You see the moving truck pull up outside, and the new neighbors start unloading their stuff. You go say hello, and they seem friendly. Everything seems great. Then you find out that they’re Muslim. How do you react? Most people could probably care less. But like it or not, stereotypes are powerful.

Muslim families are frequently ostracized

Studies show many people wouldn’t want to live next door to a Muslim family.

If having a Muslim neighbor makes you uncomfortable, a new study shows that you’re not alone. Researchers polled more than 10,000 people from European countries and found that nearly 20 percent – or 1 in 5 – did not like the idea of living next to a Muslim neighbor.

Uncovering Intolerance

The study focused on five countries: Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. Participants were asked about their preference for having specific groups of people as neighbors. The various “potential neighbors” included Muslims, Christians, refugees, and large families, among others. The group which received the most negative responses was refugees, with an average of 31 percent of those polled not wanting to live next door to this group. Muslims came in a close second with roughly 20 percent of responses being negative. Christians and atheists received the least-negative responses with 1 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.

While interesting in its own right, the study is just one of many highlighting increasing tensions across European society when it comes to immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

Bigotry or Rational Suspicion?

Many were quick to criticize the mentality exposed in the survey, insisting that judging an individual or a family based solely on their religion is bigoted, hateful, and just plain wrong. Why should it matter what God(s) someone chooses to worship, they ask?

Not so fast, others say. Being skeptical of Muslim people is not intolerant, it’s simply being rational. They argue that Islam is a violent religion, and promotes an ideology that’s frequently at odds with Western values. Given these qualities, why should anyone be thrilled to have Muslim neighbors?

The Danger of Prejudgment

Are fears about extremist Muslim neighbors a valid concern, though?  There’s no doubt that religious extremism exists, but is treating any nearby Muslim as a potential threat not a form of extremism in itself? As opposed to being a regular person, they become a boogeyman, a mirage of Islamic evil. How could you hope to coexist with your neighbor while holding such a pernicious mentality?

Where Does One’s Right to Safety End?

It’s absolutely understandable that people want to feel safe in their own homes. Vigilance, especially in this age of terrorist threats and heightened division, can be a positive thing. But for a person who concerns themselves with the religions of their neighbors, how far should their safe space reach?

If you watch too much cable news, you’ll end up believing everyone is your enemy. That doesn’t justify classifying your Muslim neighbors as “potential threats” before they even move in, does it?

Perhaps not here in America. Not yet, anyway.

In Europe, however, the story appears to read differently.  

 

50 comments

  1. Will Rogers says:

    I was chosen by the US Department of Justice to train the civil police in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. My primary Arabic language translator, a Shia Muslim, was an invaluable asset to me, and I couldn’t have performed my job without her. She stood by my side the day al Qaida homicide bombers murdered 47 of my cadets and officers, her country men and women.

    Almost 3 years ago Aida informed me that, after 6 years of waiting, she had received word that her visa to come to the United States had been approved.

    It has been my pleasure and my honor to host her in my home since April 2015, and my neighbors could not be any more welcoming to her. Aida works 2 jobs, and is looking forward to the day she can get out on her own.

    1. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

      Good!. Ask Aida, if I can help her.

  2. James Mounts says:

    If you don’t approve of the situation in Europe, why are you trying to take the United States down the same road. The Europeans opened their doors to Muslims and ended up with large populations who refuse to assimilate but instead expect the Europeans to set aside their own culture. We should assume our new neighbors are a threat until they prove they are not. To do otherwise is to invite disaster, to your family and your country..

  3. James Mounts says:

    If you disapprove of the situation in Europe, why are you advocating the same for this country? Europeans opened their door and their heart to Muslims, and ended up with populations of millions who not only refuse to assimilate but expect the Europeans to give up their own culture. Unless we see evidence to the contrary, we should assume our new Muslim neighbor is dangerous to our family and our country. To learn from the lessons of Europe is not bigotry, it is common sense.

  4. James Mounts says:

    Sorry for the double post.

