As the House of Commons debates a controversial anti-Islamophobia motion, a new survey shows more than half (51 per cent) of Muslims in Calgary have personally experienced discrimination due to their race, ethnicity or religion.
The Insights Matter survey finds 23 per cent say they have experienced verbal abuse or physical attacks. 76 per cent of those surveyed believe discrimination against Muslims has increased in the past five years. While 60 per cent feel television news reports contribute negative portrayals of Muslims.
Despite the discrimination, the survey finds 97 per cent of Calgary Muslims identify as proud Canadians as well as proud Muslims.
Think for Actions, a Calgary-based think tank, is launching a follow-up national survey to gauge opinions on ways to promote education and communication between Muslims and other Canadians.
More debate on M-103 is scheduled next week. The private members motion put forward by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid calls for a condemnation of “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination” to “quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear.”
Opponents of M-103 say it leaves Islamophobia undefined raising questions about whether legitimate criticism could be viewed as hate speech. The Conservative party proposed a counter-proposal that called for a study of all religious discrimination. Despite having support from all the opposition parties, the Liberals last month defeated the Conservative motion.