A new survey poll conducted by Pew Research showed that 42% of people from various Western European countries found Muslim or Islamic values incompatible with their values. The study sought to determine the opinions of predominantly Christian- affiliated people regarding the influx of immigrants from Muslim countries the last few years.
Majority of asylum- seekers in Europe come from countries located in the Middle East and Africa where Islam is the predominant religion. Germany’s open door refugee policy has been largely responsible for the migration phenomenon which had overtaken Europe the last decade.
Western Europeans appeared to have had enough as more public debates on immigration, border control, increased security measures, and rising crime rates became prevalent.
Concern for maintaining social and cultural values, job security, personal safety, and economic well- being have initiated a nationalist movement that is unparalleled in recent history.
Political parties that have adopted nationalist and anti- immigration victories swept through general elections across Europe. Nationalist groups won big victories in Hungary, Poland, and Austria.
The nationalist movement also made serious inroads in German politics, cutting down the once- influential hold of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Recently, the wave of nationalism has taken over Spain and Italy.
Of course, Donald Trump’s nationalist- tinted “Let’s Make America Great Again” campaign pushed the movement to higher levels when he became the 45th President of the United States.
The Pew Research Center survey also found that 26% of Western Europeans believe that migrants originating from Muslim countries are “dishonest”. There seemed to be a correlation between Christian belief and nationalism.
The study showed that people who are less- religious by nature are more welcoming of migrants from different cultures and beliefs:
“Both church- attending and non- practicing Christians are more likely that religiously affiliated adults in Western Europe to voice anti- immigrant and anti- minority views.
“Christian identity in Western Europe is associated with higher levels of negative sentiment towards immigrants and religious minorities.”
In the United Kingdom, 45% of churchgoers share the opinion that Islam is incompatible with their values. In Germany, the number is higher at 55%. The survey also found that 38% of people from Western Europe prefer a reduction in the number of migrants.