africa or South America. I don’t think its fair of you to refer to us minority figures as “these people” as if we’re a bad thing; we work just as hard to survive in Canada as any other person and I personally feel that this is my home as much as anyone else despite my being a religious minority.

      And as for your comment on this being a freedom of speech country , i totally agree , but say the right to practice prayers of Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism was extended to the public classroom, I don’t think many people would take kindly to that, yet somehow you can turn it around and point your finger at other religons for depriving you of that when you would probably do the same to us. There’s a reason why there is an option to send your children to a religious school or a secular school. Secondly, certainly there are people that don’t necessarily participate in Christmas and Easter, but as far as i know there are also a lot of people who do that are representative of other religions. However, you rarely see any mass mainstream representation for the holidays of other religions and this is offensive too. I like to believe Canada is a nation that represents equality,freedom and all the good stuff, but it’d be nice if everyone could get some representation on an equal field without point fingers and asking for the removal of “some people”, because as a matter of fact these people are entitled to be here as much as you are.

    • Chantal, is this because more and more Canadians have become not subscribing to religion? If there were no Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddists, etc. in Canada, would you have still been saying the Lords prayer in school? Think about it…. we Canadians have become so “modern” that we no longer want to be associated with “God” (or are even afraid to utter the word) either in the classroom, in the homes, at work, or wherever.

  32. Perhaps Canadians would be more accepting of other world religions if those religions actually tried to alleviate our concerns. Militant Islam is a reality throughout the world, and whether Muslims like it or not, it is Muslims who are killing innocent Westerners, and all in the name of Allah. The Palestinians are a shining example of Islam gone berserk. For decades Palestinians hijacked airplanes, murdering passengers and crews, they terrorized the Olympics, blew up airplanes and instilled terror around the world. And now they want the West to save them from the evil Israelis. Extremists have effectively hijacked islam to achieve their own ends. Yet not one Muslim leader has, to my mind, stood up to confront radical Islam. Radical Muslim leaders have been deified by Canadian Muslims (Windsor’s support of Hizboullah) and many routinely provide funding to extremist organizations (Hamas). We are repeated told that Islam is a religion of peace, but I have yet to see a single example of that. It’s about time that Muslims convinced Canadians that islam is not a religion of destruction, terror and murder of innocents. Canadians are not at fault.

    • Okay , call me crazy but how many Muslims that you know are killing normal Canadians. Not many i bet, because most Muslims are also normal Canadians. Now i myself am not of the Islamic faith, and I do agree that sometimes I do question the religious basis that a lot of extremists use to support their argument or “cause” what have you. But again they’re extremists and a minority of a large group of members of the Islamic faith. Every religion has their extremists and every religion has those that take teaching out of context and mutilate it into something they can use to support something twisted that they believe in. But i don’t think its fair to associate every Muslim with what’s going on. I personally have a lot of Muslim friends and i know they don’t like whats going on any better than most other Canadians, and the fact that they end up getting a bad wrap for something they don’t even believe in or associate with is just completely appalling to them. maybe if we all focused a little bit less on the media flashed images of the extremists, we’d focus a little bit more on the Muslims that live in our communities, who are our neighbors, our classmates and even our co-workers. The Muslims that are our friends and we see first hand. There are a lot more of them, than there are the extremists. Maybe there is proof that they aren’t bloodthirsty, but we’re just missing it because we only focus on the media blasted images.

      • Jas, I couldn’t agree with you more!

  33. In point of fact, neither Tamils nor Sikhs are Muslim. But don’t let that spoil a good rant.

    • As a point of fact, some Tamils are Muslim. But don’t let that spoil your pointless reply.

  34. This whole topic is a red herring. The poll just illustrates how Canadians have fallen for the red herring.

    1) people always fear what they don’t understand
    2) religion provides some (often erroneous) explanations for things that people don’t understand, and therein lies its power over people
    3) if you want to control people, control their religion.

    The link between religion and terrorism is not nearly as direct as people believe. Religion is co-opted by the fanatical in an attempt to add credence and veracity to the claims they put before a given audience. The susceptibility of that audience is governed by the strength of character of its members – the weaker the ethical underpinnings of the average person in the audience, the more they will be governed by their emotions, and the more they will be susceptible to the emotional arguments of their terrorist recruiters.

    Religion does not breed terrorists, or even violence. People’s emotional investment in their religion provides a handle for charismatic people to grab onto. Western kings used Christianity during the Crusades to create popular support for a war with the peoples of the middle east, all to capture more land, riches and power. Hitler used his influence and the horrible economic conditions of Germany at the time to breed hatred toward Jews and other non-Christian groups, in an effort to redirect blame for those conditions away from the government. Terrorism is not solely the province of Islam.

    This is entirely a political issue. It is the conditions in a country or region that create an abundance of individuals with little left to lose and a lot of anger at their plight. Those influential people with an eye for power take advantage of the state of mind of the masses. It just so happens that Muslim countries have been at the butt end of Western foreign policy for the last 75 years or more. What difference is there if a Muslim cleric from Iraq incites hatred and violence toward a particular group or groups, or if a German Chancellor or an American President does the same? The fact that today’s terrorists are predominantly Islamic is not a function of their religion any more than crime in the US is due to predisposition based on race.

    As I said, the poll simply illustrates this point by showing how much people fear and distrust that which they do not understand. And there is only one cure for misunderstanding – education.

  35. John K wrote:
    “In point of fact, neither Tamils nor Sikhs are Muslim. But don’t let that spoil a good rant.”

    I never stated that Tamils or Sikhs are Muslim, but thanks for the feedback regardless.

    • I’ll take your word for it, since your original post seems to have vanished.

      I wonder why?

  36. Is this article suggesting that its a bad thing that most Canadians oppose sharia law?
    I certainly oppose sharia law
    its backward, sexist, barbaric and overall outdated by about a millennium

    • Me too

    • Really? How so?

