New study: Australians are increasingly intolerant

AUSTRALIA DAY CITIZENSHIP CEREMONYEspecially towards Muslims, or people they believe to be Muslims. According to a new study from Monash University, the number of people with “negative views toward cultural diversity” is on the rise, and could be as high as 40% of the populace. Unsurprisingly, more than 40% of recent immigrants from Asia and South Asia report experiencing racial or religious discrimination in Australia. 

Asked if immigration makes Australia “stronger,” more than a quarter of Australians said no, and another quarter admitted having “negative feelings” toward immigrants from the Middle East – and given the way that people tend to under-report when asked about their attitudes about race, you can bet the real number is a good deal higher than 25%.

And, it would appear that that intolerance is being heard loud and clear on the world stage. From The Guardian:

Australia is one of the few countries where large-scale immigration is still popular; we are open to the world; but we aren’t as friendly any more.

“Department of Immigration surveys around 2000 were asking migrants what they most liked about Australia and the number one factor was ‘Australians being kind and friendly people’. Now that’s at the bottom of the list. And it’s the same result if you’re asking Indians, or Sri Lankans or New Zealanders. It’s coming in at number zero.”

Way to go, home team. Way to go.

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Avatar ImageChloe Angyal knows Australia can do better.

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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