Limit Muslims' Access To Canada, Book Says
By PETER ZIMONJIC
The Ottawa Sun
May 22, 2008
Large influxes of Muslims, the failure to integrate foreigners and an overrun immigration system make Canada a “threat to North American security.”
These are some of the findings published in a new book by the right-wing Fraser Institute called Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States.
The book says Muslims, as a group of potential immigrants, should be given limited access to Canada.
“It would be prudent, from a security point of view, for Canada to review its immigration policy in relation to the admission of immigrants from Muslim countries that are known to produce terrorists,” the book says.
Co-author James Bissett, a former head of the Canadian Immigration Service, says Canada needs to better screen potential immigrants from Islamic countries to ensure they are non-violent and respect “Western values”.
“We should be more careful about accepting people who are not going to be happy living in a secular society, with a separation of church and state,” Bissett said.
Immigrants need to be happy in a society “where men and women are treated equally, and gay marriage is permitted,” he said.
The Canadian Islamic Congress responded immediately to the arguments in the book.
“This is a racist argument and doesn't stand academic and rigorous research,” said congress spokesman Mohamed Elmasry. “Canadian Muslims contribute to the wealth of this country more than the average and have higher levels of education than the average.”
The book also argues that by allowing in large numbers of Muslims — the authors estimate Canada's Muslim population was 700,000 in 2006, up from just over 250,000 in 1991 — Canada has created sub-societies that do not integrate and shelter extremists.
“By failing to require Muslim immigrants to adapt and abide by Western values, the West does face the unravelling of values and political culture that make a free society,” the books says.
The Fraser Institute calls for a review of immigration policy, especially the refugee and asylum system. The book says Canada's immigration backlog is so badly managed that it encourages foreigners to claim asylum and then overstay their entry visas.
Janet Dench, the executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, says the arguments are flawed because Canada — unlike many other countries, including the U.K. and U.S. — knows exactly how many illegal immigrants are living within its borders.
“What we see here is an anti-refugee way of thinking that is being retooled as a security oriented argument,” said Dench.