A recent study asked people from Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom whether they would want to have Muslims as neighbors. 

One-fifth of the European participants surveyed said they would not want to live next door to an individual who follows Islam. 

"20 percent of citizens questioned say they do not want to have Muslims as neighbors," Germany's Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation, which carried out the study as part of the Religious Monitor 2017 project, wrote in the report.

The study sampled 10,000 people from outside the Muslim community, asking them whether they would want to have people from 10 different groups, including Muslims, as neighbors.

The results per country? 

Austria has the highest rejection level of Muslims, France the lowest


Rejection of Muslims is particularly strong in this European country, where more than 1 in 4 non-Muslims rejects the idea of having a Muslim neighbor, despite the fact that approximately 500,000 Muslims live in Austria. 

United Kingdom: 

About 3 million Muslims live in the UK, representing 4.4 percent of the total population. However, 21 percent of those surveyed rejects the idea of having a Muslim neighbor. 


At the end of 2015, between 4.4. and 4.7 million Muslims were living in Germany. Despite their presence in the country, their inclusion in society has not been positive. 

The study revealed that 19 percent of non-Muslims questioned said they would not welcome Muslim neighbors. 


In 2015, nearly 340,000 Muslims aged 15+ were living in Switzerland, representing 5 percent of the total population. 

Despite the number of Muslims in the country, there remains a high rejection level of 17 percent. 


France has the highest share of Muslims in its population, averaging 7 to 8 percent. There are about 5.3 million Muslims living in the country. 

Having said that, the country has the lowest rejection level among all, with 14 percent saying they do not want to have a Muslim neighbor. 

Despite the country's attempt at stirring controversy with the proposal of a 'burkini ban' and implementation of the burqa ban - people are still more accepting of various religious faiths and people. 

"So far, no country in western Europe has found a convincing strategy that addresses both equal opportunity as well as respect for religious diversity," said Yasemin El-Menouar, Islam expert at Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Islamophobes are rising to power in Europe

France's infamous far-right leader and presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen tops the list. 

Le Pen made headlines in the Arab world following her visit to Lebanon earlier this year, after refusing to wear a veil when meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti - despite the fact that she had been informed of the requirements prior to the meeting.

That's not all. 

The presidential candidate went on trial in 2015 for anti-Muslim hate speech. In a 2010 rally, Le Pen compared Muslims praying to Nazi occupation. The court, however, acquitted her of the charges.

France is not the only country seeing Islamophobes slowly gain power. Frauke Petry in Germany (the leader of the Alternative for Germany far-right party), Geert Wilders in the Netherlands (the leader of the far-right Party for Freedom in the Netherlands) and Jimmie Akesson in Sweden are other examples.