Co-author of the Deakin University paper, Dr Matteo Vergani, said the randomly selected Australians – who were not asked for their religious background – would be less worried if a relative married someone with a Jewish (33 per cent), Buddhist (29.4 per cent) or Christian (8.1 per cent) background.
Of the 304 people interviewed, more than a third also agreed with statements such as ‘practicising Muslims pose a threat to Australian society’ (40.4 per cent) and ‘practising Muslims should be searched more thoroughly than others in airports and stations’ (36.5 per cent).
The preliminary findings were based on the first of three pieces of data from the 2016 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA).
Dr Vergani said the findings showed that education was needed to fight Islamophobia in this country.
“We found that across the board – among conservative or progressive individuals, people of different age, education and country of birth – there was an association between someone’s level of knowledge about Islam and their prejudice against Muslims,” he said. [Special Broadcasting Service Corporation] Read more