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Nearly Half of Australians Favor a Ban on Muslim Immigration, a New Poll Finds

Rival rallies on racism and Islamophobia in Melbourne
Anadolu Agency—Getty Images Supporters of the Reclaim Australia group march down the street waving flags and shouting anti-Islamic slogans during a protest in Melbourne on Nov. 22, 2015

"It's too a big a number to say it's an unrepresentative rump that should be shunned from polite society"

A recent poll suggests that nearly half of all Australians want to ban Muslim immigration to the country.

Polls conducted by Essential Research, an Australia-based survey company, found that 49% of Australians supported a ban on Muslim immigration. Among Australians who voted for the country’s conservative coalition, the proportion was 60%. Among Labor Party voters, the proportion was 40% of the country’s Labor voters.

Older Australians were much more likely to support a ban than younger Australians.

Survey participants cited what they saw as the inability of Muslims to integrate into Australian society as their primary reason for voting in favor of a ban, with the threat of terrorism and a perceived lack of shared values as the second and third reasons respectively.

The polls come after the recently elected Senator Pauline Hanson — who ran on an anti-immigration platform — gave her first speech to the Australian Senate, during which she said, “[Muslims] share a culture and ideology that are incompatible with our own.”

The number of Australians opposing a ban on Muslim immigration was “too a big a number to say it’s an unrepresentative rump that should be shunned from polite society,” Peter Lewis, a researcher at Essential Research, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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