  37. Both the Koran and the Old Testament are full of shocking violence, lending themselves to vicious fundamentalist positions. Combined with mass illiteracy, many of those who teach the Koran both here and especially abroad, are poisoning minds, and adherents to radical teachings should simply not be brought into the established Canadian culture. In my opinion Canada’s multiculturalist policies have prolonged and eggagerated tensions between cultures and religions (the Khalistan movement in BC being a prime example).
    Too bad we didn’t emphasize adoption of existing Canadian practises and laws, already a mishmash of the Code Napoleon and British law – instead of preaching tolerance of beliefs that run counter to sexual and racial equality.
    With the exception of treatment of First Nations Canada did well as a melting pot in our early existence – – immigrating groups were by and large well-absorbed. But of late we’ve made a multicultural mess of things, and now find Canadians accused of intolerance for despairing of distortions in our fundamental beliefs in fairness and equality.

    • A country can integrate/assimilate immigrants a lot easier if they are a smaller proportion of the population. So if Canada continually allows 250,000 peeps/yr, it will be awful hard for meaningful integration to happen.

      • Melting Pots aren’t the best solution. I think the real problem is that there’s a greater discrepancy with older generations and their views while younger generations are much more culturally balanced. Again focus on a few people does not account for the majority. I am a Sikh and I don’t believe in the Khalistan Movement, does that mean that I’m not allowed to be culturally diverse just because a few Sikh’s seem to believe in something that is seemingly counter-Canadian. I personally think that multi-culturalism isn’t the problem, its the fact that people are afraid of new things and its easier to melt others into something than to make an effort to learn about something new.

  38. Based on some of these comments, I’m beginning to question whether this article is real bull or not.

    I also find it amusing that most of the comments are geared towards Islam ( most popular in the media) with brief mention of the other religions. Perhaps this is a signal to the influence of Media on conceptions and the lack of education about other religions.

    • Sudan and 9/11 and the terrorist plot to behead Harper and the bombings in London and the bombings in Madrid and Iran’s threat to annihilate Israel and the killings in Mumbai and the complete absence of science and technology in the Muslim world and the conflict in northern Pakistan and the conflict in the Philippines and Al Qaeda and Hamas and Hezbollah and….

      Maybe those things have something to do with it.

      Just a thought.

      Maybe it’s not a lack of education at all, maybe people are very aware of what is going on.

      • okay, but again those are media covered events so it does make my comment partially accurate and as for people being aware of what is going on, just as well , it doesnt account for the entire Muslim population.

        • it doesnt account for the entire Muslim population

          Even so, when you have such a large Muslim population in the world, just 1% of Muslims being prone to violence in the name of their religion works out to 10 million violent people.

          Secondly, these types of events are very rarely ever associated with a religion other than Islam. Air India and the Japan subway bombings are a couple of those rare exceptions.

          Thirdly, almost anywhere in the world where the is a large concentration of Muslims, they are in conflict with their non-Muslim neighbours.

          • “almost anywhere in the world where the is a large concentration of Muslims, they are in conflict with their non-Muslim neighbours.”

            Namely Israel/Palestine, Chechnya, the Philippines, and Thailand. You’re right, that’s practically the whole world, ‘ceptin’ that in all four cases the Muslims involved are oppressed minorities, which just might have more to do with the state of conflict than their religion.

          • Namely Israel/Palestine, Chechnya, the Philippines, and Thailand

            No, there happen to be a lot more places in the world with a large concentration of Muslims. You need to brush up on your world affairs.

            Here’s a link for you to get started on your geography lesson: http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/places/top_50.htm

          • BTW, you actually think the Palestinians are a minority?

            Is it in the ethnic sense?
            -the 8 million Palestinians in the middle east are outnumbered by the 6 million non-palestinian Israelis?

            Or a religious sense?
            -the the 250 million muslims in the middle east are outnumbered by the 5 million Jews in the middle east?

          • “Thirdly, almost anywhere in the world where the is a large concentration of Muslims, they are in conflict with their non-Muslim neighbours.”

            So there Prof. SF, let’s just go down the top 10 Muslim countries (percentage-wise) and see if your Thesis Du Jour works.

            Mauritania – nope
            Maldives – uh, nope
            Western Sahara – not exactly war-torn, eh?
            Somalia – no non-Muslim neighbours in Somalia itself, and it’s not a threat to Ethiopia.
            Turkey – hmm, no Muslim-on-non-Muslim violence there either . . .
            Iran – minority religions (apart from Bahai) actually treated very well
            Algeria – not at war with non-Muslim neighbours, as there are none
            Afghanistan – well, something of a problem, but again no non-Muslim neighbours

            Wow, it looks like you know nothing about the Muslim world! Hmm, your tenure may be in jeopardy, Prof. SF.

            Re: Palestinians being a minority, they most certainly are a minority within Israel and the occupied territories. You know, where the conflict is. You actually think the Palestinians aren’t a minority? Come come, sirrah.

          • Sf, thanks for the link. Now go and read something useful.. like the source of Islam itself: the Qur’an. Wasting your time on anti-Islam propaganda isn’t going to help you reach the truth.

  39. Sudan and 9/11 and the terrorist plot to behead Harper and the bombings in London and the bombings in Madrid and Iran’s threat to annihilate Israel and the killings in Mumbai and the complete absence of science and technology in the Muslim world and the conflict in northern Pakistan and the conflict in the Philippines and Al Qaeda and Hamas and Hezbollah and….

    Maybe those things have something to do with it.

    Just a thought.

    Maybe it’s not a lack of education at all, maybe people are very aware of what is going on.

    …don’t forget the killing of their own people in order to create instability and the killing of women trying to get an education. With the amount of liberal media around we wouldn’t have to worry about a lack of “positive” stories on Islam if there was any to report.

