Europe is rejecting the idea that multi-culturalism is beneficial to society following a year in which the migrant crisis and Isil-inspired terror attacks have boosted anti-Muslim sentiment across the continent, a new Europe-wide survey has shown.
The data from Pew Research, the leading non-partisan US social attitudes survey company, will serve as another sharp warning to Europe’s political elites about the growing strength of grassroots sentiment over the migration issue.
It also highlights Europe’s stark political and geographical divisions, with Hungary, Poland and Greece all showing themselves to be fiercely anti-Muslim, while a rising base of Right-wing parties are hugely more anti-Muslim than supporters on the European Left.
When asked if diversity had made their country “a better place to live” only 33 per cent of Britons agreed, mirroring sentiment across the EU where more than 70 per cent of people in 10 EU countries surveyed said multi-culturalism made their country either a “worse” place to live, or made “no difference” at all. [The Telegraph] Read more
Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs – Sharp ideological divides across EU on views about minorities, diversity and national identity
The recent surge of refugees into Europe has featured prominently in the anti-immigrant rhetoric of right-wing parties across the Continent and in the heated debate over the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. At the same time, attacks in Paris and Brussels have fueled public fears about terrorism.
As a new Pew Research Center survey illustrates, the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism are very much related to one another in the minds of many Europeans. In eight of the 10 European nations surveyed, half or more believe incoming refugees increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country.
…. Most of the recent refugees to Europe are arriving from majority-Muslim nations, such as Syria and Iraq. Among Europeans, perceptions of refugees are influenced in part by negative attitudes toward Muslims already living in Europe. In Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece, more than six-in-ten say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Muslims in their country – an opinion shared by at least one-in-four in each nation polled.
For some Europeans, negative attitudes toward Muslims are tied to a belief that Muslims do not wish to participate in the broader society. In every country polled, the dominant view is that Muslims want to be distinct from the rest of society rather than adopt the nation’s customs and way of life. Six-in-ten or more hold this view in Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Germany. [Pew Research Center] Read more
What France thinks of multiculturalism and Islam
In the aftermath of a devastating attack in Nice, France, Poland’s interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, told reporters that the blame lay with the embrace of multiculturalism. “Have we not learned lessons from previous attacks in Paris and Brussels?” the Financial Times reported Blaszczak as saying. “This is a consequence of the policy of multicultural politics, and political correctness.”
A member of Poland’s controversial right-wing Law and Justice Party, Blaszczak’s point may be in bad taste. However, many around the world probably agree with it.
It’s certainly hard to disagree with the idea that France seems to be more embracing of multiculturalism than Poland. In a recently released study by the Pew Research Center that was conducted early this year, just 24 percent of French people were found to believe that diversity made France a worse place to live. A higher proportion, 26 percent, said it made France better, while 48 percent said that it didn’t make much difference. [The Washington Post] Read more
Half Europeans fear, resent refugees: survey
About half of Europeans fear the arrival of refugees raises the risk of attacks in their countries, a survey published on Monday found, and many, especially in the east, see them as a burden on their economy.
Washington-based Pew Research Center found the share of people believing that “refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorism in our country” was, among others, 46 percent in France, 52 percent in Britain, 61 percent in Germany, 71 percent in Poland and 76 percent in Hungary.
The Hungarian and Polish governments have led criticism of European Union efforts over the past year to distribute asylum seekers around the bloc, mostly from Syria and Iraq.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who oversaw a welcome in Germany for about a million refugees last year, said on Monday that Islamist militants had used the wave of arrivals to infiltrate Europe. Some of those involved in Islamic States attacks in Paris and Brussels are believed to have come from Syria.
Asked whether refugees were a burden because they took jobs and benefits, respondents in the 10 states surveyed gave diverse answers, from 31 percent of Germans who agreed to 82 percent of Hungarians. In Italy, 47 percent thought refugees more to blame for crime than other groups, a little more than in Sweden and Hungary. Only 13 percent of Spaniards thought that, however. [Reuters] Read more