While European elites react in horror at Trump’s so-called “Muslim Ban”, what do Europeans as a whole think?
In “What Do Europeans Think About Muslim Immigration?”, three professors at The Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) discuss their research findings regarding public opinion on Muslim immigration (Hat tip: Rod Dreher):
Drawing on a unique, new Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from 10 European states, we can throw new light on what people think about migration from mainly Muslim countries. Our results are striking and sobering. They suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread.
In our survey, carried out before President Trump’s executive order was announced, respondents were given the following statement: ‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’. They were then asked to what extent did they agree or disagree with this statement. Overall, across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed.
Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain. In no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32%….
These results chime with other surveys exploring attitudes to Islam in Europe. In a Pew survey of 10 European countries in 2016, majorities of the public had an unfavorable view of Muslims living in their country in five countries: Hungary (72%), Italy (69%), Poland (66%), Greece (65%), and Spain (50%), although those numbers were lower in the UK (28%), Germany (29%) and France (29%). There was also a widespread perception in many countries that the arrival of refugees would increase the likelihood of terrorism, with a median of 59% across ten European countries holding this view. This mirrors some attitudes in the US.
Remember, this is a poll of all Europeans, which nowadays includes a lot of… how shall we say… ‘non-indigenous’ Europeans. Imagine what the poll numbers would show if the professors had broken down respondents by race.
This might also explain why opposition to Muslim immigration is stronger among older people. The massive immigration influx of recent decades, coupled with high fertility rates among immigrants, has probably skewed the average age of the respective countries lower. One would expect younger demographics, particularly when concentrated in immigrant or Muslim households, to not be opposed to immigration.