The US political divide on views toward Muslims and Islam | Pew Research Center

USA Views of Religion - PewMapping US party affiliation to attitudes towards different religions. Sharp contrast:

Party affiliation is not the only factor that correlates with differing views toward Muslims and Islam. Younger U.S. adults of all ideological stripes feel more warmly toward Muslims than do older Americans. On the feeling thermometer, those ages 65 and older gave Muslims an average rating of 32 – they don’t rate any group more negatively – while Americans ages 18-29, on average, rated Muslims more positively, at 49.

One’s own religious affiliation also is a factor. For instance, we found that no other religious group is cooler toward Muslims than are white evangelical Protestants, who give Muslims an average rating of 30.

Compared with other groups, older Americans and white evangelicals both tend to affiliate heavily with the Republican Party.

Haven’t seen an equivalent chart for Canada mapping political affiliations to political party supporters although one would expect a similar breakdown between Canadian right and left leaning parties.

The political divide on views toward Muslims and Islam | Pew Research Center.

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French prisons, long hotbeds of radical Islam, get new scrutiny after Paris attacks – The Washington Post

More on French prisons and radicalization:

France’s prisons have a reputation as factories for radical Islamists, taking in ordinary criminals and turning them out as far more dangerous people. Here at the Fleury-Merogis prison — where Amedy Coulibaly did time alongside another of the attackers in the deadly assaults this month in and around Paris — authorities are struggling to quell a problem that they say was long threatening to explode.

Former inmates, imams and guards all describe a chaotic scene inside these concrete walls, 15 miles from the elegant boulevards surrounding the Eiffel Tower. Militancy lurks in the shadows, and the best-behaved men are sometimes the most dangerous. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls promised last week to flood his nation’s prisons with 60 more Muslim chaplains, doubling their budget to try to combat radicalization. Authorities this week raided 80 prison cells of suspected radicals, saying they found cellphones, USB drives and other contraband. Hundreds of inmates in French prisons are a potential threat, authorities say.

But critics say that these efforts are minuscule compared with the scope of the problem, with prisons so poorly controlled that a leaked French government report once described Osama bin Laden posters hanging on inmates’ walls. The challenge may be compounded by the dozens of people sent to jail after the recent attacks, some for more than a year, under fast-track proceedings in which they were charged with verbal support for terrorism.

“Prison destroys men,” said Mohamed Boina M’Koubou, an imam who works in the Fleury-Merogis prison. “There are people who are easy targets to spot and make into killers.”

French prisons, long hotbeds of radical Islam, get new scrutiny after Paris attacks – The Washington Post.

Un imam radical prêchera aux jeunes Montréalais 

One really wonders why such people wish to stay in Canada, given their world outlook and values are so much at odds with liberal democratic values (other religions have their equivalents):

L’imam Hamza Chaoui a fait des vagues par le passé en raison de ses enseignements rigoristes. Sur sa page Facebook, où il prêche à quelques centaines d’abonnés, l’imam a récemment exposé son rejet total du système démocratique. «La législation islamique et la démocratie sont sur deux lignes en parallèle qui ne seront jamais en intersection» parce que la démocratie peut déboucher sur des Parlements formés «d’un mécréant ou bien d’un homosexuel ou d’un athée qui affirme l’inexistence d’Allah», selon M. Chaoui.

En réponse aux commentaires d’autres internautes, il a ajouté que «le vote en islam est haram (un péché) et n’est pas permis». «La démocratie est un système de mécréance et il faut le boycotter.»

M. Chaoui juge aussi sévèrement le système criminel canadien, qui n’apprendrait pas aux criminels à ne plus recommencer. Dans un prêche prononcé en 2013, il défend notamment l’amputation d’une main devant la foule pour punir les voleurs ainsi que la lapidation pour les époux adultères.

Il souligne toutefois qu’il s’agit de la conséquence prévue pour ces crimes dans l’islam, et que les musulmans canadiens ne devaient pas se faire justice eux-mêmes ou appliquer cette loi au Canada.

L’imam se prononce toutefois contre l’interdiction de conduire pour les femmes saoudiennes. De toute façon, la possibilité «d’entrer en contact physique avec les hommes» dans le transport en commun ou encore d’être seule dans un taxi avec un chauffeur de sexe masculin serait bien pire, selon lui.

Un imam radical prêchera aux jeunes Montréalais  | Philippe Teisceira-Lessard | Montréal.

