EU: Plurality see Islam as threat to identity

EU: Plurality see Islam as threat to identity

Via La Croix and IFOP (PDF):

French polling agency IFOP published the results of a survey on Europeans and Islam. The survey 'How Europeans see Islam' was conducted April 9-18, 2011 through online questionnaires in Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK, with relatively low samples of 600-800 people in every country.

In those four countries, a plurality think that the presence of a Muslim community in their country represents a threat for their country's identity (47% in the UK, 44% in the Netherlands, 40% in Germany, 42% in France). In France and more so in the UK, a higher proportion of youth under 35 tended to regard the presence of Muslims as a factor of cultural enrichment. In Germany the Netherlands the youth were more critical of Islam then those over 35.

But IFOP says the results hide a more nuanced reality: more than 50% said they either thought the Muslim community was an enriching factor (19% in the UK and Netherlands, 24% in Germany, 22% in France) or that it was neither option (34% in the UK, 37% in the Netherlands, 36% in Germany and France).

IFOP note that their focus has changed from geographical origin to cultural and religious background. and that 'Muslim origin' has gradually replaced 'North African origin' among both French leaders and regular citizens.

IFOP chose those countries since they have the largest proportional Muslim population. Though every country has a different integration/assimilation model, most Europeans think there's been a failure in integrating Muslims into society. Dutch (77%) and Germans (75%) are most critical, followed by the French (68%) and British (65%). When asked why, 'refusal to integrate' topped the list, far ahead of economic and social causes.

Reason for failure to integrate:

Refusal to integrate: France and the Netherlands 61%, UK 64%, Germany 67%
Very different cultures: France 40%, Germany 34%, the Netherlands 47%, UK 39%
Muslims tend to group together (neighborhoods, schools): France 37%, Germany 32%, Netherlands 34%, UK 58%
Racism and lack of openness among some Europeans: France 18%, Germany 15%, the Netherlands 11%, UK 14%
Economic difficulties and lack of work: France 20%, Germany 10%, the Netherlands 6%, UK 6%
Gov't actions and insufficient budget: France, the Netherlands and UK 2%, Germany 5%

IFOP chose the headscarf/veil, mosques and Muslim political parties as emblematic symbols of Islam in Europe.

A majority opposed a headscarf/veil in public schools (France 90%, Germany 70%, UK 64%, Netherlands 62%), but overall respondents were more open to headscarf/veil on the streets:
The Netherlands: 20% for, 42% against
France: 9% for, 59% against
Germany: 13% for, 42% against
UK: 15% for, 49% against

Asked about building mosques, the Dutch and Germans were most opposed.
France: 20% for, 39% against
Germany: 18% for, 50% against
UK: 14% for, 38% against
The Netherlands: 13% for, 51% against

Asked about Muslim political parties, the French were most opposed (France 74%, UK 43%, the Netherlands 41% and Germany 32%). About a third also opposed having a Muslim mayor (France 33%, UK 35%, the Netherlands 39%, Germany 29%).