Muslims form between 6 and 7% of German society, Source: Depositphotos

50% of Germans are OK with Islamophobia, study finds

50% of Germans are OK with Islamophobia, study finds

The revealing report was commissioned by the country’s interior ministry

Last week, the Independent Expert Panel on Hostility against Muslims (UEM) presented a 400-page report that illustrates the state of Islamophobia in German society. The study itself was commissioned by the country’s interior ministry after a right-wing extremist attack on Muslims in the city of Hanau in 2020.

The 12-member panel cited data showing that about half of Germans accept anti-Muslim statements, and that fact itself “provides a dangerous breeding ground” for extremist groups.

German Interior Minister Nancy Weser said at the presentation of the report: 

Muslims have been part of our society for many decades. Nevertheless, they are often attacked, marginalised and excluded because of their faith. This is also the experience of people who are mistaken for Muslims.

The report also analyzed the political landscape and found that nearly all parties in Germany, with the exception of The Left (Die Linke), were not consistent in their efforts to promote anti-Islamophobia, even if they opposed it. The far-right Alternative for Germany actually pushes Islamophobia as one of its main policy pillars.

What can be done?

Germany has a Muslim population of around 5.5 million, largely due to immigration from predominantly Muslim countries and the presence of Turkish guest workers who arrived in the 1960s and 1970s. A second large wave of immigration happened in 2015 when many refugees from Syria and Iraq headed to the country in search of a better life.

Apart from stating the situation on the ground, the experts behind the report offer recommendation on how to go forward in order to lower societal tension and ease the integration of Muslims into German society.

They suggest the appointment of a federal commissioner for combating hostility toward Muslims and recommend that a permanent council of experts be set up. The idea is to increase efforts to show solidarity with Muslim people even at the institutional level, so that they will know they are supported by the public sphere.

The experts also recommend the development of a strategy to promote the participation of people "with Muslim identity references" in all state institutions. On the education front, they emphasize the need to further train public contact figures, such as teachers, police officers and employees of the judiciary and administrative institutions.



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