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Four-in-ten say radicalized individuals live in their communities

A new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute, conducted in partnership with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, finds Canadians feeling generally less concerned about homegrown terrorism today than they were shortly after the October 2014 shooting on Parliament Hill.

That said, most still see homegrown terrorism as a “serious threat” to this country, rather than something that has been “overblown” by politicians and the media. Specifically, the possibility of attacks motivated by radical Islamic beliefs is of greater concern to Canadians than the prospect of white supremacist or white nationalist homegrown terrorism – though many are worried about both.

To that end, most Canadians see this country’s Muslim community as a partner in the fight against radicalization, rather than a part of the problem, but most say leaders in that community do not speak out enough about homegrown terrorism.

More Key Findings:

  • Some four-in-ten Canadians (41%) say they believe there are radicalized individuals living in their communities today. One-quarter (24%) say no such individuals exist where they live, and the rest (35%) are unsure
  • Slightly more than half of all Canadians (54%) say they have confidence in the ability of this country’s security services – such as CSIS, the RCMP, and local police – to prevent acts of homegrown terrorism
  • Canadians view radical Islamic attitudes and white supremacist attitudes as more concerning than other prejudices that exist in Canadian society today. A full majority (54%) say radical Islam is cause for “a great deal of concern,” while 44 per cent say the same of white supremacy
  • Overall perspectives on radicalization have stayed fairly consistent since the Angus Reid Institute last asked about this issue in 2014, but several underlying demographic trends have changed. Most notably:
  • Quebecers are more likely now than they were in 2014 to say there are radicals in their communities, but much less likely to say homegrown terrorism is a “serious threat” to Canada
  • Most past Conservative Party of Canada voters (61%) now see the Muslim community as “part of the problem,” when in 2014 this group was split on this question
  • Younger respondents are still the only age group more likely to say the threat of homegrown terrorism is “overblown” (54% do) than to say it is a serious threat (46%), but the gap between them and other age groups on this question has shrunk since 2014

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