Paris, Feb 5 : Nearly half of French and Germans believe Islam is incompatible with the values of their nations, a survey has revealed.
However the research by pollster YouGov found that fewer people in Muslim-majority countries think Christianity fundamentally clashes with their country's values, said an Euronews report. It comes as Pope Francis embarked on a 48-hour visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, with a meeting with Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Shaikh Ahmed Mohammad al-Tayeb scheduled for February 5.
The month-long survey found that "substantial portions of Western respondents" perceived a clash between Islam and the values of society in their country. Nearly half of respondents in Germany (47pc) and France (46pc) affirmed so. The view was also the dominant one in the US and Britain although slightly less prevalent at 36pc and 38pc respectively.
The opposite stance — that Islam is compatible with the values of the country they live in — was the most supported in Britain, albeit at just 24pc, and the least in Germany (17pc).
A separate survey conducted by US and British respondents found the results to be in stark contrast to attitudes towards other religions.
Only 14pc and 6pc of those surveyed in the US and the UK viewed Buddhism as clashing with their countries' values. The figures rose slightly when asked about Sikhism and Hinduism but remained at or under 15pc.
General impressions of Islam were also less favourable than other religions with 53pc of German and 47pc of French respondents affirming that they felt unfavourable towards Islam — much higher figures than towards other faiths.
The US and Britain showed a similar trend but once again to a lesser degree at 37pc and 32pc respectively.
In contrast, respondents in the Middle East and North Africa were less likely to say there is a fundamental clash between Christianity and the values of society in their country.
According to the US-based Pew Research Center, the Christian share of the overall population in the Middle East had dropped to 5pc in 2010 from 10pc in 1990.
Respondents in Saudi Arabia were the most likely to support that view at 25pc, followed by 22pc in Algeria, 13pc in the UAE and 7pc in Egypt.
Notably, 50pc of Egyptians and 31pc of respondents in the UAE backed the opposite view that Christianity is generally compatible with the values of society.
Christianity is also the religion that gathered the least unfavourable opinion in the muslim-majority countries surveyed. Algerian respondents (43pc) were the most likely to feel unfavourable towards Christianity, followed by Saudi Arabia (42pc), Egypt (31pc) and the UAE (13pc).
Meanwhile, unfavourable view towards Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism reached over 62pc in all of them. (UNI)