A new survey has found that religious minorities in Quebec are feeling less safe, less accepted and less hopeful since the province passed its secularism law three years ago.
The survey results published Wednesday by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies reveal that Quebecers who identify as Jewish, Muslim or Sikh report “broad-ranging, disruptive and profound negative impacts” stemming from the 2019 law, which bans public sector workers deemed to be in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols on the job.
Muslim women reported some of the greatest impacts, with over 70 per cent of respondents saying they felt less safe and over 80 per cent saying they felt less hopeful for the next generation than when the law known as Bill 21 was adopted.
Members of all three religious communities reported exposure to hateful incidents at levels far above those experienced by the general population, and some provided examples that ranged from insults and job discrimination to physical attacks.
The study results were created by combining a Leger web survey of the general population with the Association for Canadian Studies’ polling of religious minorities, and weighing the results to better represent the general population.
In total, 1,828 Quebecers — including 632 Muslims, 165 Jews and 56 Sikhs — were questioned for the study, which does not have an official margin of error because it was conducted by web panel.
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