There is a latent epidemic of Islamophobia in Ontario according to a study released by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants this week.
The conclusions are troubling enough, but the fact that some of the assumptions are based on misinformation and stereotypes is even more troubling.
Over half of the respondents felt that the Muslim faith promotes violence.
Yes, there are references to violence in the Koran, but there are references to violence in the Bible as well that the respondents to the survey seem to have overlooked.
The survey also shows that 53% of Ontarians think that we should only allow immigrants from countries that have similar values to our own.
What does that mean ?
Christian values ? Jewish values ?
Or, are they really saying that they just want English speaking white people to be allowed to enter Canada ?
And many respondents thought that immigrants and refugees are a drain on social service programs despite the fact that report after report indicates that historically, immigrants have proven to be a net benefit to the economy, not a burden as some of us seem to think.
The most telling statistic from the study is that those who hold negative views of Muslims tend to be less educated than average Ontarians .
The message here; do a little research before you condemn those who are different from you.