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(RNS) While majorities of European Muslims say fellow Muslims are loyal to their country, significantly fewer members of the general public believe that, a new survey shows.
More than 70 percent of Muslims in France, Germany and Britain say that Muslims living in their countries are loyal; less than 45 percent of the general public in each of those nations agree.
The findings were released Thursday (May 7) in a new report from the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Coexist Foundation, a London-based charity that promotes interfaith understanding.
“This research shows that many of the assumptions about Muslims and integration are wide of the mark,” said Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center. “European Muslims want to be part of the wider community and contribute even more to society.”
Researchers found that Muslims in those three countries are more interested than the general public in living in neighborhoods with a mix of religions and ethnicities. Majorities of Muslims in France (83 percent), Britain (67 percent) and Germany (62 percent) said they wanted to live in a mixed neighborhood.
There also was a disconnect in views about how respectful Muslims are of other faiths. Less than half of the general public in France, Germany and Britain think Muslims in their nations are respectful of other religions. In comparison, more than 75 percent of Muslims in those countries think Muslims are respectful.
The findings are based on six different surveys of Muslims and the general public canvassed in 2008. With sample sizes ranging from 504 to 1,008 there was a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
By Adelle M. Banks
2009 Religion News Service
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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