In a YouGov survey conducted by the Muslim Council of Elders in line with Pope Francis’ visit to the Arabian Peninsula, Christians and Muslims displayed dissimilar attitudes towards each other’s religions.
Rabat – Christians in Western countries have expressed fears of a rise of Islamic extremism, believing that Islam is not compatible with their cultures, different from how Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa view Christianity.
According to a poll by UK-based market research firm YouGov in January, half of Western respondents, 46 percent in France and 47 in Germany, noted a “fundamental clash” between Islamic values and their societal values.
The majority of respondents from the UK, the United States, France, and Germany were concerned about the possible increase of extremism in Islam.
“Clear majorities of Western respondents in the study also described themselves as either very or fairly concerned about the possible rise of extremism in Islam, including 72 percent in both France and Germany, 66 percent in Britain and 56 percent in the United States,” stated YouGov.
Meanwhile, in a similar YouGov poll, the majority of respondents from the MENA region did not have similar views of Christianity.
Only 7 percent of respondents in Egypt, 13 percent in the UAE, 25 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 22 percent in Algeria said there was a clash between the societal values in their counties and those of Christianity.
The poll was released this week during the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula.
Pope Francis is attending an interfaith conference today in Abu Dhabi and led an open-air mass which expected to have 120,000 in attendance, according to the Guardian.
The UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, said: “The pope’s visit will send a strong signal across the region and world: people with different beliefs can live, work and worship together.”
Although the survey did not display statistics on the views of Belgians on Islam, the country has been in the headlines recently for vicious Islamophobic attacks.
According to data gathered from victims by a local anti-Islamophobia association, 76 percent of Islamophobic attacks in Belgium targeted women in 2017. One publicized Islamophobic assault was against a veiled Moroccan woman in December.