But fully 45 per cent said they believe Islam does, and a sizable 26 per cent saw Sikhism as encouraging violence.By comparison, just 13 per cent perceived violence in Hindu teachings and 14 per cent in Jewish religion.Violence in countries with Muslim populations is portrayed as rooted in their religions in what Gardee calls a “clash of civilizations” world view.“They’re not looking at the social and economic context in which these things are happening,” Gardee said.Canadians like to think of their country as a model for the world of how all sorts of people can get along together.But when it comes to the major faiths other than Christianity, a new poll conducted for Maclean’s finds that many Canadians harbour deeply troubling biases. Although by now it might seem an ingrained national creed, fewer than one in three Canadians can find it in their hearts to view Islam or Sikhism in a favourable light. Canadians may embrace it in theory, but only a minority say they would find it acceptable if one of their kids came home engaged to a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. There’s not enough to prevent media images of war and terrorism from convincing almost half of Canadians that mainstream Islam encourages violence.The judge gave him an unconditional discharge, leaving him with a clean record, and said the case would never have reached his bench if the incident hadn’t had a religious dimension.
“The majority of imagery of Sikhs in the media typically associates the community with that sort of violence.” Patient work trying to overcome the widespread view of Sikhs as dangerous seemed to be paying off, she said—until recently.
Palbinder Shergill, a Vancouver lawyer who has long represented the World Sikh Organization of Canada on legal matters, said she might have expected such negative opinions about Sikhism in the 1990s.
Back then, the 1985 Air India bombing, the work of Sikh separatist terrorists, was still a fresh memory.
The province appears to be an incubator of deep suspicions concerning minority faiths.
A mere 17 per cent of Quebecers said they have a favourable opinion of Islam, and just 15 per cent view Sikhism favourably.