Paris, Jan 7 (ANI): Almost half of the French and German populations considers Islam 'a threat' to national identity, according to new Media poll.
The Mail Online quoted the poll conducted by France's Le Monde newspaper as saying that 42 percent of French and 40 percent of Germans consider the presence of Islamic communities 'a threat' to their national identities, adding that a majority in both countries believe Muslims have 'not integrated properly'.
According to the poll, carried out with marketing firm IFOP, 68 percent of French and 75 percent of Germans believe Muslims are 'not well integrated into society'.
The poll, which questioned 1,600 people in France and Germany last month, also found that 55 percent in France and 49 percent in Germany believe that the 'influence and visibility of Islam' is 'too large', while 60 percent in both countries say the reason for the problem is Muslims' own 'refusal' to integrate.
The Le Monde editorial said that as Islam becomes a permanent and increasingly conspicuous fixture of European societies, "public opinion is clearly tensing up, though disparities do appear between young and old and between Left and Right wing."
Jerome Fourquet, of IFOP, said the results "go beyond linking immigration with security or immigration with unemployment, to linking Islam with a threat to identity."
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Merkel has said that her country's cultural integration had failed.
In France, Nicolas Sarkozy's Government has displayed an intolerance towards religious extremism by recently banning Islamic veils.
However, French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot Marie said it was important not to confuse moderate Muslims with radical or fundamentalist parties.
"The trap set by Al Qaeda was to push us towards a general confrontation, towards a war between the Muslim and Western worlds. We must watch out for anything that goes in that direction. We must not confuse Islam and terrorism," she added. (ANI)