Muslims pray during Friday prayers at the Turkish Kuba Camii mosque located near a hotel housing refugees in Cologne's district of Kalk, Germany, October 14, 2016. Picture taken October 14, 2016..
(photo credit: WOLFGANG RATTAY / REUTERS)
The Bertelsmann Foundation released a study on Thursday revealing that every second German feels threatened by Islam. Dr. Yasemin El-Menouar, an Islam expert with Bertelsmann, wrote “Overall, about half of the respondents perceive Islam as a threat.
In East Germany, this proportion is even higher at 57% than in West Germany [50%].“
The new study surveyed 1,000 people. It was conducted by the foundation’s Religion Monitor department and the data was collected in the Spring of 2019. Only a third of those surveyed said Islam enriches German society. In contrast, a majority of Germans say Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism serve to enrich Germany.
El-Menouar suspects that the negative result for Islam is influenced by the perception that Islam is more of a political ideology and less of a religion. However, the study also noted that “Only a minority of citizens show a clearly anti-Islamic view and demand, for example, to prevent the immigration of Muslims.”
According to El-Menouar, “Although our study shows a widespread skepticism of Islam, but that is not necessarily synonymous with hostility toward [Muslims]. Many people have reservations about Islam, but that does not lead to political demands or anti-democratic views.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed a largely open border policy starting in 2015 that resulted in the absorption of over one million new refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.
The Bertelsmann Foundation operates independently in Gütersloh, Germany.
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