  5. Robert Hauck, MD, FAAP says:

    I would see the presence of a Muslim family next door as an opportunity to make new friends, to more fully understand another religious culture, to broaden the experience of our children, and to personally make one small step toward reducing conflict and prejudice. rch, shoreline WA

    1. Calvin Pacheco says:

      Yeah leave you daughters with them. Read the quran

  6. Tom Jaynes says:

    Has anyone done a survey to determine if Muslims feel uncomfortable living next door to non-Muslims?

    1. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

      Tom, very good.

  7. mary therese lemanek says:

    I would welcome a Muslim family next door, across the street and would have no more apprehension about their culture, values or intentions than I would about any other family.

    1. Calvin Pacheco says:

      Then Mary don’t be home alone if they do

  8. Rev. Rob says:

    to start with read this article here https://en.europenews.dk/-Muslim-Inbreeding-Impacts-on-intelligence-sanity-health-and-society-78170.html, now based upon all the actions of the so called peaceful religion, do you really wan that living around you? then you are indeed a blind fool for doing so

  9. James says:

    I Have Muslim friends. If a person wants to assimilate in to our country and it betters our country for it, then I’m good with it. A Person they moves here to change our country in to a place like where they came from, then I have an issue. This is the greatest country the world has ever known. Under certain guidelines, and for those reasons alone we are on top. Look around and see everything slipping as we start to desire to be like another country. It is widely known and supported by the facts. Anglo, christian believes built this country and has constantly made it better. Far more than most others. The muslim faith over the last 20 years has caused this land much pain. It’s only common sense to be leary of anything that causes pain.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      There are a lot of prejudiced people in this world and many of them don’t even know it. It might help to take a social psychology course. SCI has a good one through the mail, but don’t expect to find a job as a psychologist with a non-credit course diploma. However, they do make good paper airplanes, and that’s the most education Napoleon Hill had when he wrote Think And Grow Rich. I’ve always taken to heart the old 1980s pop song by Tears For Fears that started with “People are people it’s plain to see”. It later goes on to say ” I can’t understand what makes a man hate a man”. I’m glad I’ve always felt the same way.

      1. James says:

        Your past confused me. I i Only understand that you can understand people hating you.

  10. Minister Anthony Longstreet, Sr. says:

    Muslims will always be welcome.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      IT IS N O T the MUSLIM next DOOR or anything BUTT the IGNORANCE and FEAR TAUGHT YOU by the GOVERNMENTS,the RELIGIOUS REALITY SHOWs, the ELITE 1% EXPLOITING ALL of US for the SAKE of GREED and POWER, JUST LOOK @ ORANGUtRUMP DOTAR and the REPUPLICAN THIEVES and YOU WORRY ABOUT MUSLIMS, NOTHING in this WORLD is MORE DANGEROUS than SINCERE IGNORANCE and CONSCIENTIOUS STUPIDITY, M L K !!!

      1. Calvin Pacheco says:

        You have just become your post. Read the quran. Don’t be ignorant

  11. Alicia says:

    I’d like to know how one WOULDN’T know that the new neighbors were Muslim if they had seen them moving. The woman would be wearing a Hijab, would she not? Anyway….

    I had a Muslim family living next door to me. I truly hated these people! Not because they were Muslim, but because they had a child of about 3 years of age who would run around the house screaming at the top of his lungs! Not only that, they would bring this child outside at 11:30 PM on week nights and allow him to run up and down the street screaming! The police were called many times and they were told that doing this was unacceptable, but it continued. One day, I made a call to the police because this child was sitting on a table that was placed under a window and was leaning out of the open window!!! The kid could have been killed (it’s a second floor apartment in a very old house…)! The police were told that the child “had a lot of energy that he needed to let out”. Sorry…no excuse!

    Thankfully, those people moved out and another Muslim family moved in. Aside from the fact that they’re kind of rude (parking issues….long story), I don’t care what their religious beliefs are. The bottom line to this is that I refuse to hate someone just because their beliefs are different than mine. I treat people the way they treat me. If they’re kind, I am kind. If they give me attitude, I will ignore it for a while and if it continues, I give it right back. No one should hate anyone on sight. People need to be given a chance.

