Shi'ite Muslim women attend an Ashura procession in central Sydney January 7, 2009.
Shi'ite Muslim women attend an Ashura procession in central Sydney January 7, 2009. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

A new poll has revealed that 60 percent of Australians would be concerned if a relative married a Muslim. A university study into Islamophobia has also revealed that more than a third of those surveyed agreed that Muslims pose a threat to Australia.

A Deakin University research has found that 60 percent of the 304 randomly selected Australians would be worried if someone from their family married a Muslim. Thirty-three percent of them, on the other hand, would be worried if a relative would marry a Jew. Only 8.1 percent of them would have reservations if a relative would marry a Christian, and 29.4 percent would have issues with a relative marrying a Buddhist.

The survey, obtained by AAP, shows that 40.4 percent of them agree that “practicing Muslims pose a threat to Australian society. In the same vein, 36.5 percent agree that “practicing Muslims should be searched more thoroughly than others in airports and stations.” Twenty-six percent, meanwhile, want counter-terrorism policies to focus exclusively on practicing Muslims.

The results come a week after an Essential Research poll says 49 percent of Australians support Muslim immigration ban. The respondents were voters of the three major political parties in the country: Labor, Liberal and Greens.

Read more: Poll says 49% of Australians want Muslim immigration ban

Deakins research co-author Dr Matteo Vergani said the result shows a higher level of prejudice is felt toward Muslim neighbours or living near a mosque, compared to other religions. However, as people get to learn more about Islam, their prejudice decreases.

“In the wake of the recent Essential poll, which showed that 49 percent of Australians support a ban on Muslim immigration, this result is particularly heartening and important because it suggests that education and knowledge of Islam is key to overcoming Islamophobia and building a more cohesive society,” he has been quoted by AAP as saying.

Professor Fethi Mansouri, a Deakin Islamic religiosity expert, had an opposite reaction, though. Instead of seeing the result of the survey as encouraging, he said it was worrying because it proves the strong feelings of exclusion felt by Muslims in the country.