Donald Trump’s immigration order blocking people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US met fierce resistance at home. But while the majority of European leaders condemned the ban—French president François Hollande led the attack at a recent EU summit—a recent survey of more than 10,000 people from 10 of the EU’s largest countries found the majority to be in favor of Trump’s draconian immigration policy.
The survey—which, however, was carried out before Trump’s executive order was implemented—asked people to what extent they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.” Overall, 55% agreed, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 20% disagreed.
Poles were most likely to agree (71%), followed by Austrians (65%), Hungarians (64%), Belgians (64%), and French (61%). Researchers note that, barring Poland, the five countries that most opposed Muslim immigration have either been at the center of the refugee crisis or recently experienced terrorist attacks.
By age, people aged 60 and over were the most opposed to Muslim immigration, while those aged 30 or under were less so. But even in the youngest cohort, only 27% disagreed with banning further Muslim immigration, and 44% agreed.
There was also a small but noticeable divide between cities and rural areas. Just over half of city-dwellers opposed further Muslim immigration, while 58% of respondents from rural areas did.
The findings reflect other surveys showing an increase in anti-immigrant feeling across the continent. In eight of the 10 European nations surveyed in a Pew study last year, half or more of the respondents believed the recent surge of refugees increased the likelihood of terrorism in their country. In five countries, half or more admitted holding unfavorable views of Muslims—Hungary (72%), Italy (69%), Poland (66%), Greece (65%), and Spain (50%).
Donald Trump, who recently dismissed all negative polls against him as “fake news,” has tweeted the study and other polls that show people to be in favor of his ban.