Majority of people in Australia have expressed a ‘very low level’ of Islamophobia, according to a new surveyThe preliminary report named “Islamophobia, social distance and fear of terrorism in Australia” released recently was based on data collected through a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1000 adults in the country.
The survey was developed by researchers from University of Queensland and University of South Australia and was administered by the Social Research Centre, Australian National University.
“Most Australians display low levels of Islamophobia, and are willing to have Muslims in their family or friendship group (although they are even more welcoming of members of other major religions),” the report said.
“There are pockets of prejudice and anxiety directed towards Muslims, for example among the aged and those facing financial insecurity. But the great majority of Australians in all states and regions are comfortable to live alongside Australian Muslims,” it added.
About 70 per cent Australians’ surveyed admitted of “very low” level of Islamophobia while 10 per cent were found having highly fearful of Muslims.
There were no significant differences between the attitudes of women and men, however, older Australians, those who had not completed Year 12, were not employed in a professional or managerial role, or belonged to a non-traditional Christian denomination were more likely to fear Muslims.
People who have regular contact with Muslims were found less likely to be Islamophobic, as compared to people who had tolerant attitudes towards migrants.
People affiliated with the Liberal and National parties were also found twice as likely to be fearful of terrorism compared with Labour supporters.
Women were found more worried about terrorism than men.
Terrorism worry was more elevated in New South Wales and Victoria while The Northern Territory state had the lowest level but these differences are not statistically significant, indicating that worry about terrorism is independent of which state one lived in