Among the noteworthy results is the fact that 97% Calgary Muslims identify themselves as proud Canadians as well as proud Muslims, rather than seeing such identities as disparate or mutually exclusive. 85% Muslims strive to maintain their religion/cultural practices and adopt Canadian customs and values. Yet, 51% Muslims in the last 5 years have personally experienced discrimination due to their race, ethnicity or religion, of which 23% were verbal abuse or physical attacks. 76% think in the last 5 years discrimination against Canadian Muslims has increased. The results of this survey are very similar to the recent nationwide opinion poll of Canadian Muslim opinion published by the Environics Institute.
The Calgary Muslim community faces internal challenges with satisfaction rating of Imams at 54% and satisfaction rating for Muslim leadership at 35%. 12% reported lack of unity among Muslims to the important problem facing Canadian Muslims presently.
60% reported that television news reports contribute extremely to negative portray of Muslims. Approximately 1/4 identified lack of federal, local and provincial government efforts to challenge Islamophobia resulting in increased perpetuation of Islamophobia by the media.
Think for Actions, a Calgary-based think-tank and Muslims of Calgary (MCC), along with 41 partner organizations collaborated with polling firm Insights Matter for the purpose of understanding the general sentiment of Calgarys Muslims.
The objective of the survey was to understand the issues, bring out the best in us, and make sure that we have enough programs to prevent marginalization in the community, according to Think for Actions founder, Dr. Mukarram Ali Zaidi. Think for Actions specializes in professional development and research, and is the organization spearheading the poll.
The conference at the University of Calgary, which is open to the public, will present the results and analyse which initiatives and programs are working, which ones need help, and which ones are missing, in regards to strengthening the Muslim community, integration and acceptance of Muslims in wider community. The conference is also a great opportunity for Calgarians to meet and interact with their Muslim neighbors to get an understanding of who they really are, added Zaidi.
Conference: Your Muslim Neighbour begins at 3pm at the University of Calgary, ST 140 on Saturday May 14, 2016.
For more information: http://thinkforactions.com/risc2016/
Dr. Mukarram Ali Zaidi