Canada cans 'inappropriate' asylum seeker questionnaire appearing to target Muslims

A man claiming to be from Sudan is confronted by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in Hemmingford, Quebec. Source: Getty Images

Canadian border authorities have come under fire after a questionnaire reportedly singled out Muslim asylum seekers.

Canadian authorities have withdrawn a border control questionnaire that appeared to single out Muslim asylum seekers crossing into the country from the US.

The questionnaire was deemed "inappropriate and inconsistent with government policy" by government department Public Safety Canada, after asking claimants how they felt about women who do not wear religious head coverings, and equality between men and women, reports The Toronto Star.

Some of the other 41 questions appeared to specifically target Islamist groups, asking respondents about their view on the Islamic State and the Taliban.

No other religious practices or terrorist groups were mentioned.

The questionnaire was reportedly only used in Quebec.

Scott Bardsley, spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had suspended "that version" of the guide after their office became aware.

“The minute we became aware of the interview guide, we were immediately concerned and contacted the RCMP,” Mr Bardsley said.

“Some of the questions were inappropriate and inconsistent with government policy.”

Asylum seekers from Haiti leave Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada.
Asylum seekers from Haiti leave Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada.

Canada has seen an enormous increase in asylum seekers attempting to cross in to the country from the US. 

Police have caught up to 13,200 people seeking refuge in Canada since January due to the Trump administration's hardening stance on illegal immigrants.

The number increased by more than six times in July and August compared to previous months, official data showed on Tuesday.

Canada's immigration ministry said more than 5,700 people were intercepted by the RCMP in August, while over 3,150 were detained in July.

The monthly average for the first half of the year was 727 people.

Once intercepted by police, people are handed over to border authorities for their asylum applications to be processed.

Most asylum seekers who arrived during the summer were Haitians fleeing the United States ahead of the expected loss at the end of the year of temporary protection granted to nearly 60,000 people from the country following a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Faced with the sudden influx of asylum seekers, the Canadian government has increased personnel on the border and built temporary shelters for migrants.

- With AFP

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