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Trump’s wish to ban Muslim immigration is widely shared in Europe

PARIS — When Americans demonstrated against President Trump’s recent entry ban against citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, marchers in London, Paris, Berlin and other European cities quickly joined in the protest. The message from across the Atlantic seemed to be “we’re with you.”

The televised reports of the protests told only half the story, however. In fact, even less than half.

According to two extensive recent opinion polls, majorities across Europe are deeply concerned about Muslim immigration and support an immediate end to it, even as Europeans vastly overestimate the actual Muslim populations of their countries.

Voters in several countries back a complete immigration ban at levels notably higher than those in the United States. Anti-immigration politicians in Poland, Hungary and elsewhere are gaining ground in Western Europe.

A survey released last week by the British think tank Chatham House said the impression that Europeans oppose an immigration ban — bolstered by widely reported critical comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel or London Mayor Sadiq Khan — did not reflect the overall reality.

“Our results are striking and sobering,” a press release read. “They suggest that opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the U.S. but is fairly widespread.”

Amsterdam’s daily de Volkskrant, one of the few European newspapers that reported on the survey, pointed out the gap between image and reality.

“Europeans are not at all that negative towards the American president’s ideas,” the release said. “In fact, a majority of Europeans are for an immediate stop to immigration.”

The survey of more than 10,000 people in 10 European countries showed that 55 percent of all respondents agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should stop, 20 percent disagreed and 25 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.

According to a CNN poll, 47 percent of Americans supported Trump’s ban. Another poll, by Ipsos, put this support at 49 percent.

“Majorities in all but two of the 10 states agreed (on an immigration stop), ranging from 71 percent in Poland, 65 percent in Austria, 53 percent in Germany and 51 percent in Italy,” Chatham House said in its report. Support for a ban fell below half only in Britain (47 percent) and Spain (41 percent).

Except for Poland, the study noted, the countries most opposed to more immigration have either been on the front line of the migrant crisis or suffered terrorist attacks on their soil in recent years.

Of the countries with over 60 percent support for a ban, Austria and Hungary were flooded by the human wave that passed through southeastern Europe on its way to Germany in 2015. France and Belgium have seen deadly attacks by Islamist radicals — some of whom came with the refugees — carried out on their own soil.

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Source: deseretnews

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