A survey of social attitudes in Austria has revealed the vast majority of Austrians don’t believe Islam belongs in their country, with almost half going further and saying the religion should “definitely not” have a home there.
In the survey, 69 percent of those polled said they did not believe Islam belonged in Austria, a strong rise on previous polls taken before the Charlie Hebdo attacks made earlier in the year, reports TheLocal.at. Even more than that – around three quarters – thought if a citizen left Austria to fight for extremist groups such as the Islamic State, they should have their citizenship withdrawn completely.
Of the nearly seven in ten people who believed Islam didn’t belong in Austria, a sizeable minority went even further, with 42 percent of those polled saying there should “definitely” be no Islam in the country. A similar proportion of people felt Islam was a “threat” to Austria.
Although Austria was host to a large pro-Islam demonstration yesterday who marched against the German anti-Islamification group PEGIDA, it appears they represent a small, yet noisy minority. The poll found only seven percent agreed that “Islam is part of Austria”, and five percent said that those who fight for the Islamic state should keep their passports. The numbers are only slightly higher than the total proportion of Muslims who actually live in the country, which runs at 4.2 percent.
Breitbart London reported last year that Austria, and capital city Vienna in particular, had become a major European hub for Islamic terrorism, and an important stopping-off point for jihadists travelling from Western Europe to join the Islamic State. In an attempt to curb the rapid radicalisation of Austrian youth, the police raided a number of mosques and prayer rooms in November in a large operation involving 500 police officers and leading to 13 arrests.
Reports at the time said a “Vienna-based Serbian preacher” was the main target of the operation, with “terrorist propaganda” and money being recovered by police.