In its article about the recent shootings in Quebec City, the New York Times reported that:

A survey in Ontario last summer found that while there was widespread support for accepting the refugees, only a third of respondents had a positive impression of Islam, and more than half felt its mainstream doctrines promoted violence.

As a Muslim living in Toronto, this kind of scares me. I don't want to believe it. I'm also posting anonymously because I don't want my identity revealed.

Is this true? Is there a credible source that proves this?


2 Answers 2


The survey was never published. According to The future of religious literacy and teacher education in the Ontario classroom:

A 51-page survey on this topic was released by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Mass Minority, an advocacy group; however, after a newspaper article published by Nicholas Keung raised this matter

(https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/07/04/ontario-facing-epidemic-of-islamophobia-survey-finds.html), the province and the City of Toronto contacted OCASI to postpone the official release of the findings. This detail was shared by Keung via an email conversation on July 14, 2016.

The Star article it links to says,

The survey by polling firm MARU/VCR&C measured public perceptions of ethnicity and immigration in Ontario in the wake of the recent influx of thousands of Syrian refugees — almost 12,000 to this province alone.

“There is an epidemic of Islamophobia in Ontario. Only a third of Ontarians have a positive impression of the religion and more than half feel its mainstream doctrines promote violence (an anomaly compared to other religions),” said the 51-page survey to be released this week by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and advocacy group Mass Minority. “These sentiments are echoed with Syrian refugees in Ontario where acceptance often coincides with acceptance of Islam.”

Ontario has seen a number of recent incidents targeting Muslims. A woman wearing a hijab was attacked at a supermarket in London in June and a Western University student from Iran was beaten by two men who taunted him and told him to go back to his country. Also, in June, an anti-immigrant group rooted in Germany held an anti-Muslim protest in Toronto.


  • 1
    Did the poll break out how many of Ontario muslims believe mainstream Islamic doctrines promote violence or countenance Jihad or Sharia?
    – user37696
    Feb 1, 2017 at 15:39

The poll appears to have been the subject of press coverage in July 2016 (see The Star, The Express Tribune and Full Report from 4, 8 and 10 July respectively). These articles are almost verbatim copies and seem to be a media echo chamber - they also appear to be the source of the New York Time's coverage.

They all refer to the survey being prepared by "the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and advocacy group Mass Minority" that "will be" released, however, I cannot find the "51 page survey" on either organisation's website. You may want to contact them and ask for a copy of the survey and the data set.

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