  40. want to mobilize armchair critics, clergy, politicians and right and left wing religious fundamentalists into arms and bad mouthing other lost soul? print more articles and studies on religions and who likes what and so on then prepare for civil uprisings and the like…more like promoting racism, come on now macleans print more ads make more money but do not stoop to this kind of ruffling of feathers!

  41. Support Religious INTOLERANCE! Your obsession with imaginary friends is killing people!

    • If it's killing people that you're concerned about, think it through. What would happen if there was no God, no absolute moral code?
      Check out all the National Atheist experiments in the past. A whole bunch of wars and killing came out of those…
      I just hope you don't believe what you wrote. I'm not saying any religious group has done any better in the past but I sincerely doubt religious intolerance is the way to keep people alive.

  42. What interests me about this article is not the facts that are published. Rather, it’s the simple fact that MacLean’s has published their interpretation of what the poll numbers mean and have not given us the internals on the poll.

    The importance of this can already be seen in the fact that they have printed a correction over the marriage issue. As someone who reads the magazine on dead trees, the most striking part of the article was the “pull quote” that stated 44% of people “would not want their child to marry a person of the Jewish faith.” This turned out to be untrue (they treated the “no” and “decline” answers as “no”.

    This sort of misleading commentary is not unusual, but could be readily detected if we were given the actual poll on the website. Hmmm…I wonder what prevents the magazine from doing so?

  43. Oh dear lord
    Get over yourself, everyone who thinks that a person’s religion should make a rats behind of a difference in ‘whether or not you’d be comfortable with your children dating _________<—–Insert religious sect here’
    It’s absurd: decisions like that should only be made on a person-to-person basis. If you feel that your childs partner is a bad person because they happen to be Sikh, then, well, congratulations: you’re a bigot and your children probably hate you anyway.
    If you dissaprove of your childs partner because he is abusive, then the fact that he is Catholic or HIndu or Muslim is sheer coincidence: he/she is a bad partner because of his/her attributes, not because of his/her religion.
    I think the concept of even doing>/i> a survey like this is sick.

  44. I’m sorry to say, but as someone who was born and raised in Canada, I have to say that I totally lost it when it got to a point when we “mulitcultural and polite canadians” can no longer say “Merry Christmas” or have a “Christmas Tree”. Now I have to say “Happy Holiday” and refer to the Toronto Christmas Tree as the “Holiday Tree”. It’s ridiculous! How many cultures and religions have a tree to acknowledge a holiday or event? It’s our Christmas, why can’t we have our tree? Many people have come to Canada to start a new life and make things better for their families, and that’s great but why should I give up all of my traditions when I’ve lived here my whole life and we’ve got people wandering the streets wearing ceremonial daggers and disobeying helmet laws because of a Turban. I think the polite canadians are suffering from what is called a double standard.

    • “by multicultural and polite Canadians” are you referring to the christian population? Because I’m pretty sure everyone who is a Canadian citizen is very much considered Canadian regardless of faith. secondly it seems like you’re centering out the Sikh population when commenting on the “wanderers”. The ceremonial dagger isn’t to be used for violent activity and is actually more of a symbol, however if i were to say that, I suppose someone would go out and find an isolated incident and attempt to use that as proof that they should be removed. As for the Turban comment I personally don’t see what anyone’s personal decision to fight for the right to wear a turban over a helmet has to do with your freedom or celebration of your faith or how these things make you suffer in anyway really. I think you’ve selected poor arguments to represent the suffering of “polite Canadians”.

      (And just for the record, I’m a Sikh as well and I’m not being bias towards the motorcycle helmet case, i personally think everyone should follow road rules as they are set for our safety.)

    • Hello Lexi, Merry Chrismas to you in advance for 2010, I am a practicing Sikh, my kids attended Bible classes at elementary School, because I love all Prophets for their wisdom. I always wish Merry Christmas to everyone in my neighbourhood, and people I see in the stores etc. Why are you blaming "Happy Holidays" on me? Is it because I belong to the most noticable (and the smallest in size) religion. My religion says to love people of all religions, because all religions should lead to the same one God. We can use religion to help our journey to God or we can start a war right on journey. My life/your life is too short for the latter. Please don't pick and bully me and my religion.

  45. As a Muslim woman living in Canada for over 30 years, I too feel very troubled since 9/11. How could someone who shared the same religion as me make such a claim that this was being done in the name of Islam? I felt betrayed. Since then, many Muslims have made extended efforts to try to educate Muslims and non-Muslims around us about what it means to live in peace and harmony and to try to find ways to promote understanding. And yes, we are teaching our children to be open minded and to respect others. Afterall, we chose to come to Canada….not only for economic benefit, but because of its peaceful and civilized lifestyle. Canadians should realize that a small group of radicals do not speak for the majority of peace loving, civil minded Muslims. I encourage my group every day to get out of their houses and do community work…volunteer at local charities, give to the food bank, give blood, etc. We have to start recognizing that it’s not only important to work, eat, sleep and go to Mosque– it is also our civil duty to give back to this wonderful Canadian society which we now call “home”.

  46. Personally I think that it’s ok to accomodate to a point to other cultural (namely religion) needs, but under no circunstances I support the idea that a whole country should change its customs or traditions, and moreover its core values because of “reassonable accomodation”. People who come here (my self included, since I’m an immigrant too) should accomodate him/herself to this country and what it comes with it. That doesn’t mean that you should lose your Identity, but means that if the law says you need to wear a helmet in order to ride a bike, because this ultimately could save your life, you should do it with no complaints, too bad if the turban must go away( you have the choice of not riding a bike). It also means that if you want to vote you should not wear a veil, because there might be a chance that someone else is taking your place and voting for you, well, then the veil will have to come down or you just should not vote. Also means that in a country like Canada, wear the vast majority of ppl is or somehow identifies with Christianity, they should be able to say Merry Xmas without worring that it might offend someonelse. Here in Canada also everybody is entitled to the same rights and are expected to comply with the same obligations, it does not matter if you are a man, a woman, gay or stragiht; if you can’t live with that then Canada probably is not suited for you. And like this the list could go on and on…
    These, in my opinion are the things that regular folks are getting tired of dealing with. Canada is a great country and so are canadians, and you’ll find that here, with all that it takes, you’ll be able to make yourself home, but don’t make mistake, you came here because you wanted to, nobody asked you to. So be grateful, respectful and things will go smoother for everybody (you included).

