New report highlights widespread hostility towards Muslims in Germany

New report highlights widespread hostility towards Muslims in Germany

A new daunting report presented at the interior ministry of Germany showed that at least one third of Muslims in the country experienced hostility for their religion. The Independent Group of Experts on Muslim Hostility worked for three years on the report on the country’s 5.5 million Muslim population.

According to the experts, who presented their findings on Thursday, the real numbers of discrimination are probably considerably higher as only 10% of Muslims reported hostility and hate crimes.

The hostility doesn’t come only from far-right circles, according to one author of the study, Kai Hafez of the University of Erfurt, with centrist parts of society displaying a stereotypical view of Muslims. Another author, Karima Benbrahim, underlined that there is a need within German society as a whole to make a joint effort to raise awareness and fight hostility.

The study showed that Muslim face downward hostility, blunt racism and daily stereotyping in all situations including schools, police, national, regional and municipal agencies, private job sector, housing market, media and politics. The hostility also is also apparent in all age groups. Some negative prejudice includes “the attribution of widespread, largely unchangeable, backward thinking and threatening characteristics to Muslims and people perceived as Muslim.”

Overall, German still largely perceives Muslim as “the others” despite the fact that roughly 50% of the country’s Muslim holds German passports. The Muslim population of Germany is made mostly by people of Turkish origin, followed by Arabic countries like Morocco and Lebanon. The first generation of Muslim immigrants arrived in the country more than 60 years ago as part of the Gastarbeiter program that attracted migrants to work in coal mining, steel factories and in the car industry. Several of these workers decided to remain in Germany, often bringing in their families.


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