CAIRO – A new survey has found that more than half of Canadians distrust Muslims, the lowest level of trustworthiness of religious groups in the country, The Washington Post reported.
Nearly 52 percent of Canadians said they feel Muslims can be trusted “little” or “not trusted at all”, the poll, by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, found.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said that Muslims can be trusted “a lot” or “somewhat.”
The nationwide poll found that only 30 percent of French Canadians trust Muslims, compared to 57 percent among English-speaking Canadians.
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The survey also showed that the level of trust in other religious groups was higher than in Muslims.
Seventy percent of respondents said they have high level of trust in Protestants, Catholics and Jews.
Sixty-four percent of those polled said they trust aboriginal Canadians, while 63 percent trusted immigrants.
The online survey included 1,522 Canadians on attitudes toward religions, multiculturalism and sources of racism.
The poll, which was conducted as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
The poll also found that nearly half of Canadians blame Muslims for discrimination against their community.
Forty-two percent of respondents said discrimination against Muslims is “mainly their fault.”
The survey also found that 49 percent of those polled listed the Internet as the number one source of racism and prejudice.
Sociologist Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, described the results as a “disturbing”.
He said Canadians not only have discriminatory views about Muslims, but also say “if we feel this way about you, it’s your fault.”
The new results reflect a sharp increase in anti-Muslim views among Canadians.
A 2007 poll conducted in 23 Western countries showed Canadians had the most tolerant attitudes toward Muslims.
Only 6.5 percent of Canadians said they would not like to live next door to a Muslim, compared to 11 percent of Americans.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the country.
A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.But a recent survey by the Canadian Studies (ACS) found that the Muslim minority in Canada is still facing negative perceptions a decade after the 9/11.
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