And the Quebec government considers its options:

Jeudi, la ministre de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion, Kathleen Weil déclarait que cet imam tient des propos «dangereux» et qu’elle ne souhaite pas l’ouverture d’un tel centre communautaire. Or vendredi, La Presse a révélé que le projet avait déjà reçu l’aval de l’arrondissement Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, un feu vert permettant de réaménager le local que l’imam loue. Hamza Chaoui doit également obtenir un certificat d’occupation, une formalité qui, normalement, consiste seulement à vérifier si l’adresse correspond au zonage. Mais l’arrondissement et la Ville analysent également le dossier sous l’angle de la sécurité.

Alors que l’imam a déjà obtenu un permis, Kathleen Weil a répondu qu’elle «ressent des préoccupations» concernant «la sécurité publique». «L’État regarde tout ce qu’il a à sa disposition» pour intervenir dans ce dossier, a-t-elle dit au cours d’une brève mêlée de presse vendredi.

«L’État a beaucoup de choses à sa disposition. Il faut bien examiner la question. Il y a beaucoup d’acteurs au sein du gouvernement pour examiner ces questions. On pourra vous donner des réponses en temps et lieu», a-t-elle affirmé. Elle a souligné que la Sécurité publique est impliquée dans le dossier.

Parmi les outils à la disposition du gouvernement, elle a parlé de manière générale de «mesures dans la prévention, la détection et la répression de certains actes». «Il faut examiner, comprendre les enjeux avant de décider des actions. Ce n’est pas parce que moi je ne vous donne pas les réponses concrètes sur ce qui se fait que les choses ne se font pas», a-t-elle affirmé, mitraillée de questions sur les options qui s’offrent au gouvernement. La mêlée de presse a eu lieu avec 30 minutes de retard : la ministre a eu un long échange avec un membre de l’entourage du premier ministre Philippe Couillard avant de se présenter devant les journalistes.

Imam Chaoui: Québec étudie ses options

In English media:

Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, Kathleen Weil, Quebec’s minister of immigration, diversity and inclusion, said Mr. Chaoui’s views are “dangerous” and “unacceptable” in a democratic society like Quebec, where the rule of law applies and men and women are treated as equals.

“The city of Montreal, I am sure, shares our values, which are Quebec values,” Ms. Weil said. “They [his remarks] are dangerous.

“Clearly, my desire is that we don’t have this [community centre] where someone can spread these concepts. It’s unacceptable that we can have people on our territory who are teaching this to other people and the new generation.”

Later, Agnès Maltais, the Parti Québécois point person on secularism, and the PQ’s Carole Poirier denounced the imam’s statements and called on authorities to do everything in their power to impede him.

“The Imam Hamza Chaoui has made radical statements in the past, including stating the democracy and Islam are not compatible and that the vote is a sin,” Ms. Maltais said. “We strongly denounce these medieval statements.”

They said the situation shows that Premier Philippe Couillard’s statement that fundamentalism is a “personal choice,” as long as the laws are all respected, is illogical.

Anti-democracy imam gets cold reception from politicians over Montreal community centre plan

Du racisme dans le secteur privé, selon la Commission des droits de la personne

Quebec Government EEOngoing issue in Quebec with visible minorities having higher unemployment rates, greater prevalence of low-income, and lower median incomes than non-visible minorities, often greater than differences elsewhere in Canada.

L’État devrait donc les forcer juridiquement à adopter un mécanisme visant à contrer toute forme de racisme et de discrimination au moment de recruter des employés, plaide l’organisme dans son mémoire présenté mercredi dans le cadre de la consultation publique menée par le gouvernement sur la future politique d’immigration du Québec.

Le gouvernement devrait commencer par donner l’exemple et accorder un statut particulier aux membres des «minorités racisées» (qu’on pense aux Noirs et aux Asiatiques) lorsqu’il y a embauche dans la fonction publique, a fait valoir le président de l’organisme de défense des droits, Jacques Frémont.

Car les nouveaux arrivants issus des minorités visibles sont systématiquement sous-représentés «dans toutes les catégories d’emploi de la fonction publique», déplore la commission dans son document étoffé, assorti de 23 recommandations remises à la ministre de l’Immigration, Kathleen Weil.

