New proof: A ban­ner year for hate in Canada

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - BUSINESS - Vicky Mochama Metro | Toronto

If we al­lowed polls to jus­tify which human rights Cana­di­ans are re­stricted from, the Char­ter of Rights would just be some fancy pen­man­ship.

Which is why I’m not sur­prised that a re­cent poll by Ip­sos found 68 per cent of 1,001 Cana­di­ans asked are in favour of leg­is­la­tion sim­i­lar to Que­bec’s Bill 62 in their own prov­inces. Un­der the guise of re­li­gious neu­tral­ity, Bill 62 bars any­one from work­ing in or ac­cess­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices while their faces are cov­ered. De­spite what pro­po­nents claim, the law clearly tar­gets Mus­lim women and not, say, masked cos­play­ers.

And while Que­bec’s Is­lam­o­pho­bia is unique in some ways — par­tially to do with Que­bec’s speci ic re­li­gious his­tory and cor­re­spond­ing sec­u­lar­ism — it isn’t spec­tac­u­larly di er­ent from the ways in which Is­lam­o­pho­bia is ex­pressed in the rest of the coun­try.

There is noth­ing es­sen­tially new about this poll or, in­deed, many oth­ers show­ing that a ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans are un­com­fort­able with di­ver­sity or that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should not make In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties a pri­or­ity.

Whether you ac­tively be­lieve in it or not, the white su­prem­a­cist ori­gins of Canada as a coun­try con­tinue to have their im­pact, and it does not come as a shock to see that re lected in the at­ti­tudes of our fel­low coun­try­men.

More­over, there is no

For­get the party poop­ers in your build­ing and con­cen­trate on the greedy gob­lins who come to your door.

time in his­tory when rad­i­cal change and civil rights for mi­nori­ties has ever polled highly. During the height of the civil rights move­ment in the 1960s, white Amer­i­cans polled un­favourably against al­most ev­ery tac­tic by civil rights pro­test­ers. From sitins to free­dom rides to the March on Wash­ing­ton, those mo­ments that we cel­e­brate now were nei­ther pop­u­lar nor beloved.

When the opin­ion of the ma­jor­ity is brought to bear on the lives of peo­ple in the mi­nor­ity, polls like this should be taken not as in­struc­tion but rather as a mea­sure of how at­ti­tudes and bi­ases re lect the cur­rent mo­ment. Con­sider that an­other poll in 2013 from the same irm found that 62 per cent of Que­be­cers didn’t be­lieve that a pub­lic ser­vant should be ired for wear­ing re­li­gious sym­bols at work. There has ev­i­dently been a change now that the racism is less ex­plicit and af­fects mostly Mus­lim women.

The poll is only fur­ther proof of the Is­lam­o­pho­bia we’ve seen.

From Bill 62 to the rise of the 3 Per­cent in Al­berta to the uptick in hate crimes against Mus­lims to the mass mur­der of six Mus­lim men at a Que­bec mosque, hate is hav­ing a ban­ner year.

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