A new study from the University of Salzburg has shown 70 per cent of Austrians feel Islam is simply not compatible with the Western world.
The study, which involved 1,200 participants, found that Austrians were very concerned about the effect of Islam in their country, with 72 per cent going as far as to say Muslims were not a cultural asset for Austria, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Half of those who took part in the study said that they would be fine with restricting Muslims’ ability to practise their faith and nearly as many said that mosques should not be tolerated in Austria at all. A third say they oppose Muslims outright.
Another 59 per cent said that there were fearful of Muslims in Austria being terrorists and 79 per cent agreed that Muslim communities in the country should be closely watched by authorities.
In August, the Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BVT), the country’s domestic intelligence agency, said that radical Islamic terrorism is still the number one threat facing the country.
The BVT singled out returning Islamic State fighters from the Middle East as a danger due to possible combat experience they may have acquired.
Sociologist Wolfgang Aschauer, the author of the study, complained people were overlooking “the complexity of Islam”, which he felt was “under-emphasised”, and claimed that that the majority of Muslims in Austria were seeking to adapt to Austrian culture.
Ümit Vural, president of the Islamic Religious Community, also commented on the results of the study, saying, “We are part of the whole and we want to be perceived that way. Religious freedom is a fundamental right and a human right,” and blaming political decisions for the attitudes.
The study comes just over a year since another poll showed 84 per cent of Austrians stated they would not tolerate migrants who refused to integrate.
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