Ces personnes, trop souvent victimes de discrimination à l’embauche pour des motifs n’ayant rien à voir avec leurs diplômes ou leurs compétences, devraient donc faire partie d’«un groupe cible distinct et spécifique» aux yeux du gouvernement à titre d’employeur, recommande la commission, qui revendique de plus l’adoption d’une politique globale de lutte contre le racisme et la discrimination.

And as shown in the above chart, relatively low public sector hiring rates for visible minorities.

Du racisme dans le secteur privé, selon la Commission des droits de la personne | Jocelyne Richer | National.

Damage from cancelled census as bad as feared, researchers say

The impact of an ideologically motivated decision, impacting both social research (the intended target, as suggested by Paul Wells in his book The Longer I’m Prime Minister) as well as the business community and municipalities who use census data for planning purposes (e.g., store and school locations):

“It has certainly impacted my own work on what has been happening to middle-class earnings in Canada,” says Charles Beach, professor emeritus of economics at Queen’s University.

More broadly, it has “inhibited research into inequality and identifying winners and losers in economic growth, research into understanding the national problems of the have-nots in the economy, and research into how best to provision local government services.”

In the private sector, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, whose network represents 200,000 businesses across the country, is publicly calling on the federal government to restore the mandatory long-form census.

Some researchers – such as those working on a sweeping long-term study on income polarization in Canadian cities – are choosing to abandon using the NHS altogether. They may be settling for less-detailed tax-filer data, while others, such as some public health units, are still using outdated 2006 census data.

In Canada’s largest city, “it has definitely had an impact in the way we plan for services” for people such as seniors, single parents, youth and immigrants, says Harvey Low, manager of social research at the City of Toronto. “We are less sure ” about the characteristics of people served in communities.

Damage from cancelled census as bad as feared, researchers say – The Globe and Mail.

The American tradition of multiculturalism – The Washington Post

An American take on what multiculturalism means in the US context by Eugene Volokh:

These aren’t just multiculturalist values. They are long-standing, deeply rooted American values. And they have been (or at least could be) seen as serving at least four different goals.

1. Multiculturalism as increasing minority members’ happiness: Religious tolerance — coupled with federalism and localism — has often let people live, be free, and pursue happiness in America without having to sacrifice or hide their belief systems.

2. Multiculturalism as an engine of the search for truth: Both federalism and religious diversity often produce a wide range of options — ideological and governmental — that then compete with one another. In federalism, this is known as the “states as laboratories of democracy” model. For religious and other ideologies, this best fits the metaphor of the “marketplace of ideas.”

3. Multiculturalism as a source of valuable citizens: The tolerance for a wide range of religious belief systems has drawn more people to this nation, and has avoided forcing people into exile. Recall the old joke, “who was the most successful German general of World War II?,” with the answer being “Eisenhower.” More seriously, America’s development of the atomic bomb during World War II, which relied heavily on European (and often Jewish) scientists who had fled Hitler, is one illustration — one of many — of the value to America of ethnic and cultural tolerance.

4. Multiculturalism as a source of knowledge for dealing with a multicultural world: The world is filled with lots of different cultures, whether we like it or not. Experience with different cultures within the U.S. helps us deal with different cultures outside the U.S. — for instance, by giving us a pool of American citizens who actually know the foreign language and culture, and more generally by making our citizens more familiar with people of other cultures.

… And it should also be obvious that, because of this, we should properly calibrate our tolerance for multiculturalism with our insistence on also supporting a unified national culture. We shouldn’t try to completely stifle all rival identities (whether Catholic, Jewish, or Baptist; Irish-American, Chinese-American, or Mexican-American; or whatever else), but neither should we neglect the building of an American identity. We should accommodate some religious or cultural objections to generally applicable laws, as we have done for centuries in countless ways. But we shouldn’t (and generally don’t) accommodate objections when the accommodation would substantially harm others.

Still, it’s also important to recognize that many forms of multiculturalism are not valueless, alien, or new. Even without reference to specific valuable aspects of specific cultures, they have some general value. And they are deeply linked to fundamental aspects of our American constitutional culture.

It’s a mistake, I think, to condemn multiculturalism in general, just as it’s a mistake to praise multiculturalism in general. Rather, we should think about which forms of toleration, accommodation, and embrace of differing cultural values and behaviors are good for America — in the light of American legal and social traditions — and which are bad.

The American tradition of multiculturalism – The Washington Post.

Toronto’s income gap continues to widen, finds U of T expert

Not new, but better documented by David Hulchanski than done earlier:

Between 1970 and 1990, average incomes jumped significantly in only about 13 per cent of Toronto’s 500-plus “census tract” neighbourhoods.

