More than half of Austrians consider Islam a threat, according to a poll published Wednesday.
According to the poll carried out by the IMAS institute, 54 percent of those polled agreed that “Islam is a threat to the West and our way of life”, while 72 percent believed “Muslims do not adapt to the rules of community life”. For 71 percent of Austrians Islam is not compatible with Western concepts of democracy, liberty and tolerance.
The poll was taken as Austrians prepare to vote on April 25 to elect a new president, a largely honorific but above all moral figurehead. Outgoing Social Democrat Heinz Fischer, who is almost certain to be re-elected, is standing against two candidates who are hostile to immigration: Barbara Rosenkranz, on the extreme right, who wants to restore border controls, and Rudolf Gehring, who heads the Christian party fervently opposed to the building of minarets.
Among extreme right-wing voters, 78 percent said they see Islam as a threat. No figure was available for the Christian party. Among supporters of the Green ecologist party, only 16 percent of the population held that view, well below the average in the general population.
The poll was carried out between January 19 and February 8 among 1,088 people.