4 in 10 Canadians say radicalized individuals live in their communities: study
A new Angus Reid Institute study found 4 in 10 Canadians think radicalized people live in their community, most think terrorism is a serious threat to the country.
According to the study, Canadians felt more threatened by Islamic terrorism than white supremacy.
Sameer Zuberi of the Canadian Board of Muslim Lawyers says the discourse on the perceived Muslim threat as compared to the white supremacist are far more present on society.
Yet, he believes the reality is different.
"The white supremacist threat is more present, more real as we saw in the Quebec city attack that was perpetuated by someone who had white supremacist views" said Zuberi.
He stated he's more frightened to know that Canadians think radicalized people live in their community than he is by the "boogy man radical".
"If that was actually true we would having a radical type incident left, right and center, it would be a daily occurence...it's not" he said.
The institute also found men are two times more likely than women to dislike muslims, indigenous people, and have homophobic and white supremacist attitudes.
Benjamin Ducol, Research Coordinator of the Center of Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence is not surprised by this finding.
He says the vast studies he consulted also go in that direction.
Ducol believes this is not specific to Canadian men but rather linked to a problem related to the construction of masculinity.
He thinks this is because men construct their identity based on others.
"Men especially in the West, construct their identity on others and they see the others, in terms of sexual orientation or ethnic origins as a threat to their own identity. The identity of others somehow threatens the identity of white males" said Ducol.
The study also suggests younger Canadians have more tolerant attitudes.
Zuberi believes this sends a message to policymakers, media and other generations.
"When we get to know each other, that builds familiarity and it builds understanding" he said.
Zuberi believes communities should be encouraged to exchange with each other.
"We need to create spaces where people are meeting each other and sharing who they are and I think young people in this survey are an example for the rest of us in society to build a more cohesive Canada and Quebec", added Zuberi.