The poll found that 63% of all Britons had a favourable opinion of Muslims, down slightly from 67% in 2004, suggesting last year's London bombings did not trigger a significant rise in prejudice. Attitudes in Britain were more positive than in the US, Germany and Spain (where the popularity of Muslims has plummeted to 29%), and about the same as in France.
Less than a third of British non-Muslims said they viewed Muslims as violent, significantly fewer than non-Muslims in Spain (60%), Germany (52%), the US (45%) and France (41%).
By contrast, the poll found that British Muslims represented a "notable exception" in Europe, with far more negative views of westerners than Islamic minorities elsewhere on the continent. A significant majority viewed western populations as selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral. Just over half said westerners were violent. While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed. Another startling result found that only 32% of Muslims in Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews, compared with 71% of French Muslims.
Across the board, Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia than elsewhere in Europe. And on the whole, British Muslims were more pessimistic than those in Germany, France and Spain about the feasibility of living in a modern society while remaining devout.
The Pew poll found that British Muslims are far more likely than their European counterparts to harbour conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks. Only 17% believed that Arabs were involved, compared with 48% in France.
My theory to explain these results: If your society goes out of its way to show Muslims respect and approval then they will interpret this as appeasement by a timid and unconfident majority. They will respond by demanding more and telling each other they have every right to anger at the non-Muslims who are illegitimate as rulers.
By contrast, a society whose elites consider their own culture superior (and the French fit this bill) and who look down on other cultures sends a powerful message to Muslims: You are in a society that sees any demands you make for special treatment as illegitimate. To the extent that a society self confidently asserts the superiority of its values it provides itself some degree of protection from Muslim fundamentalists.
You can read the full Pew report: Islamic Extremism: Common Concern for Muslim and Western Publics.
There's an obvious lesson in the full report for pro-Open Borders Jews: The Muslims hate you. You really should oppose loose immigration laws that let Muslims move into Western countries.
Update: Also see The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 June 29 10:25 PM Immigration Culture Clash|