Almost half of Australia would like to see the migration of Muslims in to the country completely banned, a new poll has revealed.
The survey conducted by Essential Research concluded that 49% of Aussies support the idea of putting a halt to the immigration of Islamic people down under.
Breaking down the numbers, the poll found that 60% of Coalition voters were in support of the notion, while 40% of Labor voters agreed. What may surprise some is that even 34% of Greens voters thought that Muslim migration to Australia should be stopped.
The main reasons given by respondents for wanting the ban were the fear of terrorism and the belief that Muslims do not properly integrate into Australian society.
The survey also found a majority of voters (65%) thought that newly elected Senator Pauline Hanson, who gave a provocative speech to parliament last week calling for such a ban, talked about issues other politicians were scared to discuss. It also revealed that 48% of Australians agreed a national debate about Islamic migration was necessary.
The survey’s release came on the same day that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia would be increasing its annual intake of refugees.
Speaking at US President Barack Obama’s special summit on refugees, on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Turnbull said Australia would increase its intake to 19,000 by 2018 and maintained at that level.
This is in addition to the 12,000 refugess Australia has specially committed to accepting from war-torn Syria and Iraq.
“Securing our borders has increased public confidence and enabled Australia to have one of the world’s most generous humanitarian systems,” the prime minister told the special summit.
“Australia’s program of permanent refugee resettlement is the third largest in the world,” he said.
Despite proclamations from the likes of Pauline Hanson that Australia was being “swamped by Muslims” as she put it in her speech last week, according to the most recent completed census data (from 2011) and a 2015 report from the University of South Australia, there were 476,290 muslims living in Australia, comprising just 2.2% of the population.