An exploration of Muslim Canadians’ perceptions towards law enforcement authorities and their willingness to cooperate in general crime control and counterterrorism efforts
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Research suggests that following the tragic events of 9/11, Muslim Canadians have been subjected to increased discrimination by law enforcement officers. Nonetheless, few studies have explored how such experiences may impact: (a) their perceptions of law authorities, and (b) their willingness to cooperate in general crime control and counterterrorism efforts. This thesis seeks to address these two gaps by employing face-to-face interviews with ten Muslim men and women enrolled at a Canadian University in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) between the ages of 19-25. Utilizing a procedural justice theoretical framework, it was hypothesized that perceived discrimination by enforcement officers would precipitate negative perceptions and reduced cooperative intentions towards them. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data revealed four key themes surrounding participants’ perceptions and attitudes towards authorities: (a) a lack of confidence in enforcement abilities to combat crime, (b) perceived discrimination, (c) positivity, and (d) a need for relation-building. Additionally, three determinants of cooperative intentions were identified: (a) moral incentives, (b) distrust in authorities, and (c) instrumental/personal factors. The theoretical and practical implications of the present study’s findings and future areas of research are discussed.