The Gallup poll, published in a report on Muslim-Western relations for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week, reflects “an alarmingly low level of optimism regarding dialogue between Islam and the West”, WEF chairman Klaus Schwab said.
Schwab said the report aimed to be the first in an annual series which would monitor the state of Muslim-West dialogue and focus efforts by governments, businesses, religious figures and the media to improve relations.
It found that Europeans, worried by immigration and a perceived Islamic threat to their culture, are alarmed at the prospect of greater interaction with the Muslim world.
By contrast, a majority of people in the United States, Israel and the Muslim world felt more interaction would help.
“European populations surveyed are much more likely to believe that greater interaction between the Muslim and Western worlds is a threat than a benefit,” the report said.
“…Although some might expect the United States, Israel and the Middle East to be more likely than Europe to be threatened by the ‘other’, the opposite is the case,” the report said.