A new survey shows Canadian attitudes toward other religions is slowly becoming more tolerant
Photo Credit: Angus Reid Institute

Canadians views on various religions and religious garb softening

A new survey says Canadians tolerance levels for various obvious religious clothing is increasing.

While Christianity and Buddhism are viewed favourably, almost half of respondents (46%) viewed Islam negatively.

While the wearing of a Turban was viewed as OK by 77 percent, the kippah 85%,  and a nun’s habit (88%),  only 32 percent thought wearing a niqab was acceptable in Canada, and even fewer, 29 percent, were ok with the wearing of a burka. Interestingly, 75 percent thought a hijab (head scarf) was acceptable.

The niqab (face veil) caused an uproar in Canada when Zunera Ishaq insisted, and was granted the right, to wear the niqab veil while taking her Canadian Citizenship oath in 2015, The niquab and burka remain unpopular, but wearing the hijab head scarf is acceptable to 75% of Canadians © CBC

In the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec, where a bitter provincial election debate took place on religious symbols in public, and on “Quebec values”, the survey showed a marked increase in acceptance of Islam, almost double what it was four years ago.

© Angus Reid Institute

It should be noted that until the 1970’s, Quebec was a strongly Catholic observant province, although participation in religion has declined markedly over the past several decades.

The survey showed 32 percent of Quebecker have a generally favourable view of Islam, almost the same as elsewhere in the country where 34 percent said they had a general favourable attitude toward the religion. However in Quebec that view represents a considerable improvement from the 17 percent of 2009,

Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says there’s no religious meaning to the colours of his turbans. But there could be a political message. ’It’s something I have fun with,’ he says. Canadian attitudes toward religious garb is generally softening. Canada’s Minister of Defence is also a Sikh. © Canadian Press

Generally speaking, acceptance of other major religions has grown across the board in Canada according to the survey.

Interestingly when comparing acceptance of another religion, and asking whether it would be ok if your child married someone from that religion, it’s almost an equal 10 percent

increase among all religions.

In other words when only 33 percent say they have a favourable view of Islam, 43 percent say it would be ok for a child to marry someone from that religion.

Additional information-Sources

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