What do Muslims fear most?

More than half of Austrians fear the spread of radical Islam

More than half of Austrians (53 percent) rate living together with immigrants as bad. As many as 62 percent rate coexistence with Muslims as bad, while 61 percent of Austrians rate that with refugees. Compared to previous years, the negative values ​​are on the rise, albeit only slightly. Nonetheless, it can be said that the integration of immigrants is perceived as badly as it has been since the refugee movement in 2015.

These are the main results of the Integration Fund's annual integration barometer. The aim of the study is to regularly collect attitudes and moods on the subject of integration. 1,000 Austrians aged 16 and over were surveyed by telephone and online in July and August.

The subjects surveyed were also asked about which respondents in Austria are very often concerned. Global warming and environmental issues come first with 39 percent, followed by the spread of radical Islam (37 percent) and securing adequate pensions (31 percent). The table shows that a total of 60 percent (very often and more often) regularly worry about the spread of radical Islam.

53 percent of Austrians have a deteriorating feeling of security in public places, 44 percent deny this statement.

Which population groups do well in terms of integration? Germans lead the statistics: According to a survey among Austrians, 51 percent of Germans are very well integrated, followed by Hungarians with 28 percent and Croatians with 26 percent. Chechens (three percent), Somalis and Afghans (two percent each) bring up the bottom of the statistics.

Attitudes towards the practice of religion were also asked about. 38 percent strongly reject the idea that greater consideration should be given to the demands and needs of religious communities.

Review content in religious education

What measures should be taken to improve the integration of immigrants? 60 percent state that the content of Islamic religious instruction in schools should be checked by the Austrian state. 58 percent are in favor of the kindergarten staff not wearing a headscarf. 57 percent would like the same for teachers.

90 percent agree with the suggestion that imams are required to demonstrate knowledge of German. 89 percent are in favor of encouraging female refugees with childcare obligations to learn German as well. 90 percent are of the opinion that German language training for children should also take place during the summer holidays. According to 82 percent of those surveyed, mandatory values ​​and orientation courses for refugees should be expanded.

In contrast, the right to vote for foreign nationals as an integration measure is approved by only 22 percent of those surveyed, while 33 percent approve of easier access to communal housing. When it comes to work permits for migrants in shortage occupations, the majority of Austrians (57 percent) are more liberal.

Stable settings

Overall, the attitudes of Austrians to the issues of asylum, integration and immigration are rated as stable by study author Peter Hajek. Only recently, a study by the University of Salzburg confirmed that Austrians have a critical attitude towards Islam. In this survey, almost half of the respondents stated that Muslims should not have the same rights "as everyone in Austria".

According to the study, 80 percent of Austrians want Islamic institutions to be observed more closely. 70 percent think that Islam does not fit into the Western world, and 60 percent fear that there are terrorists among Muslims. (rwh, October 21, 2019)