Canada has always been perceived as a relatively quiet state. Meanwhile, the situation in this country has deteriorated significantly in recent years. 29 January 2017 in the Canadian city of Quebec, unidentified persons broke into a local mosque and shot worshipers. Shooting took place during the evening prayer. At that time, according to various sources, at least six of them were killed in the mosque, from 40 to 100. There were three gunmen. Radio Canada reported that the unknown people were wearing masks and shouting "Allah akbar". In his speech, the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec Philippe Couyer called an attack on a mosque a terrorist act. Police detained two suspects. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack on the mosque as a cowardly action and expressed sympathy to the families of the victims.
While law enforcement agencies are busy investigating the dramatic events in the mosque, the public has returned to discussing not only the terrorist threat itself, but also its causes. Many associate the risk of terrorist attacks with the migration situation, which makes it necessary to pay special attention to the Canadian government's migration policy and the emerging problems in the sphere of interethnic and interfaith relations in Canada.
Canada is a country of immigrants. Almost all the inhabitants of the country, with the exception of 1,5% of the population - Indians and Eskimos, are descendants of immigrants in different generations. They are British and French, Germans and Dutch, Italians and Poles, Ukrainians and Jews, Russians and Chinese, Swedes and Arabs, representatives of very different nationalities. However, right up to the second half of the twentieth century, immigrants from Muslim countries practically did not immigrate to Canada. Therefore, the number of the Muslim community in the country remained insignificant. The situation began to change towards the end of the twentieth century, when people from Asia and Africa, including followers of Islam, drew attention to Canada.
It is worth noting here that Canada is literally the birthplace of multiculturalism. Now multiculturalism is actually the official ideology of the Canadian state. The theory of multiculturalism and multicultural citizenship was developed by the modern Canadian philosopher and sociologist Will Kimlick. He is also a relatively young man (born in 1962 year), who received his doctoral degree in philosophy and political science in 1984 year at Queen’s University. The essence of Kimliki's concept is that a person cannot be unequal, based on his racial, national, class, gender or any physical disabilities. It is necessary to reduce the vulnerability of minorities in modern society, which can be achieved only through the establishment of equality between the majority and the minority. This approach, in fact, shaped the policies of many modern Western states with regard to migrants, non-confessional groups, and sexual minorities. As a follower of the political philosophy of liberalism, Kimlica sees in it a universal concept that allows the rights of religious and national minorities to be protected. Accordingly, in liberal states, minorities receive the same rights as the majority. What are the consequences of the adoption of such a model in practice, we can see on the example of most of the countries of Western Europe, where concern for the interests of minorities resulted in a frank disregard for the interests of the national majority.
For example, a Russian researcher V.S. Malakhov characterized a multicultural society as a society devoid of the dominant culture. Over the centuries, however, Western societies have been formed within a particular cultural tradition, Catholic or Protestant. The very possibility of the existence of a society devoid of culture appeared only in the twentieth century, aided by: the secularization of the value-ideological system of a large part of Europeans and Americans, the formation of a cosmopolitan environment of megacities, the adoption of mass culture devoid of national identity. In this situation, minorities, with their more or less clear value attitudes, worldview, traditions and way of life, began to be serious players in the political field - against the background of an atomized and impersonal mass of the “indigenous”, whose primordial culture gradually dissolved in cosmopolitan mass culture.
One of the main contradictions of the multicultural concept is that disagreements, and even open hostility, inevitably also arise between minorities. Moreover, minorities may not understand and accept the multicultural model itself, although they themselves make excellent use of its achievements and benefits. For example, the migrant communities from Asia and Africa in the countries of Western Europe have achieved significant preferences in recent decades, for example, the construction of religious buildings, a very loyal attitude of state bodies to their way of life. But a significant part of the representatives of these communities, as the number of the latter grows, begins to demand more. If ever these communities make up the majority of the population, they will immediately end up with a multicultural model. The unwillingness of most migrants to live by the rules of a liberal society leads to numerous excesses, including the most unpleasant or tragic nature. So good, at first glance, the idea of equality of different groups of the population entails terrible consequences such as terrorist acts, “sex attacks” on indigenous women, rampant crime and drug trafficking.
The migrant communities themselves are not ready to show multiculturalism in their own environment. Attempts by individual members of these communities to build their lives contrary to the customs and traditions of their ancestors sometimes end in a very tragic way. A break with relatives is only the most innocent thing that can happen, for example, with a girl who allows for premarital relationships. For example, the world media have repeatedly raised the problem of the spread of honor killings in the countries of America and Europe.
Canada seized upon the idea of multiculturalism because at some point this concept seemed to the Canadian leaders of the most relevant essence of the Canadian state. The country of immigrants needed to make all groups of the population, regardless of national origin, equal rights. The main problem of Canada for a long time lay in overcoming the contradictions between the Anglo-Canadians and the French-Canadians. But if dialogue between these groups is ultimately possible, as is the equal position of Protestant and Catholic communities, then the mass immigration to Canada of people with a completely different “cultural code” was a challenge that the multicultural concept did not know the answer to.