  47. Since it was the Europeans that “found” the Americas 500 years ago and with colonization had exterminated 80% of the indigenous population and entrenched their ways onto the New World, I think it is up to the more recent immigrants—Muslims and Sikhs especially—to conform to Canadian ways. The insistance of wearing their “religious gear” in public only serves to bring out bigotry inherent in all humans. Showing that you profess a specific religion in public by the clothes you wear, shows that you consider allegience to your religion FIRST and NOT to Canada. By shoving your religion into everybody else’s face, you only serve to attract criticism and divide yourself from Canadian society. Since religion is just a “personal eccentricity” and has NO place in a modern enlightened Canadian society, religion should be kept personal—in one’s home or one’s place of worship—NOT exhibited in PUBLIC. Immigrants will find that they will be more comfortable if they left their hatreds and wars and customs and laws in their OLD countries, and learn to adapt to Canadian customs and laws—instead of trying to carve-out a piece of their old country within Canada. Rights are one thing but common sense is more important. Canada would be a much more beautiful country if religion was banned from POLITICS and from PUBLIC view.

    • “Immigrants will find that they will be more comfortable if they left their hatreds and wars and customs and laws in their OLD countries, and learn to adapt to Canadian customs and laws…”

      Hate to burst your bubble RHL, but Canadian customs INCLUDE multicultural values. Honestly, you should re-read what you wrote and see how narrow-minded you are. I am a Muslim and take great pride in being a MUSLIM CANADIAN or CANADIAN MUSLIM…where does it say one factor of my identity must be superior to another? I love my country, I was born and raised here and it is home to me, but my values and religion are also important. I take great pride in being a Canadian, but I feel ashamed that this beautiful country is stained by people like you.

      “Rights are one thing but common sense is more important.”

      Exactly. Common sense is important. So use it.

    • "exterminated 80% of the indigenous population and entrenched their ways onto the New World" Exterminated them with guns and then changed their perfectly noble and innocent way of life…that sounds so sad ,as if they were not welcoming enough. Should we be telling our kids guns and extreminating is the way to win in this world. How is that any different from bullying in the school yet we tell them it is not socially acceptable. Okay, the only way I look different from anyone else in public is because I am suppose to cover my uncut hair and I am not supposed to cut my beard/facial hair either. I hope you know that keeping my hair uncut is religious requirement of a practicing Sikh. Although that means extra work for me when getting ready everyday, why on earth would that offend you.
      ""religion is just a "personal eccentricity" and has NO place in a modern enlightened Canadian society", is an issue that needs involvment of all the people who go to churches, mosques and temples, and you are free to live your life according to your belief. Sikhs will never ask for any changes in laws except to accomodate their religious symbols, which are a part of their body becuse of their uncut hair.

  48. Ask most people what they see themselves as. It often comes out as English- Canadian, Polish- Canadian, Aboriginal- Canadian, Jewish- Canadian( I needed examples, not calling out anyone). While we all state that we are Canadian, we also have reflexive need to Prefix ourselves as we were a separate tribe of a sorts rather than a large harmonious group.
    It’s nice to be proud of where you came from and the culture that you feel is part of you. However you had a reason to come here, the reason that you came here is because some part of here is different than there, so please don’t impose the culture that had reason to leave behind ( embrace the memories but…).

  49. It is this kind of poll that launched the controversial debates around “reasonable accomodations” in Quebec.

    No good will come from this.

  50. I don’t have a problem with religion in general, I DO have a problem with a loss of a sense of “place”, caused by immigrants who cling to THEIR customs in my culture, and many of these customs are connected to religion. Fully veiled Muslim women in a small town might have been seen as an exotic and interesting phenomenon years ago, but many of these people are not integrating. They are setting up parallel societies beside our own, and would not tolerate the reverse happening in their countries of origin, I am sure. Christian nuns and priests do wear distinctive religious garb, but it’s been part of western culture for centuries.

    Jews in my experience do not push their faith on others. Christians often ram theirs down people’s throats. I do have a specific problem with Islam, and have studied this religion to some degree. Islam has no central authority, per se. Teachers may interpret the Koran as they wish, or emphasize parts of it over others. Followers often gravitate around specific teachers. To compound problems related to these things, moderate Muslims are sometimes loath to criticize fellow Muslims.

    • Your culture? You don’t have a culture. You are a British dependency of an American superpower. You feel threatened by everything. A thin piece of cotton threatens you? If you had adopted the melting pot culture of acceptance, rather than “tolerance”, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

      You can’t see past skin color, dress or ethnic background. You need to constantly see obvious projection of Anglo-Saxon white religion. If every Sikh, Jew or Muslim shaved the beard, got rid of the hijab, got rid of the cap, you still wouldn’t be happy. You would still see the skin color.

      • “Notcanada”, I could not have said it better myself. The problem in Canada is not diversity, or multiculturalism. It’s the attitude of people like Nicholas who who can’t define Canadian values, nor culture and yet, want everyone to “look” the same. This is the extremism that we need to fight against, otherwise, Canada is no better then other intolerant countries around the world.

