Majority say Islam is a ‘threat’

The majority of Austrians say Islam is a “threat to the western world”, a new survey says.Pollsters IMAS found that 54 per cent of Austrians agreed with the statement “Islam poses a threat for the west and our familiar lifestyle”.IMAS officials said today (Weds) only 19 per cent disagreed, while 27 per cent were undecided.The agency interviewed 1,000 Austrians older than 16 for its representative survey.It found that Austrians older than 50, people with lower education and those living in the countryside feared Islam the most.Another result of the research is that 72 per cent of Austrians believed Muslims would “not stick to the rules” when it comes to living in Austria. Only one in ten of the Austrians the agency spoke to said they disagreed with the allegation that Muslims were badly integrated in the country.Seventy-one per cent said they were of the opinion that Islam “does not match western beliefs in democracy, freedom and tolerance”. Only 11 per cent said they saw no friction between the religion and the mentioned values.IMAS said they did not find a strong relationship between political affiliation and people’s doubts concerning Islam apart from the fact that a majority of those supporting the Greens rejected all Islam-critical statements the study confronted them with.Around 500,000 Muslims live in Austria.It is mainly the opposition Freedom Party (FPÖ) that has come under fire for many of their slogans its rivals have branded “xenophobic”. The right-wing party has campaigned with statements such as “Daham statt Islam” (Homeland instead of Islam).Police recently started investigations after an internet video showed the kidnapping of a suit-wearing man who is then chained and forced to wear a clown mask, before Austrian teenage rapper Big DnC shouts: “Fuck Nazi Strache!”