Muslims Social Exclusion in Canada and France: Does National Context Matter?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: F201
Oral Presentation
Jeffrey REITZ , University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Patrick SIMON , INED , Paris, France
This paper compares the experiences of Muslim minorities in three contexts: France, Quebec, and English Canada, and in so doing helps illuminate a number of issues of significance to current debates on immigration and multiculturalism, including the role of public attitudes, national integration ‘models’ and advantages of traditional ‘nations of immigration’ over recent European experience, and language and culture. The rise of an anti-Muslim sentiment in most of Western European societies, and especially in France, has not reached the same level in Canada, however Quebec's is clearly distinctive in this regard and more like France.  How these differences among public opinions and in political discourses affect social integration prospects of Muslim minorities in the three settings? Both quantitative and qualitative data are used. On the quantitative side, for France the new government-mandated “Trajectories and Origins” (TeO) survey conducted in 2009 (over 21000 interviews) overcomes many limitations in existing statistics for identification of ethnic minorities. The comparable Canadian source is the “Ethnic Diversity Survey” conducted in 2002 by Statistics Canada (over 42000 interviews). The paper also draws from structured encounters between Muslims and non-Muslims conducted in Paris, Montreal and Toronto.