Muslim migration

An Essential Research poll asked about attitudes to Muslim migration, and found 25% support for excluding Muslims from the migrant intake:

That’s 11% lower than a Morgan Poll this time last year, with the proportion supporting Muslim migration the same on 55%.

As is often the case with soft opinion, polling methods rather than opinion shifts probably explain the difference. Essential does its surveys online, so people can see the ‘Don’t know’ option and easily choose it, while with telephone polls there is a stronger pressure to give an answer. When pressed, it seems people tend to go to negative on this issue.

A more abstract Essential question on whether migrants should be rejected on the basis of religion found only 19% in favour of doing so.

21 Responses to “Muslim migration

  • 1
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 06:24

    Australian phobia about Muslim (2010s), Asian (1980s), Italian (1950s) immigration follows a set pattern. They don’t like these people, in abstract, coming to the country, but should a Muslim/Asian/Italian family move in next door, they are very welcoming.

  • 2
    Andrew Norton
    March 1st, 2011 06:50

    I don’t see any inherent contradiction.

    A prejudice is a heuristic that does not need to be true in all cases to be a guide, eg most Muslims are nice people, but enough are not that we should keep them all out, because we cannot tell in advance which group any individual will fall into.

    Tolerance is a doctrine about behaviour, and can over-ride strong dislike of a group. Indeed, that was pretty much the point of the idea – it’s a fantasy to think that we can all agree on sustantive issues, but we can agree to live in peace.

  • 3
    Rajat Sood
    March 1st, 2011 06:52

    The difference is that Muslim immigration is not a recent phenomenon like Asian immigration was in the 1980s or southern European immigration was in the 1950s – many Lebanese have been in this country since the 1970s. In fact, the poll explains that Indian/Hindu immigration is what’s really taken off in recent years. Yet there is no public concern about Indian immigration, despite the fact they are as dark as most Muslims and have been noisy in asserting their interests (backed up by their hysterical media and certain politicians).
    Unlike other migrant groups, Muslims are associated in the public mind with fanaticism and terrorism. And many leaders in Europe are now publicly discussing integration problems with their relatively high Muslim populations. Yet clearly a discriminatory immigration policy is still a step too far for most. But I don’t think governments should take this stance for granted. They need to ensure they preserve it by backing assimilationist policies. It will be very hard to restore public faith in non-discriminatory immigration if it is broken.

  • 4
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 07:07

    *not a recent phenomenon like Asian immigration was in the 1980s*

    The Chinese have been here since the 1850s, hence the White Australia Policy.

    *Muslims are associated in the public mind with fanaticism and terrorism.*

    Italians are associated in the public mind with the mafia and the drug industry. And some were/are, like Bob Trimbole and others in the Griffith area. Likewise, Asian triads. It’s exactly the same. The sins of the few are blamed on the whole group.

    Fortunately for the Hindu immigrants the extremists among them (and experience in India shows that Hindu extremism is extreme indeed) have kept quiet. But give it time.

  • 5
    Baz
    March 1st, 2011 07:23

    Great post – bout time Andy.
    Anyway, peoples, I would be worried about certain peoples moving in next door. Just look at house prices when they do a-la house price growth in western Sydney versus the north sure or parts of melbourne versus the East.
    The problem is that these clowns follow a sect whose underlying values are anthema to civilised society. This differs to past waves of past groups etc, in the sense that none of these groups espoused flying planes into buildings as a worthy cause. ..Martydom even.
    Anyway, one third of green supporters expressing concerns…Wowers, that’s high. Watch it go up when the next ‘incident occurs’.
    Anyway, I’ll always come back to the point ‘Yes, perhaps not every apple in a certain bunch is rotten, but all evidence appears to say that there are far more rotten apples than usual’. So why take the risk ??? Me thinks we need to strengthen our quarrintine rules.

  • 6
    Baz
    March 1st, 2011 07:23

    No brainer really !

  • 7
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 07:27

    Baz, are you talking about yourself or the issue?

  • 8
    Baz
    March 1st, 2011 07:42

    Ohhh I don’t know SOR – I guess I was just taken out of context. I really meant…peace be with you.

  • 9
    Rajat Sood
    March 1st, 2011 08:11

    Recent Indian migrants to Australia are generally English-speaking (including the wives) aspirational and come from relatively educated, well-off and stable backgrounds. It’s unlikely there are too many extremists amongst them. I suspect that large-scale refugee intakes – which have been Muslim in recent times – don’t offer the same odds.

  • 10
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 08:27

    *Recent Indian migrants to Australia are generally English-speaking (including the wives) aspirational and come from relatively educated, well-off and stable backgrounds.*

    This is precisely a description of the 9/11 terrorists, apart from the wives.

