Europe Supports Trumping Trump’s “Muslim Ban”?

by Randall T. Oliver

There are many opinions on Executive Order 13769, officially named "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” and termed by some as “The Muslim Ban,” and while U.S. attitudes on the order are diverse, many agree that the order is controversial. The order, which temporarily banned the entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and indefinitely banned Syrian refugees, has since been halted by the judiciary.

But what do Americans think about Trump’s executive order?

Quinnipiac University conducted a poll, days before Trump’s inauguration, looking at support for "suspending immigration from 'terror prone' regions, even if it means turning away refugees.” According to that survey, 48% supported such a proposal, while 42% opposed such a plan. However, according to more recent polls, there has been a shift in Americans’ opposition to Trump’s order. Quinnipiac’s more recent polls showed 51% of Americans were against the order, and CNN/ORC’s poll showed 53% of Americans opposed the order. A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll, on the other hand, shows that support for Trump’s order has grown, with 54% approving and 38% disapproving.   

While the order is no longer in effect in the United States, at least for now, what do our neighbors across the pond think?

Chatham House recently conducted a survey to answer that very question. They surveyed more than 10,000 people in 10 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Spain, and the UK. The survey asked participants to state to what degree they agreed or disagreed with the statement – “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.” The wording here is significant. Trump’s executive order specifically impacted the travel and/or migration of populations of seven listed countries, whose populations total around 218 million. The Chatham House survey uses “mainly Muslim countries.” Such a ban would prevent the migration of nearly 1.2 billion people, representing the populations of the roughly 50 Muslim-majority countries.  2 of those Muslim-majority countries, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are European countries.

After completing the study, Chatham House found across all the surveyed countries, 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed, and only 20% disagreed. Over 70% of respondents agreed with such a ban in Poland, and over 60% of respondents supported such a ban in Austria, Belgium, Hungary, and France. In the two countries that did not have majority support for such a ban, Spain and the UK, the percentages of disagreement were only 32% and 23%, respectively.    

Though European countries have not implemented a “Trump-style ban,” it seems that there are at least some levels of support for such a policy. On average, there is more support in Europe for a “Trump-style ban” than there is in the United States. With the rise of anti-immigration rhetoric and national elections set to occur throughout 2017 in countries like France, Germany, and the Netherlands, only time will tell if some European countries will attempt to trump Trump’s executive order.


Chatham House survey: