Good afternoon Ottawa, here I am at the Attitudes toward minority religious symbols in Canada: exploring the impact of prejudices and principles.
Numerous legislations adopted or proposed to restrict the presence of religious symbols. i.e.Ban in schools (France)
Politics have an argument between prejudice and principles.
Prejudices: Winter (2014): "The Charter's Quebec values were shaped by vision of cultural exclusion and purity"
Principles: Laborde (2005) on the republican justification for the ban on religious symbols in France.
Literature and research have emerged on European cases, but various across countries (Helloing, 2014; Van der Noll, 2010)
limited literature on the Canadian case
Research questions across the country:
What are the attitudes of Canadians toward the place of religious symbols in public institutions?
Hypothesis: respondents with negative attitudes toward ethnic minorities and more likely to find unacceptable the wearing of religious symbols.
Hypothesis: Respondents who have more liberal (or progressive) values are more likely to find unacceptable the wearing of religious symbols
Provincial Diversity Project (25 minutes online survey) conducted in Jan-Feb 2014
Questions in the survey measure generalized prejudice, cultural threat, Islamophobia, liberal values, secularism,
Antoine Bilodeau, Concordia University tells the results of the survey
37% answering that it is not acceptable for a student to wear a religious symbol in Quebec
Quebec stands out with 74% answering that it is not acceptable for a police officer to wear a religious symbol
Quebec stands out again in the country with 59% answering that it isn't acceptable for a person to wear a religious symbol in two or three contexts
72% of French speakers support for banning religious symbols and speaking French at home
Religious attendance is meaningful because the most you attend a religious institution the less you are going to oppose to it, says Antoine Bilodeau
Opposition to progressive values in Quebec increases and in the rest of the country it decreases.
There are two types of supporter of the Charter of Values
Charter supporters in favour of removing the crucifix are mostly PQ supporters, Francophones, Atheist
Charter supporters opposing removal of the crucifix are mostly Catholics, Anglophones, Religious people
Evidence that Quebec's reasonable accommodation and Charter debates brought together "strange bedfellows": Social progressives and those with prejudicial attitudes, Stephen White, professor at Concordia University says
Difference between Quebec and the rest of the country seems to be the product of different conceptions of liberalism. ("Enlightenment" vs "reformation" liberalism)
The more progressive or liberal you are, the less prejudice you have, says Stephen White
More work is needed on different conceptions of liberalism and attitudes toward religious symbols
The older you are the more opposed you are, says Antoine Bilodeau
Audience make questions: Is there any gender effect in these results?
There is more gender effect in Quebec than in the rest of the country.