"Should following Islam be banned in Belgium?"

A full seventeen percent of Flemings believe that it would be a good idea to ban Islam in our country. This is one of the more remarkable findings of a public opinion survey conducted by the Flemish public broadcaster VRT together with the daily De Standaard.

The survey looked at attitudes towards Islam and terrorism. The governing Flemish nationalist N-VA had proposed allowing the police to detain terrorist suspects without a warrant. That idea was shot down by liberal and Christian democrat coalition partners. The N-VA seems in tune with public opinion with 64% of Flemings supporting the move. Such detentions would have to be confirmed by an examining magistrate but only at a later date. 26% of Flemings oppose the measure.

"Should following Islam be banned in Belgium?" was another question put to respondents. 17% of Flemings agree. The idea is most popular among the over 55's, the low skilled, Vlaams Belang voters and blue collar workers.

At the same time half of all Flemings believe that the presence of Muslim immigrants enriches our society. 27% oppose this idea.

Strikingly only 91% of Flemings feel stiff penalties should be meted out to those supporting terrorists, while 67% of Flemings don't mind being served in a shop by a Muslim wearing a headscarf.

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