Icelanders hold positive views of immigrants shows a recent Gallup poll done for the Icelandic Red Cross.
Morgunbladid reports that 76% of those surveyed believed that their standard of living had neither increased nor decreased with increased numbers of immigrants to Iceland. 19% said that their standard of living had increased somewhat to substantially while 5% said that they had decreased. 52% believed that immigrants had a good effect on the economy but 16% believed they had a bad effect. 57% of those surveyed said they were in favor of their child marrying a foreigner but 16% were against it.
The poll showed that recent international terrorist attacks have effected Icelander’s view towards Muslims. Results from the survey show that one out of every five Icelanders do not wish to live next door to a Muslim. 1000 Muslims are living in Iceland according to the Icelandic Broadcasting Service. The leader of the Association for Muslims in Iceland, Salmann Tamimi, said that it was important for people to read the Koran because people often misunderstood it – he also encouraged everyone to get to know Islam and Muslims.
According to the survey, the higher the education level of the respondent the lower level of prejudice, nevertheless education does not factor in when it comes to prejudice against the mentally disabled. According to the survey one of every seven surveyed did not want to live in the vicinity of the mentally disabled.
The survey was done as part of an awareness campaign that the Red Cross is promoting under the slogan “Build a Better Society”. The Red Cross hopes to promote discourse on how to make a good society better with with the “various changes ongoing in society including the increased number of immigrants in the country”.
Results are based a survey of 1,350 Icelanders aged 16 – 75, conducted in July and August. The response rate was 61.6%.