  51. In my opinion the value of such surveys cannot be denied in understanding societal norms and power of media to influence public perceptions. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I have known this trend for a long period of time based on our interfaith dialogues and symposia we have been holding for several years in Canada and worldwide. Invariably the topic of “Islamic Militancy” comes up irrespective whatevet the topic is. The good news is that we have been able to influence general public that Islam is not what is portrayed in the media and there is a large group of Muslims who don’t believe and practice what is happening in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and many other countries, that is killing in the name of religion and violence to “non-believers”. I think we need the media to get involved in coverage of such interfaith events.. Canadian Muslims should take the responsibility to band together and let public know that Islam is a peaceful religion in beliefs and practices.

  52. An informative study. One thing though. I would like to see Secularism added to the list of religions being researched. It would be interesting to see how Canadians view people of the Secular faith.

  53. Before I start, let me state that I’m a Christian and that I am glad of the associations I do have with members of the other religious groups that are mentioned in the article. I see them all as people like me who are trying to make a living and be a positive presence in their community.

    Yet, I’d be curious to see how these same questions would be answered simply within each ‘religious’ group. How would Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. look at each other? Would there be a similar result?

    These questions seem to have been asked to Canadians in general. Were members of those religions included overtly or simply by coincidence? Were they excluded to see how others see them? I’m of the impression (no data, stats, etc to back this up…) that the acceptance factor might be somewhat smaller for at least some of these groups.

    In any case, to repeat myself for emphasis. How do Christians see Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc? In the same manner, how do Jews see Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. How do Muslims see…? How do Buddhists see…? How do Sikhs…?

    Also, how do these religious groups look at accepting Canadians as a whole? How far would ‘reasonable accomodation’ of others (minorities and ‘majority’) be evident in these groups? By implication, it would seem that I believe that there may not be a reasonable accomodation of each other within those groups. Then again, I could be wrong… at least I hope I am… Yet, I wonder…

  54. I think your headline What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims — is disgusting. This is what people mean by negative reinforcement. Who are these so called Canadians anyway? What this country needs is leadership not politicians who follow the masses. I would like you to point out a single leader who would do away with tax breaks to political party contributions, religious donations and also withhold public funding to religious schools. I am sure there would be no takers of this challenge since it costs votes. As long as people are selfish and believers in group mentality, we can never expect acceptance based on citizenship. It will always be based on some easy to belong group identification, religion, color, origin or whatever. CBC with its every six month broadcast of the Air India story, Macleans and the Vancouver Sun using easy headlines all help reinforce human hate for everybody except their own group. When are going to accept people who are not white Canadian christians as canadians. Maybe we should not allow people to become citizens of this great country till they are ready to belong to it. A white African from South Africa is a Canadian soon after landing and never gets asked how he likes it here, but a black African from Uganda still gets asked when he came to Alberta after a stay of over twenty years.
    Are we humans?

  55. “What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .”

    The title itself implies Sikhs, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are not considered “Canadian,” rather the “other.” It seperates any association with the religious groups and being a Canadian.

    So basically, you can either be “Sikh, Jew, Christian, Muslim “OR “Canadian”…whatever that means..

    Way to go again.

    • the title itself implies Sikhs, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are not considered “Canadian,”

      No it doesn’t.

      • “What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .”

        In both the literal and connotative sense this phrase does imply that ‘Canadians’ are separate from the others. There is also the inherant implication that ‘Canadians’ have a distinct and unique identity. As many a study has discovered this is simply not the case. Canada/Canadians are invariably reffered to by comparison with the USA; Canada? it’s like America, only safer, Canadians? they’re like Americans, only friendlier etc etc. Little wonder they have an identity issue.
        Given the recent kerfuffle over Canadians similarity to mashed potatoes wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to ask what they thought of Kraft Dinner, perogies, poutine etc?

  56. I am Muslim.And after reading the above, I regret to say that what is mentioned is totally untrue and misleading.Use your minds people and do not believe what you read .Us your mind.

    • I believe what I see,do you see any christian suicide bombers?

      • Uhh yes..The Oklahoma bombing? Funny though, the religious factor only becomes emphasized or even mentioned when it is a “Muslim” who commits a crime.

        • Uh – no. Oklahoma was ONE guy with, as far as I read, no particular affiliation with any Christian group. In fact, it now appears that at least one of his co-conspirators did have ties to Muslim jihadi groups in the Philippines. By contrast, Muslim bombers kill EACH and EVERY day.

      • and how bout the gunfire ..that happens every week…

    • The Muslims are just fucking killers,and they will fight against Chinese,Juddish,and other relegions in the future in canada,same as the do in the rest of the world to take over the world.

  57. Maybe someday this great country will start acting like one. Maybe someday “Canadians” will “KNOW” who they are and what they stand for. It’s not today by majority of the comments on this board. Hopefully it doesn’t take our last hour before an invasion army to realize who is Canadian.
    Religion, color, cultural and regional can be a part of who you are but it can’t define ALL that you are or you really don’t care much for WHERE you are.

  58. When will Man finally awaken? Following a religion, you are following MAN’s interpretation of spritiuality. Follow your instinct’s and your heart…….. come on people. RELIGION SEGREGATES. NO GOOD CAN COME OF ANY RELIGION BECAUSE THEY ALL THINK THEY ARE THE RIGHT ONE!!! lmao people are so stupid. :D

    • I hear what you are saying Mike, but i still need my holy book which i interpret myself and I don't bother with priest's interpretion. Also my religion (Sikh) respect all religions…I know it might be hard for you to believe that. It emphasis to walk the path whichever gets you to the destination (God), knowing full well that a true student of any path is going to be more focused about the destination and therefore full of love rather than fighting over the path. Once you get that connection from any path, you know God is everywhere and in everyone.Oh, how it pains me to see how we abuse the teaching for all prophets for our selfish, small, worldly self. Peace brother!

  59. This article leaves me scratching my head. First, only 1000 or so people are defining what the nation thinks of religion? I’ve been in the research survey field and 1000 people is not a large cross section of anything but a hamlet. Advertising surveys use groups of several 1000’s of respondents well beyond 10,000 for smaller groups.

