29 October 2010
Almost one year following the referendum to ban minarets in Switzerland, a survey commissioned by the Protestant newspaper Reformiert and carried out by Isopublic seems to indicate that the results of the Swiss minaret ban would be similar were the vote to be held again today: 43% of the 1004 individuals from German and French-speaking Switzerland interviewed responded that they would vote for the ban, while 46.4% responded that they would vote against the ban.
However, given the fact that all earlier surveys before the 2009 ban had put the percentage of supporters at 37%, and after taking into consideration the effective emotional campaigning and mobilizing techniques of the minaret opponents, the results of this survey seem to indicate rather that the gap between the two camps has shrunk – especially amongst those in higher income brackets, who would more readily support the ban today than last year.
While almost half of respondents claimed that minaret ban had changed nothing, only 5.4% considered it to have had a positive effective, compared with the 40.2% who believe it to have had a negative effective on Swiss society. The latter group highlighted a growing polarization of Swiss society, heightened suspicions with regard to Muslims, lower acceptance of otherness, and generally negative portrayals of Muslims in the media.
Finally, somewhat surprisingly, two-thirds of French Swiss and 15-34-year-olds both responded negatively to the question “Do you perceive there to be an anti-Muslim sentiment in Switzerland?” while more than half of German Swiss and 55-74-year-olds responded positively. In total, 47.2% of respondents answered negatively to the same question, while 48.9% agreed that they perceived such a feeling today in Switzerland, for example in the debates over the burqa or Muslim cemeteries.
Reformiert (German)
For the survey: http://www.reformiert.info/files_reformiert/5283_0.pdf

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