Only one-third of Canadians holding a favorable view of Islam

Toronto (IINA) – A new poll on Canadians’ religious tolerance shows the country has work to do in the direction of accepting people of different faiths, especially if that faith is Islam.

The Angus Reid Institute poll, released Tuesday, shows a divergence of opinions on different religions, with 68 per cent of Canadians holding a favorable view of Christianity, but only 33 percent saying the same of Islam.

Sikhism had a 38 percent favorable result and Hinduism 49 percent. The survey showed 53 percent had a favorable view of Judaism and 58 percent for Buddhism.

The numbers had actually risen from 2013 when the institute last did the survey.

A Spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) called Amira Elghawaby, said: “they take solace that the numbers are moving up.”

There is a good news story in these numbers in that attitude towards Islam have improved, she added.

Quebec saw a major jump in favorable ratings, and Elghawaby said that might be because of the tragic mosque shooting, Metro News reported.

Perhaps, this has humanized Quebec Muslim communities in a way that hadn’t happened before.”

It also showed 88 percent of Canadians were comfortable with a nun’s habit, but only 75 percent with a hijab and 32 percent with a niqab.

Elghawaby said the face-covering of a niqab concerns some and she understands the difference there, but the difference between a nun’s habit and hijab is harder to the square.

They’re pretty much the same thing.

The think-tank Cardus held a luncheon on Tuesday to release the results.

Cardus’ executive vice-president Ray Pennings said it shows the need for more outreach, education, and understanding.

We have to learn to understand each other, and religious literacy is an essential part of that.

He said the difference between the favorable ratings and the discussions around clothing suggest people need more understanding and aren’t simply being biased toward a religion.

There is enough nuance that I think people are not just making blanket statements.

Source: International Islamic News Agency