    There’s also the question of what defined tolerant of a religion and what does not? On a scale of 1 to 10 ,which is common in surveys, where 1 defines completely favorable and 10 defines completely unfavorable is favorable anything between 1 and 5? or 1 and 1?

    This article seems hellbent on making Canadians look at themselves in a twisted light. From all I’ve seen Canadians don’t look at each other in definition of religion and so when asked about it we equate different religions with regions of the world that have nothing to do with us. Even if our friends came from there. We just don’t equate one with the other.

    • Hello Nathan, I do believe we are proving ourselves to be sheep rather than logical thinkers.LOL

  60. Having taken part in some of these “polls” online, I get frustrated with the pointed questions I am asked, and then given a scale of 1 – 10 (where 1 is agree and 10 is disagree) to reply. Often the question is unanswerable in that format, but you are forced to choose a number anyway.
    This does not reflect in a true manner, what I actually think and feel. That said, it calls into question the validity of the sweeping generalizations this article propounds.
    A survey is only as good as the questions asked.

  61. That 45% of Canadians think that Islam encourages violence indicates roughly half the population gets it. Muslim Canadians leaders have failed at every turn to provide reason to dispel this perception and take a clear unambiguous stand against violence. The paragraph in which Karim Karim explains our misconceptions about Islam is worth the cover price.

    No doubt convicted criminals whose limbs were amputated under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan will take comfort knowing that their punishment was a result of a “very malleable, very diverse” set of ethics and values and not a rigid legal code.

    Likewise Salman Rushdie will be relieved if not somewhat embarrassed to learn that the Fatwa issued on his head was not so much a death sentence as an “informed opinion by a learned scholar” (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini) and that he has been needlessly looking over his shoulder for the past 20 years.

    The most revealing of Karim’s contentions however is not his definition of Jihad as “a daily struggle to be a good Muslim” but rather his “concession” that “…another side does exist: the taking up of arms for a cause of justice”. Families of Canadians who have lost their lives to Jihad in Afghanistan, New York, Lebanon, Israel and Bali have a clearer definition of this “loaded term” and just cause is not part of it.

    Until Canadian Muslims lose the double talk they cannot expect their religion to poll well.

    • Religion is not about polling. The is no double talk. The fact is that, the people always choose to see a bad side. As a Muslim people automatically think that I am some hateful, prejudice terrorist roaming Canadian streets, I don’t harbour any hate for other people and their religious view ( if they follow any). True Islam is a religion of peace and submission to Allah, not like the idiots bombing up themselves and innocent civilians destroying our name.

  62. I thought Canadians embraced the theory of a quilt. We all have different backgrounds, share different religious and cultural beliefs/practices, but we also all come together as one, as Canadians. In the States however, they have the melting pot theory, where everyone is supposed to be the same, much less tolerant of difference. Im not surprised by this article, just really ashamed of being a Canadian when I hear things like this. I embrace my Canadian and non-Canadian background, thats what makes me so unique. I often have people ask me what my background is, just because my skin colour is not white doesn’t mean that I was not born and raised in Canada. There is a sense of difference there, a lot of “white” Canadians assume I must not be like them because of my colour. I feel more Canadian than most of these people. They sometimes make me feel like a foreign visitor in my own country. We all neede to accept each other, and the fact that most of us are just trying to make a living and enjoy life, few people live their life with the intention of hurting others.

    • I know what you mean, my kids were born here and know of no other country as their homeland but based on their colour they and their decentants will always be looked at as immigrants.

  63. religion freedom should never trump our constitution,ever

  64. It’s interesting that the question of who I’d want my child to marry would be seen as an indication of tolerance. If I am a practicing member of a religion, it only stands to reason that I would want my child to marry ‘in the faith.’ More importantly, if I have brought my child up in the faith, the child may very well want to marry someone who shares their core beliefs. This has nothing to do with tolerance of religious minorities in the general legal and cultural milieu. The fact that so many ‘Christians’ would not be concerned about their child’s marriage choices shows to what extent most self-identified Christians are not particularly ‘religious.’ For many, I think, ‘Christian’ is the default answer when asked about religion, but a tally of worship attendance or any other connection to an actual Christian community would show that they are not practicing their religion. I can’t judge their faith, but anyone can judge their practice.
    I also have a bit of a statistical problem with such a small sample. One Thousand individuals is enough for a good statistical sample if one is flipping coins, that is, a question with only one of two outcomes in a single group of 1000 people. But when the question has multiple answers and is further divided into regions, etc., in order to be valid, you would have to have 1000 people for each catagory or region, and that would not account for any ambiguity in the questions or nuance in the answers. As a snapshot, it is interesting, but it is hardly statistically valid.

  65. I belong to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I would like to tell you that Islam is a peacefull religion. The word Islam means “Peace” and “Complete Submission”. This is not just a mere claim but there are hundreds and hundreds of verses in the Holy Qur’an and countless sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), where a believer is commanded to love and take care of humanity regardless of religion, creed and other differences. Believers are instructed to be merciful to animals as well. In Islam a believer has two major responsibilities i) Worship one God, who is the creator of this universe ii) To take care of his fellow human beings.

    It is unfortunate that there is a great misunderstanding about Islam. I don’t only blame the opponents of Islam, but I think some fanatic Muslims are also responsible for this because they do not practice Islam correctly and show the complete opposite picture of Islam by their actions. The majority of the public has no idea about the teachings of Islam, therefore they make decisions about Islam based on what they see and hear through those who misuse and portray Islam in a negative manner.

    We, the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, are fortunate that we have accepted the Messiah of this age as prophecised in Islam (and other religions) who has taught us the true teachings of Islam. Those who know us are aware that we believe in complete peace in our society and we believe the greatest Jihad is to struggle for one’s own improvement.

