WAR ON POVERTY: RISE OF THE MUSLIM GHETTO
For Muslim poor, a shameful admission
Apr 12, 2008 04:30 AM
The exact number of Muslims in Toronto who live below Statistics Canada's low-income cut-off, the country's unofficial poverty line, is difficult to determine, as socio-economic data is rarely gathered through the lens of religion.
"Already we can see the formation of ghettos in some parts of the city," said Shakir, referring to neighbourhoods where overt race-based poverty is glaringly obvious, and where halal meat stores are in abundance.
The scant data available paints a troubling picture of a growing community of nearly 300,000 Muslims, which includes a mix of refugees, recent immigrants, and those who settled in Canada decades ago.
The four poorest of all ethno-racial groups, with more than 50 per cent of their members living below Statistics Canada's low-income cut-off, were Somalis, Afghans, Ethiopians and Bangladeshi populations – all from predominately Muslim countries. At least 30 per cent of Pakistanis and West Asians also qualified as poor, according to a study done by the Institute for Social Research at York University in 2006, which looked at the demographic and social profiles of ethno-racial groups in the city.
In 13 neighbourhoods deemed "at-risk" in Toronto by United Way, more than half have significant Muslim populations, including Flemingdon Park, Regent Park, Etobicoke North and Jane-Finch. "Every year, we see more and more poor people coming to the mosque for help," said Omar Farouk, president of the International Muslims Organization, based in Etobicoke, which has opened a food bank and distributes food to shelters once a month. More than 200 people regularly access the food bank.
"It's not about settlement; it's about systemic barriers in the system. We are receiving well-educated people. They are ... engineers and doctors, but they are still doing dishes, or driving cabs."
But many don't even get those menial jobs. In a 2005 Canadian Labour Congress study on Racial Status and Employment Incomes, Arab and West-Asian visible minorities had the highest overall unemployment rate at 14 per cent.There are internal barriers within the community too. There is an obvious divide between the haves and have-nots, the second-generation Muslims and the new arrivals who have little interaction with each other outside of "Friday prayers at the mosque."
Note how the immigration system needs to be protected at all costs even though the immigration system is the root of the problem. We are told, as is usual, that the problem is systemic in some fashion particularly when it comes to employment. But if there is a looming skilled labour shortage, and considering the competitive nature of the business community, then why are businesses comfortable with making a pass at immigrant engineers? It is the usual "Canada has failed these immigrants" angle when in reality it is the immigration system that has failed these immigrants and Canadians, a reality we would see if we just took our heads out of the desert sand that is Toronto, Vancouver, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the CBC, etc.
Much of this poverty can be explained if we allow ourselves to consider the possibility that perhaps Canada is importing too many immigrants. The reason why immigrant engineers are driving cabs or doing dishes instead of working in their field of expertise is that Canadian businesses didn't need them in the first place. Also, too many economic migrants posing as refugees are entering the country as well. No relevant job skills or language skills are needed to enter Canada via the refugee stream. The family reunification stream is also a problem for the same reasons.
These growing pockets of poverty could have been avoided, or at least curtailed, if Canada had a constructive immigration system. But since we don't Canada is creating unnecessary and avoidable poverty levels that are increasingly taking on an ethnic, racial, and religious character. Since this is the case it is too easy to blame "systemic discrimination" or "racism" as the reason when in fact a mass immigration system directed more so by ideological commitment and political opportunism than by economic need is the cause. We should never lose sight of the fact that Canada's immigration system exists to serve the needs of Canada and Canadians and not non citizens living in foreign nations yet this seems to be the case now that Canada's immigration has become more of a charity than a policy.
Growing pockets of Muslim poverty warrants special concern. Muslims and poverty is a potent mix because of radical Islam. The concern is heightened when one considers the "victim status" Muslims have given themselves. If you are wondering where I am going with this then think Paris, 2005.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty supports the mass importaion of unskilled immigrants.
New immigrants need good jobs. Too bad there are no good jobs for new immigrants.
Immigrants take jobs Canadians won't do AT THAT PAY!
If Canadian businesses are desperate for skilled workers then why do they need to be enticed with hireimmigrants.ca?