Ottawa, February 28 (RHC)-- While Canada is often held up as a beacon of inclusion, a new poll showing that one in four Canadians support a Trump-style travel ban busts the longstanding myth, suggesting the U.S. president may further spur existing anti-immigrant sentiments north of the U.S.-Canada border.
The survey, by the Angus Reid Institute, also found that a staggering 41 percent of Canadians think that the country's 2017 target for taking in 40,000 refugees is too high. "We tend to, when we are looking at numbers, look at the majority view. But the fact that one in four Canadians are of the mind that we should be looking to our own travel ban is significant and is part of a red flag that is starting to emerge in terms of refugee policy," Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC.
The results come on the heels of two major incidents of Islamophobia in the country. In late January, the fatal shooting by white supremacist Alexandre Bissonnette, who opened fire at a Quebec mosque, killed six people. It also resulted in a spike of hate crimes in the region.
Last week, an anti-Muslim rally was held outside a mosque in downtown Toronto, while people were congregated inside for prayers. While police had originally said the incident would be investigated as a hate crime, they have decided otherwise, citing the alleged lack of an official complaint.
The dozen or so people that had gathered with banners and loudspeakers in hand, spewed slogans that called for a ban on Islam. "This was a clear attempt to intimidate the Muslim community," the civil liberties organization National Council of Canadian Muslims said in a statement, adding that the community is "deeply disturbed that such an incident would happen at all, let alone following the tragic killing of six men at a Quebec City mosque just a few weeks ago."
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