    Therefore, I would request all Muslims to follow the true teachings of Islam so we can enjoy living together peacefully. I would also request my brother and sisters of other faiths to please remove this misunderstanding about Islam by reading the literature of Islam (Quranic verses, Ahadith), and not paying heed to those who practice Islam wrongly. I hope and pray that we work together to make this world a peaceful one.

  66. As a young Muslim Canadian who has grown up in Canada, and considers Canada her home, I am sorry to say that this finding purely diappoints me. I agree with my fellow commentors when they say that the title itself implies inequality.
    It is very tiresome to see people believe wrongdoers and ‘terrorists’ over those who practice Islam correctly. Despite my practicing my religion the way I’m supposed to, many people will still believe the terrorists on TV over me. Why can we not see people for who they are, without stereotyping for once?
    Also, why is it that when a Muslim is caught up in a homicide or terrorist attack, it suddenly becomes a “Muslim conspiracy” and not just another attack by someone not using their common sense? But when a Christian or Jew or Hindu or Buddhist does the same, religion is no where to be seen?
    As Canadians it is our responsibility to be open to and respectful towards other faiths and their practices.
    This does not mean that Islam is a violent religion that encourages its followers to kill. In fact, killing is considered one of the most terrible and unforgivable sins in Islam. I feel that people have to be reminded over and over again that the term Jihad has been blown out of proportion completely. The word ‘Jihad’ only means ‘a struggle’. Islam emphasizes Jihad against oneself, as in against one’s selfish desires, sinful inclinations, etc. Jihad against others is not encouraged at all.
    I am disappointed repeatedly by the ignorance and hateful biases of my fellow Canadians – Canadians whom I consider my fellow citizens, and whom I respect. It is heartbreaking not to see any tolerance, respect or even open-mindedness in return.

    • No way,no tolerance baby,the Islam is creating a big problem in the world.
      but we canadians believe in western/european Imigrants,not from Pakistan or East Indians,with there long dresses,ha ha ha,its laughable to see them wolk .realy terrible.

  67. My sincere opinion on this matter is that, these polls actually reflect deeply inherent religion and cultural prejudice that diversed immigrants and descendants of early settlers harbour towards each other due to misplaced misconceptions, heresay, religious rivalries and in large part media influences. People don't seek to know about one another in a genuin matter or about their religous as in the old days.

    But also the media has the largest influence in my opinion, reflecting the views, divided politics and agendas of those who are responsible for its transmission after all they are members of our respected communities and are therefore subject to those same fallacies.

    We need new thinking that encourages multiculturalism (a new melting pot of some kind) which doesn't just reinforce the notions of the dominant culture, but accomondates all and reinforces the universal values that we all share. We all share the responsibility of making this great nation of ours unique example for the rest of the world not by word but backed by deeds as well,

  68. For Muslims, too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Since 9/11 Canadians have become better informed about Islam. But even reading the works of Islamic-friendly authors like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito have had little positive impact. In fact, maintstream views on the faith have suffered a downward trend over the last eight years. Why is this? Because what Islam professes and how it is practiced are two different things. Whether it's concerted attacks on free speech or silence on the extremists in their own communities, Muslims are their own worse enemy in the PR battle for public opinion.

  69. Dissapointed with the beleif that Sikhism is violent. Being a Full practising Sikh myself it's clear to me that Sikhism preaches that the sword should only be drawn when the innocent are at risk. I understand that the Canadian community is bitter about the Air India bombings but please understand that it was a extremist Sikh movement that was formed to overthrow Indian control over Punjab and make a Khalistan state/country. The majority of Sikhs totally disaprove of the movement

  70. The Judeo Christian and even Hindu/Buddah religions are real religions. People don't need an Imam to decode what they mean. Islam, accodring to Mr Geert Wilders of Holland's freedom Party is "a totalitarian ideology which is incompatible with western democracies". A Pakistani male on the street in downtown told me "it's a political system, a way of life and a religion". I debated with him about the other 1.4 million total Hindus and Chinese that practice their religions. They would object to having a 7th century ideology that has never seen enlightenment(EX:the bible's new testament) forced onto them politically. So would I. Want to know what Sharia law is? Indonesia just legislated stoning as a punishment and there is a man in the Sudan on youtube that got caught stealing a cattle.

    On Youtuve please type ===> Sharia Law and Thieves ===> after that; a hungry boy gets his just dues for stealing bread
    Then copy+paste===>Eight-Year-Old Thief and Sharia…Yeah we can't wait for Sharia to come to secular countries. It's going to be grand!!!

    "The cause of backwardness and misery in the Muslim world is not Western oppression but Islam itself; a faith that promulgates contempt for Enlightenment and secular values. It teaches hatred to children, promises a grotesque version of the afterlife, elevates the cult of “martyrdom”, flirts with the mad idea of forced conversion of the non-Islamic world, and deprives societies of the talents and energies of 50 percent of their members: the female half.
    Xvi – Forward/Infidel/Ayaan Hirshi Ali/Chapter's Bookstores.

    "Infidel" By: Ayaan Hirshi Ali

    It should be read by every single Canadian, born here or born overseas. It's a great read and she's been nominated as one of the 100 most influential people of the 21st century.

    • I feel the good/peaceful muslims should be more vocal to stop backward stuff like Sharia law, covering faces with burka and communicating the negative influence of Muslim preists to their kids etc. especially if they can have plenty of violent rallies at moments notice all over the world for every little thing. Why not for something positive.

  71. What would happen to a country that was say; 7 years ago; according to The Guardian Newspaper was "one of the most successful countries the world has ever knows". Sometimes things change.

    The Terrible 12 videos(I actually added 2 more; and most were made by concerned citizens that feel a sense of powerlessness and despair over the future health and well being of their tiny country.) into youtube.com as are.

