A new survey of national attitudes released on Thursday by the Monash University in Australia has revealed that the city of Sydney is the most hostile to Muslims, while Melbourne is seen as the most tolerant towards members of that community.
The survey, which appears in the Sydney Morning Herald, further states that among a majority of Australians, the spirit of multi-culturalism prevails and that there is barely any support for calls from far-right groups to officially discriminate or reject would-be migrants on the basis of religion or ethnicity.
The survey identified broad support for multiculturalism in mainland capital cities, but with differences most pronounced in sentiment towards Muslims.
Only 16 per cent of Melburnians reported a negative view of Muslims, compared with 27 per cent in Sydney.
The findings in Sydney are closely matched in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Canberra is the only city close to Melbourne with 16.1 per cent negative.
The Monash survey titled Mapping Social Cohesion, was conducted in most years since 2007 to identify long term social trends - contains some warning signs.
For instance, people from non-English speaking backgrounds remained twice as likely to report experience of discrimination, and Muslims more than twice as likely as Roman Catholics to feel discriminated against.
Monash University social researcher Andrew Markus said the findings showed Australians broadly supported the policy to turn back asylum seeker boats and this appeared to have strengthened public faith the immigration system.