When most Western politicians started talking about the collapse of the philosophy and model of multiculturalism, it was too late. The uncontrolled migration and the complete lack of attention of the authorities to such important aspects as religious and cultural compatibility became the main cause of the worsening of the socio-political situation in many Western countries. Canada is no exception. True, in contrast to the same France, in Canada, immigrants from the countries of the Near and Middle East, North and West Africa are not so numerous. However, in the last fifteen years there has been a clear tendency to a gradual increase in their share in the composition of the Canadian population. This can be judged by changes in the number of followers of Islam. So, if in 2001, Islam was professed by 2% of the Canadian population, in 2014, it was already 3% of the Canadian population.
Most Canadian Muslims live in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. The Canadian authorities treat foreign groups of the population very loyally, so Muslim communities feel quite good in this country. In Toronto alone, there are around 200 mosques and houses of worship. There are madrasas in the country, Islamic events are organized. Significant funds in the development of Islam in Canada are invested by international Islamic organizations, as well as individual philanthropists, primarily from Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf. In Canada, the northernmost mosque in the world was opened - in the city of Inuvik. The number of Muslims in this northern village is small, but thanks to the help of an international charitable organization, the Zubaida Tallab Foundation organized the delivery of a mosque already assembled from special materials to northern Canada.
Most Muslims living in Canada also strive in every way to demonstrate their law-abiding and loyalty to the Canadian state. This, incidentally, contributes to the benevolent attitude of the authorities towards Muslims. In the spring of 2016, a sociological survey was published, according to which 84% of Muslim respondents noted that the attitude to the followers of Islam in Canada is better than in most other Western states. However, 35% of respondents, and this is more than a third, nevertheless noted that they periodically encounter any manifestations of discrimination.
Canada’s hospitality is ensured by the presence of yesterday’s non-European immigrants and their descendants on the highest floors of the Canadian state hierarchy. For example, for the immigration policy in the Canadian government since 10 January 2017, Ahmed Hussein is a 40-year-old native of Somalia, who came to Canada as an adult, in 18 years. Canadian parliamentarians are constantly considering more and more new bills aimed at facilitating the country's migration legislation. In 2017, Canada plans to receive at least 300 thousands of migrants and refugees, some MPs advocating an increase in the number of foreigners accepted to 450 thousands. In 2016, 37 thousands of people arrived in Canada, 80% of whom came from Syria, and the rest are mostly former residents of Libya and Jordan.
At the same time, despite the loyalty of the authorities to the Islamic community, in Canada, as in other countries, there are radical nationalist groups that do not like the growing number of followers of other religions. Uncontrolled migration creates a lot of problems for host countries, and the growth of nationalist sentiment among the indigenous population in their list is on one of the most significant places. A mosque in Quebec City that was attacked by 29 on January 2017, in the summer of 2016, was already the object of attention from detractors. So, in June, unknown persons threw a pig's head at her door. Then the public considered this action simply banal domestic hooliganism. Attacks on Muslim religious institutions are not uncommon for modern Canada. For example, in November 2015, unidentified persons set fire to a mosque in the city of Peterborough in the province of Ontario. The fire destroyed the entire building.
The growth of nationalist activity in Canada may be associated with a recent decision by the Canadian leadership. Recall that after the newly elected US President Donald Trump 27 January 2017, announced the closure of entry into the United States for citizens of seven states - Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. As a result of this measure, all citizens of these countries actually lost the possibility of legal entry into the United States of America. However, following Trump’s decree, the Canadian government’s ambiguous response followed. Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein said that Canada is ready to grant temporary asylum to all those who, due to Trump’s decree, will be restricted from entering the territory of the United States of America. Thus, Ottawa not only demonstrated the rejection of the migration policy of the new American president and confirmed its loyalty to the principles of multiculturalism, but also agreed to open the doors to a very large number of migrants. After all, the US still enjoyed greater popularity as the ultimate goal of migration than Canada. It is clear that the prospect of the entry of many thousands of people from the listed Middle Eastern and African states does not please a significant part of Canadians, especially those who hold right views. Many Canadian economists and sociologists warn the government of the country about the negative effects of uncontrolled migration. Canada predicts an increase in unemployment among the indigenous population, an increase in tax fees and loan rates (after all, the adaptation of migrants will require significant financial resources), and as a result, the abolition of many social programs for Canadians.
The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election also served as a detonator for reviving Canadian nationalists. Canada is the closest neighbor of the United States. Therefore, the serious changes that Trump announced in his election program, and then in his inaugural speech, can not help but worry the widest sections of Canadian society. Of course, among Canadians, including right-wing views, there are very different people. Most of them are law-abiding and even, not being content with migrants, do not consider it possible to commit acts of violence against them. But, as in any country and among any groups of the population, there are also radicals. The question is whether the execution of the mosque’s worshipers is their handiwork? After all, the provocation version, which can be beneficial to various forces, is not excluded.