Strange bedfellows? Attitudes toward minority religious symbols in the public sphere

Antoine Bilodeau, Luc Turgeon, Steve White, Ailsa Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we contend that distinguishing individuals who support bans on minority religious symbols from those who want to ban all religious symbols improves our understanding of the roots of opposition to minority religious symbols in the public sphere. We hypothesize that both groups are likely driven by markedly different motivations and that opposition to the presence of minority religious symbols in the public sphere may be the result of an alliance between "strange bedfellows", clusters of individuals whose political outlooks usually bring them to opposite sides of political debates. Drawing on a survey conducted in the province of Quebec (Canada), we find that while holding liberal values and low religiosity are key characteristics of those who would ban all religious symbols, feelings of cultural threat and generalized prejudice are central characteristics of those who would only restrict minority religious symbols. Negative attitudes specifically toward Muslims, however, also appear to motivate both groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-333
Number of pages25
JournalPolitics and Religion
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date8 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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