Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's the Deal With Environics' Pity Party for Muslims?

That's the question that must be asked after reading the intro to Environic' new survey of Muslims in Canada. Notice how it positions Muslims as victims and other Canadians as their heartless victimizers (my bolds):
The Muslim community has been a poorly-understood religious minority in western countries and in the past two decades their presence has become contentious, fuelled by security concerns (in the wake of 9/11) and religious practices (e.g., Sharia law, the niqab). While Canada has yet to experience the gravity of ethnic violence and terrorist attacks that have taken place in other parts of the world, Muslims in this country do not enjoy the acceptance accorded to other religious minorities, and have become a focal point for discomfort about immigrants not fitting into Canadian society. By global standards, Canada is a welcoming multicultural society but the Muslim community faces unique challenges with respect to religious freedom, acceptance by the broader society and national security profiling. Events overseas (major terrorist incidents in European cities, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and the atrocities attributed to Daesh (the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)) are sustaining a context in which public associations with Islam and its followers are pervasively negative.   
Much of the problem stems from the fact that the Muslim community is not well understood by other Canadians, whose impressions are formed largely through simplistic stereotypes emphasizing negative characteristics (violent extremism, honour killings). The result is a dominant narrative of Muslims as different from others and who resist adoption of “Canadian values”, making them untrustworthy.
Truth be told, much of the problem stems from jihad, which is currently enjoying something of a renaissance as it flexes its muscles around the globe. The result is a captivating Islamic narrative of supremacy and domination, and, for those who succumb to its siren call and become "martyrs" for the cause, a posthumous payoff that's non pareil.

But, hey, I guess if you make it a question of what Canadians can do to be more welcoming and less given to "simplistic" stereotyping, you don't have to fret your little head about any of that religious stuff.

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