Majority of Europeans favour controls over immigration from Muslim countries, similar to US president Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, a new UK survey has found.
As many as 55 per cent of people across 10 European countries think immigration from mostly-Muslim nations should stop, the Royal Institute of International Affairs found in its research released on Tuesday (7).
“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,” said the authors of the report ‘What do Europeans think about Muslim immigration?’.
In the survey, carried out before Trump’s executive order was announced, around 10,000 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 per cent agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25 per cent neither agreed nor disagreed and 20 per cent disagreed.
Majorities in most of the 10 states agreed, ranging from 71 per cent in Poland, 65 per cent in Austria, 53 per cent in Germany and 51 per cent in Italy to 47 per cent in the United Kingdom and 41 per cent in Spain.
In no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32 per cent.
“Our findings also reveal how, across Europe, opposition to Muslim immigration is especially intense among retired, older age cohorts while those aged below 30 are notably less opposed. There is also a clear education divide. Of those with secondary level qualifications, 59 per cent opposed further Muslim immigration. By contrast, less than half of all degree holders supported further migration curbs,” the authors said.
Public opposition to further migration from Muslim states is especially intense in Austria, Poland, Hungary, France and Belgium, despite these countries having very different sized resident Muslim populations.