A newly released study of migrants in Austria has revealed that whilst the vast majority are pro-democratic, many think Austrians live too liberally and have too much freedom.
The study, conducted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, interviewed 900 asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq on various topics from religion to their political opinions.
The results show the asylum seekers having a positive attitude for the democratic system with 90 per cent supporting the principle of democracy, 40 per cent claim people in Austria live “too liberally”, and the majority define themselves as religious, OE24 reports.
Around 80 per cent of those who took part in the study were men aged 18-30 years old reflecting the huge disparity between the numbers of men who have migrated to Europe over the course of the migrant crisis compared to women and children.
Sixty per cent said that they were actively religious and 30 per cent say they pray five times a day or more. A further 80 per cent say religious clothing, like the burqa or niqab, should be allowed in public places. Only two per cent claimed they weren’t religious.
On the subject of people with a different religion, 45 per cent, mainly those who originate from Afghanistan, viewed other religions as inferior to Islam. Less than half, 40 per cent, would accept their children marrying someone from a different religious background without some kind of reservation like conversion.
Whilst 90 per cent do agree with the system of democracy in principle, 40 per cent say that the laws of the country should be based on religious principles and commandments.
Attitudes towards equality between men and women was also asked, and while 80 per cent say men and women are equal, 20 per cent reject the idea of women working outside the home, 37 per cent call for separation of the sexes in swimming pools and gyms, and 20 per cent are for separate religious education.
Integration Minister, and member of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), Sebastian Kurz used the study to again make the case for integration legislation. Kurz has been attempting to pass the proposed legislation since last year, but the minister claims his efforts have been blocked by the Socialist party (SPÖ) since the summer.
The integration legislation would see the banning of the full-face Islamic veil in public settings, but more recently Mr. Kurz has suggested he would support a ban on headscarves for public sector workers after a government integration expert proposed the measure.
The Austrian stance on integration has been much different than the stance of many German academics and politicians who have gone as far as saying that Germans should be integrating into migrant cultures as much as migrants should integrate into Germany.
German Green party politician Volker Beck, who was arrested last year for crystal meth possession, said that Germans should learn Arabic and stop worrying about migration.