Nearly half of Austrians are of the opinion that Muslims should not have the same rights as them, according to a study released yesterday by the University of Salzburg, a few days before the parliamentary elections.
45 percent of those surveyed believe that Muslims should not have the same rights as other Austrian citizens.
In addition, 70 percent of those surveyed said Muslims had no place in the Western world.
Most Austrians want Muslims to be restricted in their religious practices and say that they sometimes feel like foreigners in their own country because of their presence. 55 percent of those surveyed fear that some Muslims are terrorists. In addition, 48 percent insist on banning the construction of mosques, BTA reported.
"Such tendencies towards ethnocentrism can ultimately lead to discriminatory positions," said the author of the poll. "There is a real danger that religious freedom, granted to Muslims in Austria for a long time, will be impeded."
In Austria, where 8 percent of the population identify as Muslim, Islam has been officially recognized as a religion since 1912.
According to the poll, far-right voters, those without education and those over 75 are the most hostile.
On the other hand, the voters of the “Greens”, people under 30 and university graduates are positive about the Muslim religion.
1,200 people were surveyed in 2018 for the poll. "This only confirms the warning we have been making for years to politicians who sometimes use fear," said Ümit Vural, chairman of a major Muslim organization (Islamischen Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich (IGGÖ)) that runs 360 mosques.
"Hostility and social exclusion are becoming commonplace, and the lives of Muslims in Austria are becoming more difficult," he says.