Almost Half of Refugees Believe their Religion Trumps National Laws
Almost half of refugees in Austria think religious law is more important than the law of the country in which they live, study finds
Austria’s Foreign Ministry commissioned a survey of recent migrants’ attitudes
Questioners interviewed 900 Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi refugees in Austria
40 percent of migrants believed religious law always superceded secular law
By Central European News and Chris Summers For Mailonline
Published: 09:56 EST, 27 January 2017 | Updated: 11:41 EST, 27 January 2017
Almost half of refugees in Austria think religious law is more important than that of the country in which they live, according to a study published today.
The study of 900 migrants, by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, found 40 percent of migrants thought their religion always took precedence over secular laws.
A similar percentage thought Western people were too liberal in their lifestyles and had too much freedom.
One in five said women should not be allowed to work, according to the survey, which was commissioned by the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
Four out of five refugees said they agreed men and women were equal but believed Muslim women should cover their heads and bodies in Austria.
Austria has seen an influx of migrants in the last few years, many of whom entered in 2015 and early 2016 after travelling from Turkey and through the Balkans. Around 90,000 applied for asylum in Austria in 2015 alone.
So far Austria has escaped the ISIS-inspired violence which has been seen in Germany, France and Belgium.
Of those surveyed, 37 percent said they wanted separated gymnastics and swimming lessons for boys and girls in schools.
Earlier this month neighbouring Switzerland won a test case in the European Court of Human Rights when it ruled that a Swiss couple of Turkish origin were not entitled to withdraw their teenage daughters from mixed swimming lessons.
Questioners interviewed 900 Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi refugees in Austria and some of the answers may have surprised the Foreign Ministry mandarins.
Only 61 percent of the refugees considered themselves religious and only three out of 10 prayed five times a day, as required by the Koran.
One good sign is that 83 percent said they were prepared to happily coexist with other religions while 45 percent maintained Islam was superior to other religions.
Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said the survey’s results suggested integrating migrants into the country’s mindset remained a ‘major challenge.
He said: ‘Refugees have not yet internalised many values.’