  12. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    I respect all faiths,including muslims. I hope and request that also they respect mine.

    1. Calvin Pacheco says:

      Please go read the quran. Now. They can’t won’t respect your religion. Aaaauuuggghh

  13. rabbi jim says:

    Greetings all. I think what is needed, however improbable, is a complete revamping of the Muslim religion. All reference to violence should be removed from the doctrine and highly frowned upon in practice. This may never be accomplished, but, it needs to be attempted. Shalom and have a wonderful day!

  14. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    I understand your position and agree with you, Shalom

  15. Steve Sexton says:

    Its a shame but it will always be whomever is in the news when I was a kid it was the Russians who everyone was worried about
    I don’t know if it is so much the religion or more so race. Either way its a shame that’s just my opinion I could be wrong.
    I agree and feel the same as REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO “I respect all faiths, including Muslims. I hope and request that also they respect mine”

  16. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    Thank brother Steve. You are right. Always we are subliminal manipulated to be scared against someone or something. After God be yourself. Love.

  17. Allen says:

    Here is a quote from Muslim Avatar
    mohama rei
    3 hours ago
    “don’t be upset with Muslim please as we hate all kufar refusing holy Islam. all very clear in the holy Quran.”

    There’s nothing I can add to this Muslims, feelings how he feels about us, the rest of the world.

  18. Gerald (Jerry) Gay says:

    Remember the commandment: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

    1. Allen says:

      Gerald (Jerry) Gay,
      Can we presume you are quoting Matthew 22:37 “… you shall love Yahuah your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like unto this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two Commandments the whole Torah hangs and the prophets.”
      Or perhaps you are quoting, Jacob 2:8 “However, if you fulfill the Royal law, according to the written, you shall love your neighbor as yourself…”?
      Do you follow the scripture, the written Torah? Or do you pick and choose the instructions you wish to follow?
      Cindy and I are always looking to associate with people who worship Yahuah according to his word. We mimmic Yahushua the Messiah, the Word-of-Yahuah.
      Shalom, Allen.

  19. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    Well, brothers and sisters, Are we children of the same Universe? or not? I volunteer as Mental Health Counselor in prison to young inmates trying to help them when time served, to come back healthy to our society. Am behavioral Sociologist. One of the most useful tactic to have into consideration with a supposed enemy or hater, is coming or sitting close to them trying to be gentle, lovely, showing them that it is not necessary to be enemies and giving them any help. Many are confused.
    Note: Please do not forget the Crusades, when both parties perpretated atrocities every each invocating their Faith..It has been known that the opposite of love it is not hate. It is fear.
    The only way to cure our planet is love. love without conditions.
    Note: Of course, I will never accept to put my other cheek as a matter of a principle that the love begins with oneself. Love+love.
    Anyone to dialogue is free to contact me at dr.enriqueperezblanco@gmail.com

    1. Calvin Pacheco says:

      No we are not all the same. That assumption is naive at best. Being a behavioral psychologist makes me wonder if these, well goofy, posts are some kind of experiment to see how we would react to these statements.

  20. Bernard Moleman says:

    I would allow them to move next door but if I see them doing anything SUSPICIOUS like working on a car (can be turned into car bomb) I WILL call the police.

  21. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    Bernard my brother, it is clear. Love your neighbor like you love yourself; but NEVER more than yourself and your family.

  22. Joaquine Perez says:

    I beleive that what happen yesterday in NY will change some of your views on the matter. I live in France but born in Morocco from a french family of spanish origins. All comunities lived together in perfect respect of each others beleifs, arabs (muslim or not), jews, french,spanish, italians, but in 1955,The return of Mohamed V,the legitimate ruler of the country, a lot of people were slaughtered and this is not a word misused, by their nice neighbors who wouldn’t look you in the eye or say hello as usual hours before the massacre.
    Now back to France, we have muslims from all over, even from russia all with big families, 6 kids at least, the french being very immigrant friendly,will give them everything, lodging,money all kinds of advantages and of course they don’t work. They don’t respect their neighbors, make their own rules, kids out in the streets at no hours, and when the police comes around, they don’t understand french so… but when it comes to getting new benefits they understand even before they are published. And on the other side you have french people, that have worked all their lives, getting less and less benefits and even starving! No wonder the nationalist party is getting more votes.I DON’T VOTE FOR THEM Even in small towns you see veiled women every where with kids all around them and pregnant. I almost forgot, we deserve this we were a colonial country who invaded these country and stole their natural products.I am not saying that the french were angels in doing this. Anyone interested in History can researche Algeria, before, during and after, the french and today and who is ruining the country and getting rich, not the people.
    I am not writing this to instill hate but to open your eyes before it is to late. I have seen propagand films on fb about muslim university students defending terrorists because of what ameicans have done in Iraq, and other provocations on shows.

