Just one quarter finds niqab ‘offensive'

| Filed under: Toronto

Just one quarter finds niqab ‘offensive'

Majority opposes allowing niqab during citizenship ceremonies

TORONTO, March 12th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 454 Toronto voters, just more than a quarter of voters agree the niqab is offensive to Canadians (28%) or that it is offensive to themselves (25%). This increases to one half among federal Conservatives (offensive to Canadians - 50%, to themselves - 41%) and two thirds among those who dislike Muslims (63% and 58%, respectively).

Majority opposes niqab in citizenship ceremonies

Just more than half of Toronto voters oppose allowing women to wear the niqab during citizenship ceremonies (57%), while one quarter favour the idea (27%). Virtually all federal Conservative voters oppose the niqab (85%), as do those who dislike Muslims (86%) and those who voted for Doug Ford in the last mayoral election (77%).

One fifth dislike Muslims, twice that among Conservatives

Close to one fifth have negative feelings about Muslim people (18%), and this compares to one tenth who have negative feelings about black people and South Asian people (10% each), Jews and Asians (7% each), and white people (4%). Dislike of Muslims is twice as high among federal Conservative voters (36%) and those who voted for Doug Ford in the last mayoral election (33%).

Close to half finds niqab oppresses women

Close to one half of Toronto voters agree the niqab oppresses women (46%), while one quarter find it does not (25%). Three-in-ten have no opinion (30%). Males (45%) and females (46%) are equally likely to agree, while two thirds of federal Conservatives (66%) and three quarters of those who dislike Muslims (74%) agree as well.

"Toronto, a community of nationalities, is a good lens to look at the niqab issue through; it is clear the Liberals and Conservatives have staked out very identifiable positions which are aligned with the sentiments of their respective bases. Throughout this poll, we find the Conservatives pitted against the niqab, while the Liberals express more tolerance. These partisan differences outweigh almost every other demographic factor including gender, age and ethnic background," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.