    Sweden industrialized nation to bananarepublic in 20 years

    The swedish social welfare system under collapse. Ödeshög, Sweden.

    Sweden, a nation in decline. The social welfare system has collapsed.

    Daily news report from Sweden. Significant violent crime every day in the "paradise".

    Muslim Immigrant Rape in Sweden (HD)

    Immigrant Riot Wave in Sweden

    Sweden under massive crimewaves, 900 % more violent crime

    Islam in Sweden

    Open Your Eyes, SWEDEN

    Sweden is being destroyed. A low intensity civil war has already started.

    Islam, changing my Sweden?!

    Islamic Invaders Riot in Sweden Following Mosque Closure

    Welcome to Sweden of Today

    Crossroads Europe – Sweden -11 Jun 07 – Part 1

  72. Unlike theI UK where the moslems are already operatin sharia courts, I hope that Canadian politicians think like John Howard a long serving Australian prime minister ,when he said in 2007 that multiculturalism will divide, whereas integration will unite his country, as it does in the USA where it is “a melting pot”. Howard made it very clear to Muslims that if they want to live in Australia they must abide by Australia laws and that sharia law has no place in Australia.

  73. An extract of what he said is below. More information is available via a search with Google
    'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.
    'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'
    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society: Learn the language!'

  74. extract continued
    'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because
    Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented.
    It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'
    'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'
    'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.
    But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
    'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country that accepted YOU'

  75. Islam is only growing aming black prison inmates. Hinduism esp in the form of Hare Krishna is growing along with Buddhism among educated whites.
    In any case this Maclean's survey proves mos whites dislike Sikhism and Islam much more so than Hinduism.. so u may harp and complain all u like, good news is that no one is listeing to u.

    • Thanks to the CBC for years of coverage over Air India affair that cannot be proven.

  76. It is a baseless comparison. How can I judge any religion until I know the basic principles of it. Only those people who have read the religions and know about them can judge it. If you want to compare religions you should go and ask people who study about religions in universities and know the truth about it. For example how can I judge a musician when I don't know anything about religion.

    • music is a universal language, it will sound sweet in case it is really sweet, does not matter whoever sings.

  77. Sharia law should not be allowed in Canada.

  78. It may be erroneous to depict Islam as simply another world religion like most others. It is inherently far more than that; being an ideology that covers all aspects of life & government. Any Muslims I've known here in Canada were good & decent people, but the news items from Muslim countries; for the most part; involve acts of violence against other branches of Islam, including suicide bombers that kill innocents & destroy mosques of 'other' Muslims not accepted as true Muslims. Christianity did the same from many years, but learned to live together in peace, in our secular democracies. We accept freedom of religion, but most, if not all; Muslim countries not only refute such a concept for other faiths; they usually only tolerate a certain brand of Islam. Nonetheless, as long as terms like 'heretic', & 'infidel' are part of religion's vocabulary, violence & bloodshed will be associated with faith.

  79. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a idiot. She attacked the holiest shrine of the sikhs and killed thousands of innocent sikhs and the sikhs are supposed to tolerate this?  

  80. No wonder she got assasinated

  81. I’m follow the Sikh faith and migrated to Canada from India 8 years ago. My observation is that Canadians tend to follow stereotypes too closely and need to clarify those ideas and thoughts. Numerous times, Canadians have walked up to me, apprehensively, to ask about my faith and what are the basic rules and values I follow. It makes me more than happy to answer such questions and by no means, is it offensive, rather appreciative that someone has taken the time and opportunity to clarify thier views about my faith. I encourage all all faiths to do this and feel that only through communication, can we break down these “religious barriers” and create a higher level of understanding and compassion for one another.

  82. i bet that 90 % of the canadians dont know about SIKHISM …………………. i mean ask urself ppl 


  83. When we meet each other in the street we should not be able to identify each others religion. Come to Canada, leave your clothes, beards and turbans at home. You’re dirty looking and why should I have to look at you in droves? There are many people from India, some are my friends. If you left India to have a better life then join this life, don’t bring your old one with you.
    This is a new culture. If you can’t join it, stay at home or go home.

    • Hi browser I agreed with you,great talking to this bastards.

  84. shikhs are not bad guys.they r one of the honest and big hearted community…being hindu love sikhs

  85. this people does not belong in our culture,they don’t want to be an canadian,they try to get there culture here,to be an canadian,you wear as a western people,I am an trucker and we get sick of seeing turbands behind the wheel in trucks,THIS IS TERRIBLE.

  86. Iff you don’t want to be an Canadian,we don’t ask you to come here,we are an free country and you are free to go back to your”amazing”world,the sooner the better because there wil be a time that we start fight,please go back asap.

  87. The North American goverments has to close borders for this people,radical and NOWWWW

  88. If so many Canadians think Sikhs are violent, then there is need to be vigilant about Sikhs, because they are mostly involved in profession like liquor stores,gambling houses and as brokers in mortgages,

  89. This very true, the sikhs and islam has similarties.
    The facts and history has been exaggerated, presented the
    wrong way, still the practice is going on. No one wants to say the truth. This
    might bring the beautiful religion to extinct.

  90. Religion is holding humanity back from making progress and has caused more problems around the world than anything else. And these problems are starting to brew right here in Canada. Canadians generally don’t really accept Sikhs, Muslims or Hindus as part of Canadian culture… and they probably never will be fully accepted. Reasons for this? One could be the fact a large percentage of people from these faiths have no interest in adapting to Canadian or western culture. How can this be healthy for our country? It’s not obviously. Jason Kenney has done a great job in fixing several problems with our immigration system but we still have a long way to go I think.

  91. I dislike the fact people flaunt their religion, and fail to integrate into local culture and society. I don’t mean learn perfect English, but at least try! And we don’t flaunt our religions or lack thereof, which is why we dislike and feel awkward about people who wear a Turban and walk around in pajamas and a dagger.