Britons 'most suspicious of Muslims'

From London
August 20, 2007

BRITONS view Muslims with more suspicion than their American or European counterparts, according to a poll today.

... only about 59 per cent of Britons believed that it was possible to be both a Muslim and a British citizen, compared to more than 70 per cent of Spanish and French voters.

Some 52 per cent of British respondents also said that they expected a "major terrorist attack" in their country within the next 12 months, the highest proportion of any of the countries surveyed - Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United States.

By contrast, 32 per cent of Spanish voters said they thought that was the case, compared to 30 per cent of Americans, and between 15 and 18 per cent in France, Germany and Italy.

About 46 per cent of British respondents said that Muslims had too much political power, compared to about a third of Italians and Germans, less than a quarter of Spaniards, and a fifth of Americans.

The French were the most enthusiastic when asked whether they saw Muslims as suitable marriage partners for their children, and a large majority also do not see Muslims as a threat.

In the United States, just 21 per cent of respondents saw Muslims as a threat, though some 40 per cent said they would oppose their children marrying Muslims.

In Spain, fewer than a quarter saw Muslims as a threat, while just a fifth said they would oppose Muslims marrying their children.

Harris Interactive questioned a total of 6398 people in the six countries between August 1 and 13 for the survey.

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