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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Report on intolerance in Europe

I could only find the press release of this paper (should be somewhere in this site but I can't find it) but it's informative enough anyhow:

Andreas Zick et al. European Conditions. Findings of a study on Group-focused Enmity in Europe. Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, 2009. (PDF).

The report includes data for 8 EU states (the four largest ones plus Poland, Netherlands, Portugal and Hungary).

  • 50.4% think that "there are too many immigrants" in their countries. Oddly enough Portugal and Hungary are among the ones showing highest apportions of this xenophobic marker, only after Britain and Italy.
  • 33.5% think that "because of the number of immigrants, I sometimes feel like a stranger". Again Hungary is strangely high considering that immigrants are few there.
  • 48% think that "when jobs are scarce, [locals] should have more rights to a job than an immigrant". Again Eastern European countries are oddly high in this value.
  • 30.7% think that "immigrants enrich our culture". In this case East Europeans are the ones who seem to welcome more the cultural input by immigrants, what somehow seems to contradict other variables.
Anti-Jewish sentiment:
  • 24.6 % believe that "Jews have too much influence" in their country. Again East Europe is particularly high in this feeling (in spite of very few Jews living there).
  • 41.2% believe that "Jews try to take advantage of having been victims in the Nazi era".
  • 31% believe that "Jews in general do not care about anything but their own kind".
  • 38.1% disagree with the idea that "Jews enrich our culture"
Anti-Muslim sentiment:
  • 44.2% believe that "there are too many Muslims" in their country. Again Hungary is oddly high, while Portugal is low for this marker.
  • 55.4% think that "Muslims are too demanding".
  • 54.4% think that "Islam is a religion of intolerance".
Even if these figures seem high, there has been a clear drop in Islamophobia and an increase in Judeophobia in the last year, as Gilad Atzmon reports, probably triggered by the increased awareness of the macabre injustice that Israel is committed to.

  • 13.1% think that "preferably Blacks and Whites should not get married"
  • 31.3% believe that "there is a natural hierarchy between Black and White people". Italy seems the country pushing down this racist belief, otherwise quite marked.
  • 17.6% consider that "when jobs are scarce, men should have more rights to a job than a woman"
  • 60.2% think that "women should take their roles as wives and mothers more seriously". This sentence is so ambiguous that can only indicate a relative trend in sexism, which is clearly stronger in the poorer countries of East and South Europe for both questions.
  • 42.6% disagree with the statement "there is nothing immoral about homosexuality".
  • 52.9% disagree with the statement "it is agood thing to allow marriage between two men or two women".
The Netherlands is by far the most tolerant country in this aspect, while Poland is at the opposite extreme, followed by Hungary.

Overall there is a noticeable pattern of greater intolerance, sexism and xenophobia in Eastern European countries for nearly all values.


Ken said...

"Overall there is a noticeable pattern of greater intolerance, sexism and xenophobia in Eastern European countries for nearly all values".

Yes, but as part of a larger trend: tolerance decreases the further you get from North West Europe. That was where the idea of tolerance came from - womens rights, abolition of slavery, universalism, gay rights, mass immigration...

"The Netherlands is by far the most tolerant country.

It's Denmark, homosexuality was legalised in 1933, the age of consent is 15, and it was the first country to legalize same sex unions. (Exclusively homosexual men are probably more common in northern Europe than anywhere else)

Western countries have forced the rest of the world to stop being homophobic. For example Jamaican singers such as reggae artist 'Beenie Man' were very successful with lyrics such as:-

"I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays"[18]. In "Mi Nah Wallah", he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men.[19] In "Bad Man Chi Chi Man" the lyric instructs listeners to kill gay deejays, and in "Han Up Deh", the lyric suggests hanging lesbians with a long piece of rope.[19]"

It was pressure from outside, ie the white West, that curtailed the expression of such views.

Maju said...

Ken: Italy is the only country where the the most racist beliefs have significantly lower weight. Sexist sentiments do seem to have n East-South greater expression but xenophobic or racist sentiment is not really too prominent in the south (they go against Latin culture).

Denmark was not sampled, nor so many other countries. 8 is just a sample of 25. NW Europe is also more Zionist in general and the lowest levels of intolerance in Netherlands and Britain are those related to Jews. Britain is not too tolerant anyhow, only Netherlands is notable.


Anti-immigrant attitude is lowest overall in France and Netherlands, the two countries that had liberal republican revolutions (they also have large immigrant populations). Britain, that never put its monarchs, clergy and aristocracy to the executioner's edge, is instead quite xenophobic, though Hungary kinda shadows it.

As said before, Italy is the only country where the Klu Klux Klan has less than 30% (and less than 20% too) potential members.

So less "NW Europe" superiority rant and slice the countries and attitudes one by one. Netherlands my be overall quite tolerant but none of its neighbors, maybe excepted France, looks too tolerant.

Ken said...

Italy is the only country where the Klu Klux Klan has less than 30% (and less than 20% too) potential members.

Britain ... is quite xenophobic

Any British Labour, Conservitive, Liberal or Welsh/ Scottish Nationalist MP who said the kind of things about immigration that Berlusconi says would be kicked out his party. In Italy he's the Prime Minister.

His anti immigrant vigilante patrols would be inconceivable in Britain.

Maju said...

Ok, Britain is somewhat more democratic than Italy these days.

What we are focusing here is in the opinions of the people, not the "capo di capi".

Ken said...

There have been widespread movements against mass immigration in northern Europe but the only really successful one was Pim Fortuyn's and it tended to focus on the lack of tolerance of homosexuality and the oppression of women by immigrants eg Pim Fortuyn.

And Fortune was killed by a Dutch man outraged at his anti immigration policies. He was also big on animal rights which is another Eropean innovation,

dalouh said...

# 55.4% think that "Muslims are too demanding".
# 54.4% think that "Islam is a religion of intolerance".
and I expect this percentage to rise in the coming years .....
an ex-muslim.

Maju said...

Hi, Dalouh. Actually it has decreased for what Atzmon says. Probably the worst (so far) happened with 9/11, the murder of Van Gogh and the Danish cartoons.

Today, with not anymore such crisis and instead everyday reminded of how the people of Palestine is being genocided by the Zionazis, the situation has changed somewhat.

Whatever the case, with cases nearly every other day of fascist imams who tell people what to do in their private lives (like wearing a veil or whatever) and bring such community pressure even to schools, virtually forcing apostasy, Islam is likely to remain a ghetto religion and not find acceptation among the wider society.

But what really concerns me is racism. Culture and religions change but people can't choose their skin color. That's more important.