In Western Europe, familiarity with Muslims is linked to positive views of Muslims and Islam

Source: Pew Research Center

A woman outside the East London Mosque after the first Friday prayers of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Across Western Europe, people who say they personally know a Muslim are generally more likely than others to have positive opinions of Muslims and their religion, according to a recent Pew Research Center study in 15 countries. However, knowing something about Islam – as opposed to personally knowing a Muslim – is less associated with these positive feelings.

This pattern is evident across several different questions the Center asked of non-Muslim Europeans to gauge attitudes toward Muslims, including whether they think Islam is compatible with their country’s culture and values and whether they would be willing to accept a Muslim as a member of their family.

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