Belgium: Muslim survey

Half of the immigrants felt discriminated last year, almost two thirds never or seldom go to a mosque and more than half vote for a left-wing party. These are several of the findings of a survey of a limited number of Muslims, performed by the weekly Humo.

In total the weekly surveyed 581 Flemish and Brussels residents between 15 and 45 years old, of North African and Turkish origin. The greater part of the respondents called themselves Muslims.

Though 85% called themselves Muslims, 60% never or rarely set foot in a mosque. 15% of those surveyed were practicing Muslims who go one or more times per week to a mosque. More women than men said they never or seldom go to a mosque (50% vs. 25%).

About 60% do pray once or more every day. Three quarters of Muslims says they never drink alcohol. Again, there's a significant difference between men and women: 67% of men never drink compared to 84% of women.

In cases where the Belgian law is in conflict with the Islamic Sharia, 25% of Muslims would follow the Sharia.

51% of the respondents felt discriminated in the past months. Immigrants of Moroccan origin had that feeling more often then those of Turkish origin (63% vs 40%).

A small majority felt they weren't understood by the Belgians. 70% feel that the Belgians don't understand ritual slaughter and 77% thinks that the Belgians don't understand the headscarf.

For 35% sex before marriage is not a problem, while for half it's not allowed. More than half of the respondents did not have any preference for a Belgian or an immigrant marriage partner. 74% of the married respondents were married to an immigrant.

Two thirds didn't think that a woman should "always obey" her husband, while a third did agree with that opinion. More men (37%) than women (24%) thought a Muslim woman should always wear a headscarf when outside.

The respondents said that the attacks of 9/11 had an impact on their lives. 25% thought the atmosphere i the neighborhood has changed, while 605 thought that the Belgians saw them more suspiciously.

Most would vote for a left-wing party. 42% would vote for sp.a if there were elections now, 12% for Groen!.

Two thirds of immigrants say they are happy. Those of Turkish origin feel yet happier than those of Moroccan origins (72% vs. 63%).

Source: HLN (Dutch)

Also see: Humo's Big Muslim Survey (Dutch)

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