  • 11
    '13
    March 1st, 2011 08:32

    “11% lower than a Morgan Poll this time last year.”

    You mean, 11 percentage points lower.

  • 12
    Baz
    March 1st, 2011 08:33

    Bang on Rajat, bang on.
    You know, I was reading this article by the great Mark Steyn. His view was that the United States has a discrimintory policy. e.g. when you fly into the States, they ask you on the Visa form if you’re a member of a certain German-based political party which maxed out in the 1940s. I even remember filling this question in on my recent trips. Anyway, the point is that the government was willing to say, if you follow this ideology, this sect, this political party, well then sorry, but you cannot come in. Thus, the precedent for a more selective policy has already been established. Just needs a little re-working for our situation, which many ordinary Aussies believe is inevitable.

  • 13
    Rajat Sood
    March 1st, 2011 08:51

    Fair point, SOTR. Maybe a discriminatory immigration policy would be worth considering if we were really worried about terrorism. So far, the authorities have done a good job in thwarting any attacks. But if people are more concerned about crime, attitudes towards women and social cohesian more generally, we need to ensure our new residents are sympathetic to our values.

  • 14
    Andrew Norton
    March 1st, 2011 09:49

    There hasn’t been much polling on Indian migration, though the limited amount I found on a previous occasion found trivial opposition. But it would be worth doing, given the very rapid increase in numbers. The Indians who came in via the student visa rorts were much less educated than earlier groups, though I agree there is no little danger of Hindu extremism being exported.

    Unfortunately there is still a fair amount of anti-Asian sentiment. A social distance survey in 2007 found about 20% thinking that Vietnamese people should not be allowed to migrate, only about 5 percentage points (for ’13’s benefit, comment 11) below anti-Muslim sentiment.

  • 15
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 10:01

    Indians play cricket. This immediately gives them a leg up on the social acceptance ladder with people (caricatures) like Baz.

    *if people are more concerned about crime*

    Italian Griffith cannabis growers, anyone?

    *attitudes towards women*

    as opposed basically any Southern European culture.

    *social cohesian more generally*

    Orthodox Jews keep to themselves like no other.

  • 16
    e2mq173
    March 1st, 2011 12:01

    Baz.. I’d much rather a Muslim living next door than a right-wing Christian.

  • 17
    Baz
    March 1st, 2011 13:18

    SOR – so you’re saying that the fact that Indians like cricket means we are less concerned with them than with other groups? Serisously sunshine, you not going barmy are ya ! Don’t Pakistani’s like cricket, and the Italians not. Anyway, by saying Aussies like Indians cause they like cricket is actually quite offensive to the Indian community and is also a slight on the intelligence and savvyness of the regular Aussie bloke.

    e2mq173 – not sure if the good people of Camden would agree with you. But silliness aside, you put a church in your neighbourhood. In fact, make it one of those Pentacostal churches. What happens to house prices in the vicinity? Me thinks not much, maybe even a bit up.
    Now what happens when you build a certain building for gathers of a certain religion. What do you think happens house prices then. So I would say, Aussies, on average are not very concerned about right-wing Christians, at least not as much as other groups.

  • 18
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 1st, 2011 13:52

    That’s exactly what I’m saying. The regular Aussie bloke (RAB) likes Indians because of cricket. It’s a cultural affinity. Plus, the RAB has quite taken to curries and papadams. Similarly the Pakistanis, aka to the RAB, the Pakis. (Although they suffer in the RAB estimation because they don’t have restaurants.) Whereas the Lebanese, AKA to the RAB, the Lebos, don’t play cricket.

  • 19
    Geoff Robinson
    March 2nd, 2011 12:00

    Looking at the Australian Election Study which has almost zero nil Muslim respondents we see that a substantial number of non-Muslims have doubts about democracy in 2007 23% liked idea of a strong leader who doesn’t bother with parliaments and elections. On a cursory analysis it seems to be Orthodox Christians who had the most doubts about democracy! In 2010 9% of Coalition voters thought equal opportunities for women had gone too far and 9% of Catholics agreed. I dont doubt that some Australian Muslims have strongly illiberal views but their numbers are dwarfed by wowser conservative Christians who have real political influence and Muslims vote for more liberal of the two major parties.

  • 20
    Andrew Norton
    March 2nd, 2011 12:31

    Though with 40 Orthodox Christians, it’s probably not representative. Many people have views that are pretty loopy by the standards of the educated elites. But we don’t need to worry about them undermining peaceful democratic processes.

  • 21
    Son of the Ratpack
    March 2nd, 2011 12:42

    *we don’t need to worry about [Christians] undermining peaceful democratic processes.*

    Not in Australia in any case. They say plenty of crazy stuff, but they don’t actually do anything. In the US, where for example they have been known to murder doctors who perform abortions, they are more of a worry.