Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in Europe, two out of five Canadians also feel that way

Negative sentiments against Muslims and Jews are on the rise in “old Europe” more than anywhere else around the world today, a survey released in September by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project has shown. In contrast, negative attitudes towards Christians in Europe are “less common than negative ratings of Muslims or Jews,” the Pew survey said. Nonetheless, it noted that negative attitudes towards Christians are on the rise in a few countries, particularly in Turkey – to 72 per cent from 52 per cent in 2004. Meanwhile, a recent Leger Marketing poll has shown that nearly two out of five Canadians hold anti-Muslim sentiments. The Leger survey, commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies, shows that “more needs to be done to combat discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment,” according to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). Anti-Jewish sentiment also increased slightly, with the number of Canadians offering favourable views of Jews dropping to 73 per cent this year from 78 per cent. The poll, conducted among 1,500 respondents across the country, showed an increase in the number of Canadians with an unfavourable view of Muslims – to 36 per cent this year from 27 per cent. (Respondents were asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable view of Muslims). Marites N. Sison reports.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in Europe, two out of five Canadians also feel that way

Negative sentiments against Muslims and Jews are on the rise in old Europe more than anywhere else around the world today, a survey released in September by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project has shown. In contrast, negative attitudes towards Christians in Europe are less common than negative ratings of Muslims or Jews, the Pew survey said. Nonetheless, it noted that negative attitudes towards Christians are on the rise in a few countries, particularly in Turkey – to 72 per cent from 52 per cent in 2004. Meanwhile, a recent Leger Marketing poll has shown that nearly two out of five Canadians hold anti-Muslim sentiments. The Leger survey, commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies, shows that more needs to be done to combat discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment, according to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). Anti-Jewish sentiment also increased slightly, with the number of Canadians offering favourable views of Jews dropping to 73 per cent this year from 78 per cent. The poll, conducted among 1,500 respondents across the country, showed an increase in the number of Canadians with an unfavourable view of Muslims – to 36 per cent this year from 27 per cent. (Respondents were asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable view of Muslims). Marites N. Sison reports.

Public Expresses Mixed Views of Islam, Mormonism: Benedict XVI Viewed Favorably But Faulted on Religious Outreach

Summary of Findings

The Muslim and Mormon religions have gained increasing national visibility in recent years. Yet most Americans say they know little or nothing about either religion’s practices, and large majorities say that their own religion is very different from Islam and the Mormon religion.

A summary of this poll and the full report are available for download on the Pew Research Center website.

Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream

The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.

The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 Muslims living in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The resulting study, which draws on Pew’s survey research among Muslims around the world, finds that Muslim Americans are a highly diverse population, one largely composed of immigrants. Nonetheless, they are decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes. This belief is reflected in Muslim American income and education levels, which generally mirror those of the public.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.
  • A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the United States can make it if they are willing to work hard.
  • The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.
  • Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adult Muslims in the U.S. were born elsewhere. A relatively large proportion of Muslim immigrants are from Arab countries, but many also come from Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Among native-born Muslims, roughly half are African American (20% of U.S. Muslims overall), many of whom are converts to Islam.
  • Based on data from this survey, along with available Census Bureau data on immigrants’ nativity and nationality, the Pew Research Center estimates the total population of Muslims in the United States at 2.35 million.
  • Muslim Americans reject Islamic extremism by larger margins than do Muslim minorities in Western European countries. However, there is somewhat more acceptance of Islamic extremism in some segments of the U.S. Muslim public than others. Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al Qaeda. In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified. Nonetheless, absolute levels of support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans are quite low, especially when compared with Muslims around the world.
  • A majority of Muslim Americans (53%) say it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most also believe that the government “singles out” Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring. Relatively few Muslim Americans believe the U.S.-led war on terror is a sincere effort to reduce terrorism, and many doubt that Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Just 40% of Muslim Americans say groups of Arabs carried out those attacks.

Pew Center poll page

Download PDF of report

Philippe de Villiers : “Prohibit the Veil in all Public Spaces”

The president of the Movement for France, Phillippe de Villiers, presents himself as “the last defender of the Rebublic against communitarianism”. Le Figaro interviewed de Villiers on November 2, 2006, and in that interview de Villiers called for the prohibition of the veil in all public spaces in France. De Villiers called Islamism “an empirical problem” that “it is impossible to ignore.” In response to this “Islamic problem”, he proposed that France “impose her values”, in particular by prohibiting the Islamic veil in the streets or in public buildings. He called for this on the grounds that “the islamic veil is the symbol of female submission and wearing it detracts from her dignity.” In addition, de Villiers asserted that the veil was an obstacle to “the appearance of national community” and an tool used by the activits who “attack the foundations of the Rebublic.” De Villiers cited an August 2006 study from the Pew Research Center that reported that 46% of French Muslims saw their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. This, he claimed, was an obvious political problem. “I am only saying what the French citizens are already thinking,” de Villiers averred. “This will be an essential question for the 2007 presidential election: I am the only one to break the taboo, and the last defender of the Republic against [Islamist] communitarianism.”

Les musulmans français sont plus tolérants que leurs voisins européens

Criticized by the American press to the moment of the riots of the fall 2005 in the suburbs, the French model of integration is rehabilitated by an investigation published by the Pew Research Center, the one of the opinion institutes the most renowned ones of the United States. According to this investigation, realized in the spring with Muslims of four European countries and of which the complete results were published August 17, the France Muslims have not any integration lesson to receive of their European neighbors.