Politics·Recap

CBC Forum: Islamophobia and young Canadian Muslims

A new survey indicates young Muslims have more attachment to their religious identity than older Muslims. The majority of young Muslims in Canada feel Muslim first and Canadian second, the survey suggests. Recap our live blog discussion about the Environics-conducted study.

Recap our discussion with CBC journalist Shanifa Nasser

Sadaf Khan, right, is a teacher at Maingate Islamic Academy, also in Mississauga. An overwhelming majority of Muslim Canadians have a strong attachment to their country and feel Canada is heading in the right direction, according to a new study. (CBC)

An overwhelming majority of Muslim Canadians have a strong attachment to their country and feel that Canada is heading in the right direction, according to a new survey.

But it also discusses Islamophobia and suggests young Muslims, a cohort that is increasingly devout, have more attachment to their religious identity than older Muslims. The majority of young Muslims in Canada feel Muslim first and Canadian second, indicates the survey of 600 Canadian Muslims that was conducted by the Environics Institute.

It also suggests Muslim Canadians are becoming increasingly integrated into the broader Canadian society.

CBC journalist Shanifa Nasser has extensively covered stories of young Muslims, from radicalization, to foreign adoptions, to Muslim youth organizing to get out the vote. She has a master's degree in Islamic studies from the University of Toronto.

Nasser hosted a live chat Wednesday to discuss the study's findings and some of her findings while reporting these stories. Here are a few of the most thoughtful and insightful comments that you brought up in the discussion.

Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the comment in the blog format.

  • "There is a fundamental change happening within the Muslim faith, the young generation of Muslims living and working in Canada are uniting within their faith. This is truly the only way real change can happen within the ideology of their faith." — ChristianJoe
  • "I think the validity of the survey is no doubt statistically accurate but what is up with the point of comparing Muslims and Non-Muslims. One religion compared to all others and all other types of immigrants histories with little in common other than being Canadian. This is not comparing apples and oranges which would have significance statistically, but comparing apples to oranges and grapes and bananas and cherries and peaches and then saying somehow all of the very different fruit have the same background and history so they can collectively be compared to the apples. Such statistical comparisons have no real validity." — Vancouver Guy
  • "The most disturbing aspect of Islamophobia in Canada is this notion of creeping Sharia Law (devout Muslims) taking over the country. That is just racist nonsense — we are a progressive, liberal democracy and no religion is going to change that." — Mic Mac
  • "When my family and I came to Canada from England many years ago, we dressed differently and had a "funny" accent but we became Canadians but have never forgotten our British roots. Religion is a private matter. It takes time so stop worrying about it." — EKnight
  • "Being Canadian does not mean one has to accept the values of another person, embrace them and be forced to conform to them. Being Canadian entails one respects each other even while disagreeing with others. Respect of each other is key. As a Muslim, I think there are many in our community who need to work on this and I also feel in the larger Canadian family, we need to be consider a part of the family, not the "other."— Rizan AM​

You can read the full CBC Forum live blog discussion below.

Can't see the live chat? Click here


The survey was based on phone interviews with 600 Muslim Canadians conducted between Nov. 19, 2015, and Jan. 23, 2016. A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. A telephone survey of 987 adult non-Muslim Canadians was also completed between Feb. 6 and 15, 2016. A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of  +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

now