OTTAWA - A newly released survey suggests a large number of Muslims living in Canada will not disown Al-Qaida.
The study, conducted by the MacDonald Laurier Institute, found 65% of Muslims questioned said they would “repudiate absolutely” the terrorist organization, while 35% would not do so.
“From a security perspective, it is difficult to know if a 65% rate of repudiation (of Al-Qaida) is re-assuring or a 35% failure to repudiate troubling,” wrote study authors Christian Leuprecht, associate professor of the Royal Military College of Canada and Conrad Winn, Carleton University professor and president of COMPAS, a public opinion research firm.
“The most radical political views tended to be expressed by relatively secular people, often equipped with higher education in the social sciences, while devout Muslims were sometimes the most articulate advocates for Canada and democracy.” According to the Ottawa based think tank, only a small minority of Muslim newcomers to Canada reject Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Iranian regime.
The survey, which was released Tuesday, found 62% wanted some form of Shariah law in Canada, 15% of them saying it should be mandatory for all Muslims.
The report also states support for extremism is just as high among Muslims born in Canada, or other Western countries, as it is among those hailing from oppressive dictatorships.
The survey involved phone interviews with 455 Muslims in Ottawa, between May and July 2008, with a margin of error of five percentage points. The study was funded by the University of Maryland for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. The institute could not find funding for the study in Canada.
By Kris Sims