Slightly more, 19 per cent, saw incomes drop significantly, while most Torontonians, in 67 per cent of the census tracts, saw earnings change only modestly.

Expanding the time frame to 1970 to 2012 exposes a dramatic shift.

Middle-income communities across the city began to evaporate. Neighbourhoods with relatively stable average income shrank by more than half, to 32 per cent of the census tracts.

The percentage of neighbourhoods where residents’ average incomes skyrocketed more than doubled. At the same time, the percentage of neighbourhoods where people were getting much poorer also doubled.

Yorkville, which transformed from downtown hippie haven to posh shopping district favoured by the jet set, saw the biggest surge in average incomes. Part of Thorncliffe Park, which became a landing pad for newly arrived immigrants, saw the biggest income drop.

When the city snapshot is narrowed to only 2012, just under half of Toronto is considered low-income — well under the $46,666-per-year average — while 21 per cent is high-income and only 30 per cent is middle.

“What I call City No. 2 — the middle-income city — is simply disappearing,” Hulchanski says.

Gentrification is only one of the root causes, he says, listing provincial and federal policy changes since 1990 that he believes were intended to further enrich society’s top earners.

This can also be mapped against visible minorities, many of whom are low-income in Toronto.

Of course, this is not just a Toronto issue as part of worldwide trend towards greater inequality.

Toronto’s income gap continues to widen, finds U of T expert | Toronto Star.

Ottawa spent $1.4M in court to fight for refugee health cuts

Not surprised at the legal costs in defending the cuts to refugee claimant healthcare but one of the consequences of a bad initial decision:

In November, the government announced to partially restore the service cuts while it appealed the ruling.

“It is unfortunate that the government had chosen not to spend the money on the care of pregnant women and sick children,” said Dr. Meb Rashid of the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, one of five groups and individuals who took the government to court. “$1.4 million can buy a lot of vaccinations.”

On Tuesday, the court also heard a motion by the advocates to compel the government to fully reverse the cut. A decision is pending.

“We will continue to appeal the flawed ruling. . . by the Federal Court. Our government is defending the interests of Canadian taxpayers as well as the integrity of our refugee determination system,” said Kevin Menard, spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

Ottawa spent $1.4M in court to fight for refugee health cuts | Toronto Star.

The Left’s Intensifying War On Liberalism

Andrew Sullivan on the negative impact of extreme political correctness:

And the paradox of this within the gay rights movement is an astounding one. For the past twenty years, the open, free-wheeling arguments for marriage equality and military service have persuaded, yes, persuaded, Americans with remarkable speed that reform was right and necessary. Yes: the arguments. If you want to argue that no social progress can come without coercion or suppression of free speech, you have to deal with the empirical fact that old-fashioned liberalism brought gay equality to America far, far faster than identity politics leftism. It was liberalism – not leftism – that gave us this breakthrough. And when Alabama is on the verge of issuing marriage licenses to its citizens, it is the kind of breakthrough that is rightly deemed historic. But instead of absorbing that fact and being proud of it and seeking magnanimity and wondering if other social justice movements might learn from this astonishing success for liberalism and social progress, some on the gay left see only further struggle against an eternally repressive heterosexist regime, demanding more and more sensitivity for slighter and slighter transgressions and actually getting more radicalized – and feeling more victimized and aggrieved – in the process.

Which reveals how dismal this kind of politics is, how bitter and rancid it so quickly becomes, how infantilizing it is. Any “success ” for one minority means merely that the oppression has been shifted temporarily elsewhere. Or it means that we dissenters in a minority have internalized our own oppression (by embracing the patriarchy of civil marriage, or structural hegemonic violence in the military) and are blind to even greater oppression beyond the next curtain of social justice consciousness. Or we find out in bitter debates about who is the biggest sinner, that in some cases, are actually more white than we are female; or more black than we are trans; and on and on. This process has no end. And almost as soon as it begins, many people in the gay rights movement or in feminist movement will soon find themselves under attack for not being sufficiently enlightened, and, in fact, for being complicit and even active in others’ oppression. Chait has a great dissection of what Michelle Goldberg has also observed among some contemporary feminists – an acrid, self-defeating, demoralizing and emotionally crippling form of internecine warfare that persuades no one outside the ever tightening circle of true believers.

The Left’s Intensifying War On Liberalism