Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Canadians Most Tolerant

This is the kind of survey where being last is great:
Canadians are least likely among citizens of 23 western countries to have bigoted attitudes toward Muslims, according to a new international study that measured the level of “Islamophobia” in each nation.

More than 32,000 respondents from 19 European countries, plus Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, were asked the question: “Would you like to have a person from this group as your neighbour?”

Of the nearly 2,000 people surveyed in Canada only 6.5 per cent said they would not like to live beside a Muslim. Respondents in Greece (20.9 per cent), Belgium (19.8), Norway (19.3) and Finland (18.9) were most likely to answer “No” to the question.

Results in Britain and the U.S. were 14.1 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively, and the average percentage of negative responses across all western countries was 14.5 per cent...

The Love Thy Neighbour study also gauged the level of intolerance in each country for four other groups: immigrants in general, people of another race, Jews and homosexuals.

Canadians ranked among the most tolerant nations in each of those categories, as well. Fewer than five per cent of respondents from Canada said they wouldn’t want to have a neighbour who is Jewish, an immigrant or of a different race.

It's all relative, but this solidifies Canada as a tolerant nation, that accepts everyone- well except for the queers:
Homosexuals were more likely than any other group — in Canada and nearly every other country — to be shunned by a potential neighbour. Just over 17 per cent of Canadians said they would not want a gay person living next door; the overall percentage for western nations was 19.6, with Italy (28.7) and Sweden (six per cent) at the opposite ends of the range.

Apart from this disgrace, it makes you think Canada is building the great society and model for the world.

8 comments:

Sassy said...

This is encouraging news, and now Canada knows that as a community we should strive for at least a 17% improvement.

Dana said...

Well no wonder.

We've had that multicultural demon riding our asses for how long now?

Give Harper some time with a majority and we'll get back onside.

knb said...

Really interesting. I'm obviously pleased to see the number for Canada, but will also say, I'm pleased it's not higher in the US and UK.

It would appear that this ridiculous campaign on all talk radio and of course our BT friends and their ilk, is having either no effect, or the reverse effect. That's good news!

I'm really disturbed by the intolerence of homosexuals though. Of that 17% I wonder how many actually do have homosexual neighbours and are completely unaware? That seems an incredibly high number against a group that I thought had made great strides, here and elsewhere. I wonder what is driving that?

I wouldn't say it's the extreme Christian right, because that would show up in other numbers, specifically the Muslim question. Perhaps it is just the religious community at large, who (given our age demographic in Cda), still believe in old traditional values and are against SSM. I don't know.

Odd and sad IMO. However, I imagine with the passage of time, this fear too will dissipate.

Though I did read somewhere today that the "gay reverand", in the US, (sorry I cannot remember his name), has been cured! He went into some church therapy and is now 100% straight. LOL. I suppose this will become a new branch of the church, "curing homosexuality". I wonder how much revenue that will bring in?

Scotian said...

I am *very* pleased with these numbers, even the ones for homosexuals (not that I wouldn't mind at all seeing it drop to zero, just given how far and fast is all) that this shows, very pleased indeed. One of my bedrock beliefs in why I love my country is that despite our other faults we are very good at accepting diversity in human beings without losing sight of their humanity. This is one of the things I truly believe this country stands as an example for and something worth striving for, as I have said in the past. It also undercuts the message/appearance we hear/see from too many of our CPC brethren about how narrow-minded and limited we are as a society, which given some of the xenophobia we have been seeing over the past few years is quite frankly not just reassuring but welcome in the fight against such thinking.

Good find Steve V, and thanks very much for sharing it with us!

Larry Gambone said...

Although sorry about the high figure against the gay folks, it does show the growing maturity and humanity of the population. Nor just Canada alone. If you were to take that survey 60 years ago, or 90 years ago, what would you have found? I suspect a bigotry rate of 90% or more in every country. Sometimes we progressives get a little dispairing, but studies like this make us realize that change is possible. If we can survive/ overcome global warming and peak oil maybe in another generation hatred of other people for the ethnicity or sexuality will join witch hunting and bear-baiting as ancient practices that are universally reviled.

georgine said...

I think having gay neighbour's is great. I wish I still did. I miss the couple I had terribly. They were wonderful, supportive, fun, friends and my kids adored them. But people move on and now I have no-show, never-smile, cranky and, I suspect, conservative sorts. Not happy people.

An interesting question might be... Who would like to live next door to a politician, of the opposing party:)?

Mark Dowling said...

The problem with a figure for "Canada" is we don't see a drill down figure on same sex tolerance by locality. My wife was chatting to a guy from Alberta while shopping here in Toronto who told her he found it a much more tolerant community than where he came from in Alta., and many of his friends have moved here too for the same reason.

Miles Lunn said...

I am not surprised. We not be the most left wing country, but I've always found us quite tolerant compared to others. Part of it is we don't have the legacy of racism like the US does, but we are also an immigrant based country whereas most European countries aren't. In addition we've done a much better job of integrating our Muslim community. In many European countries they live in ghettos and are totally cut off from everyone else. On the other hand here in Canada they live side by side with other Canadians and many Canadians even have Muslim friends including myself. In very other countries would this be acceptable.

On the issue of tolerating homosexuals, I suspected we would not rank quite as high since we still have pockets in this country where the religious right flourishes. It would be interesting on homosexuals to see the rural vs. urban comparison