What do Muslim Canadians Want?
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute - True North in Canadian Public Policy - November 2011

By Christian Leuprecht and Conrad Winn

Canada has been welcoming newcomers at an extraordinary rate by world standards and a record-setting one by our own. Many arrive from societies that are burdened by a history of sectarian violence or that lack the habits of pluralist acceptance, tolerance, and self-restraint that are at the heart of Canadians' identity as a liberal-democracy. Given the potentially deleterious consequences for liberal-democratic values, we wondered: To what extent do the values and opinions of newcomers differ, if at all, from those of Canadians as a whole?

There has been a dearth of empirically-based research on the attitudes to democracy of newcomers to Canada in general and Muslims in particular. Since Islam is, according to Statistics Canada, the country's fastest-growing religion and Muslims the fastest-growing non-Christian communities, it made sense to put to the test the heightened scrutiny to which this particularly subgroup has been subject. While no community, Muslims included, is homogeneous, this study is intended to contribute to an understanding of Canadian Muslims' attitudes to the pluralist-democratic values that matter deeply to Canadians.

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