Survey: High European negativity for Muslims, but NOT in UK (or USA)

Comment at end

17th September, 2008

Survey finds European negativity for Muslims

09/18/2008 | 02:04 AM

You might find the results of this survey interesting. In particular, to my British & American readers, this:

Regarding respondents’ attitudes toward Jews, Britain was the survey’s only European country to report no significant increase in anti-Jewish attitudes. Just under one in 10 British respondents held those views. Similar numbers of Americans reported negative views of Jews during those same years.

Again, the United States and Britain had the fewest respondents holding negative views of Muslims, both 23 percent. In Britain that was up from 18 percent in 2004, and it was down in the United States from 31 percent in 2004.

The ‘no significant rise’ in anti-Jewish attitudes in Britain & America (staying at 10%) is not the impression you get reading The Guardian commenters.

And the fact that British negative views of Muslims has risen 5%, whilst Americans’ negative views have fallen 8% (both now on 23%) from 2004, is also interesting.

Other European countries have far higher concerns over Muslims than do the British.

Considering that I have been preached at recently by an American who insists that Britain and Europe are under the control of a nascent (or probably permanent but we hadn’t realised) Socialist/Islamist state, I’m feeling somewhat vindicated. Especially since I have frequently highlighted the Islamist problem here, and that it is, as far as we can tell, quite different from the beliefs of many Muslims. (Not that I am yet satisfied with moderate Muslims’ attempts to deal with it, but that’s another matter.)

I did try to tell him that he needed to visit here to understand that the decades old views of historical worthies do NOT always prove true. But there we are. He is suffering under the delusion that we in Britain are giving in to dhimmitude, because our governments are all in on the deal.

Perhaps he should be looking at the numbers for America and wondering why there is a lower negative view towards Muslims now than there was in 2004.

Perhaps because like we Brits, despite knowing we have some issues, his fellow-countrymen CAN separate the wheat from the chaff.

Or perhaps he’s too busy reading conspiracy tales to open his mind.


Article follows:

WASHINGTON – Growing numbers of Europeans are holding negative views of both Jews and Muslims, a survey of countries around the world found.

The latest survey of the Pew Global Attitudes Project also found that most Muslims in countries where they are in the majority worry about the rise of Islamic extremism at home and abroad. Majorities held that view in Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria.

Large numbers of respondents in several Muslim countries also identified struggles within their countries between people who want to modernize the society and those dedicated to maintaining fundamentalist practices of Islam.

Regarding respondents’ attitudes toward Jews, Britain was the survey’s only European country to report no significant increase in anti-Jewish attitudes. Just under one in 10 British respondents held those views. Similar numbers of Americans reported negative views of Jews during those same years.

The project of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center began in 2001 and comprises public opinion surveys involving a variety of subjects such as people’s assessments of their lives or their views of the state of the world.

It “provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world,” the survey says.

The 2008 version, released Wednesday, found that half or more of respondents in Spain and Germany rated Muslims unfavorably: 50 percent in Germany, compared with 46 percent in 2004; and 52 percent in Spain, compared with 37 percent in 2005 and 60 percent in 2006. Muslim terrorists bombed a commuter train in Madrid on March 11, 2004, and killed 191 people, modern Europe’s deadliest terror attack.

Again, the United States and Britain had the fewest respondents holding negative views of Muslims, both 23 percent. In Britain that was up from 18 percent in 2004, and it was down in the United States from 31 percent in 2004.

The survey found that people who held anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim views tended to be older and less-educated than those who did not. Surveyors bundled France, Germany and Spain, the Western European countries where such views were most common, to draw a picture of those holding ethnic-based negative attitudes. They found that most anti-Semitic people were anti-Muslim as well.

“People ages 50 and older express more negative views of both Jews and Muslims than do those younger than 50,” the survey said. “Similarly, Europeans who have not attended college are consistently more likely than those who have to hold unfavorable opinions of both groups.” They also tend to support the political right in Europe, it said.

The survey found much more positive views prevailed in most places about Christians.

In some countries, however, unfavorable views of Christians have surged during the last four years, the survey said. One of those places is Turkey, a Muslim country with a democratic political system, where unfavorable views of Christians have accompanied a rise in unfavorable attitudes about Jews.

These are other findings:

—Despite the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, the deepest resentment of Jews exists outside Europe, especially where Muslims predominate. Favorable opinions of Jews rank in the single digits in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan.

—Jordan, where close to 2 million Palestinians live, many as citizens, is the only predominantly Muslim country surveyed that had a positive view of the Palestinian group Hamas. Hamas controls the Palestinian Gaza Strip, but the United States considers it an international terror group.

—France is the most secular country in the survey. Only 10 percent of French respondents said religion was very important in their lives, and 60 percent said they never pray.

—France also had the highest percentage with favorable opinions of Jews, 79 percent. The United States had 77 percent, Britain and Australia 73 percent.

The Pew survey was conducted during varying periods from March 17 to April 21 in 24 countries. Telephone interviews were used in seven countries and face-to-face interviews in 17. Local languages were used.

The number interviewed ranged from 700 in Australia to 3,212 in China. All samples were conducted nationally, except for Brazil, China, India and Pakistan, where samples were largely urban. The margins of sampling error was plus or minus 2 percentage points in India and China, and was either 3 or 4 points in the other countries. – AP




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