    1. Steve Sexton says:

      that does make a lot of sense Jaoquine

  23. Rick R Williams says:

    It is a personal decision to either accept your Muslim neighbors as friends and neighbors. But most are deeply rooted in their beliefs and their Quran has about 109 verses in it that demands the murder and slaughter of anyone that refuses to convert over to Islam. If you feel comfortable enough to live by people that for over 1400 years has a long history of targeting Christians and burning them alive, then more power to you. I personally follow what the Bible says and it is clear we are to have no fellowship with those that do not have the doctrine of Christ. If Christians want to buddy up with Satans children then they get what they deserve.

  24. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

    One question: The man that killed 58 and hurt 500 persons in Las Vegas Nevada was muslim?

    1. Bill Fox says:

      ISIS claimed the attack.

      1. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

        Bill dear, it has not yet been proved that. ISIS used to take credit for all attacks done in order to continue scaring our nation. Until now there it is NO evidence that the killer had a relationship with muslims. None,
        Note: I am pastor christian+Mental health counselor helping all faiths young inmates. To do that I never ask the beliefs of them. We are children of the same Universe. There are millions and millions of muslims and only a few (little) are terrorists-sick of the mind.

        1. Calvin Pacheco says:

          Wrong to be muslim means to follow the quran which gives all kinds of ways to dominate other people. If you are not following the quran then you are not muslim. The quran does not give you a choice to follow onl y some writtings

  25. Bill Fox says:

    I have lived in a very diverse neighborhood for half my life. We have multiple races and religions here. I would love for a Muslim family to move in next door.

    1. Calvin Pacheco says:

      Don’t leave your wife or daughters home alone if they do

  26. Rev sepultero says:

    I’m sorry but Islam is evil plain and simple.

    1. REV. DR. ENRIQUE PEREZ BLANCO says:

      It is not one or the other. It is not this or that.
      .

      1. Calvin Pacheco says:

        Yes it is evil. Read the quran

  27. Calvin Pacheco says:

    I am amazed how ignorant most of you are. Islam is violent dominating and allows illegal behaviour. (Pedophilia). Before you answer any question on islam you need to read the quran. Then and only then can you make an informed intelligent answer.

  28. Calvin Pacheco says:

    I truly believe, and by reading the posts here, that most people are ignorant of the muslim religion and are making posts on the belief that muslims are free thinking accepting people. This could not be farther from the truth. Please read the quran. Educate yourselves because some of your posts sound, let’s say uneducated

  29. The Prophet of Life says:

    “Racism is not a symptom of evil nor is it a symptom of stupidity. It is merely a symptom of ignorance.” The Prophet of Life from Quotes about Topics of General Interest.

  30. Ron Snow says:

    I would welcome them and get to know them before making any judgement. Every religion has their crazies. The Westboro Baptist Church is at the top of my list.

  31. Zea Weis says:

    I’m a retired Cosmetologist and very multicultural. Its funny when these questioned are asked “would you have an issue with a Muslim moving next door.
    I think the question should be to the Muslim family?
    See I’ve would do anyone that walked in the door…But I’ve found the problem is “I’m not black”…I’m don’t talk Jesus”..and the last “I have no faith”…
    It goes both ways..
    I’ve have found more hate in religion than anything else.

  32. Ashley says:

    No skin of my nose, don’t care who you are so long as you’re nice neighbor and you’re tidy…!!

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