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Surge in Islamophobia: survey

Europe seems to be turning more intolerant than ever before, with a global survey suggesting that Islamophobia and antisemitism on the rise across the continent. Read more...

world Updated: Sep 18, 2008 13:28 IST

Europe seems to be turning more intolerant than ever before, with a global survey suggesting that Islamophobia and antisemitism on the rise across the continent.

The suspicion of Muslims in Europe was considerably higher than hostility to Jews, but the surge in antisemitism had taken place much more rapidly, the Pew Survey of Global Attitudes showed.

"Opinions of Muslims in almost all of these countries (Europeans) were more negative than are views of Jews," analysts of the survey, conducted across 24 countries, were quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper today.

According to the findings, one in four in Britain and the United States were hostile to Muslims.

The survey of almost 25,000 people showed that more than half of Spaniards and half of Germans did not like Muslims. Those holding unfavourable opinions of Muslims in Poland and France were 46 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

In contrast to the US and Britain where unfavourable opinion of Jews has been stable and low for several years at between 7 and 9 per cent, the survey found that hostile attitudes to Jews were rising all across continental Europe from Russia and Poland in the east to Spain and France in the west.

According to the report in the British daily, antisemitism has more than doubled in Spain over the past three years, with a rise from 21 per cent to 46 per cent.

In the same period antisemitism in Germany and France also rose - from 21 per cent to 25 per cent in Germany and from 12 per cent to 20 per cent in France among those saying they had unfavourable opinions of Jews. The findings of global opinion released yesterday found that people who were antisemitic were likely also to be Islamophobes, with prejudice marked among the older generations.