New research out of Deakin University shows better education about Islam can help fight Islamophobia.
The paper, entitled ‘Muslims and Islamic Religiosity in the West’, has found Australians are less prejudiced when they know more about Islam.
The paper’s co-author, Dr Matteo Vergani, said the research is particularly heartening after a recent Essential poll showed almost 50 per cent of Australian’s don’t support Muslim immigration.
‘We found that across the board – among conservative or progressive individuals, people of different age, education and country of birth – there was an association between someone’s level of knowledge about Islam and their prejudice against Muslims’, he told a conference at the University of New South Wales.
‘…this result is particularly heartening and important because it suggests that education and knowledge of Islam is key to overcoming Islamophobia and building a more cohesive society.’
However, the report still showed that Australians didn’t oppose Islamophobic statements.
Of those surveyed, more than 40 per cent didn’t oppose the statement that practicing Muslims pose a threat to Australian society, and 60 per cent said they would be worried if a relative married a Muslim.
A total of 304 responses from a random selection of Australians were used in the study.