Germany has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties.

A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.
A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. (Reuters Archive)

Anti-Muslim attitudes are widespread in Germany, according to a recent study conducted by the Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR).

Nearly 48 percent of respondents said they believe “Islam is not compatible with the German society,” while 29 percent suggested restricting practice of Islam in the country.

Nearly 44 percent of Germans surveyed argued that Muslim organizations should be monitored by the state’s security agencies, while only 16 percent opposed such a move.

Anti-Islamic attitudes were slightly more common among migrants who arrived in Germany from non-Muslim countries. People who had social contacts with Muslims, however, were less inclined to hold anti-Islamic attitudes, according to the report.

The SVR’s study also analyzed anti-Semitic attitudes in Germany and concluded that anti-Semitism was widespread both among Germans and migrant communities in the country.

“Negative attitudes towards people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths are divisive and undermine social cohesion. However, attitudes of this kind are not only held by people without a migration background, but also by people with a history of migration,” the report said.

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Stronger action urged

The SVR called for stronger action to counter anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic attitudes in all population groups, by promoting intercultural contacts and anti-discrimination work.

Among other things, religious communities need to be more closely involved, interfaith dialogue and related forms of interaction can also contribute to reducing prejudice, the group said.

A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to around 4.7 million Muslims, according to the official figures.

The country has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.

German authorities registered at least 662 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2021. More than 46 mosques were attacked between January and December last year, and at least 17 people suffered injuries due to the anti-Muslim violence.

READ MORE: What drives France’s sinister obsession with shutting down mosques?

Source: AA