Europe: Attitudes towards Muslims

The German Marshall Fund published a joint American-European survey on immigration. The survey checked how different nations view nationality and immigration.

The study and all the data are available in various languages on the Transatlantic Trends site.

The following are the study conclusions regarding Muslims.

Views about Muslim culture are nuanced in all countries

Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the following two statements: “Muslim immigrants have a lot to offer your country’s culture,” and “Western European (or American) and Muslim ways of life are irreconcilable.”

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Examining the answers to both questions, a nuanced perception of Muslim immigrants emerges. Overall, majorities of American and French respondents were the most optimistic about the cultural influence of Muslim immigrants and the reconcilability of Western and Muslim ways of life. A majority (52%) in the United Kingdom also thought that Muslims have a lot to offer British culture.

German, Dutch, and Italian responses were some of the most complex; in each of those countries, it was not uncommon for a respondent to a) agree that Muslims have a lot to
offer their culture, but b) indicate that their ways of life are irreconcilable.

Americans and Europeans agree that Muslim immigrants want to integrate

A strong majority of Americans (60%) and a plurality of Europeans (47%) agreed that Muslims coming to their countries want to integrate. However, Europeans were aware that integration has not been easy, especially for young, often second-generation Muslims. Forty-nine percent of Europeans thought that Muslim youth are frustrated by their economic situation. The strongest examples of this view were in France (64%) and Germany (60%).

Social contact with immigrants affects attitudes towards Muslims

In all countries surveyed, except Poland (see Country Profile box), a majority of respondents had friends or colleagues who came from other countries. Depending on the frequency of their social contacts with immigrants, people entertained different views regarding the compatibility of Muslim and Western cultures. On both sides of the Atlantic, those who have several friends who come from other countries tended to be more optimistic about the reconcilability
of cultures.

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1 comment:

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