En ny meningsmåling viser at tyskerne har langt mindre til overs for muslimer og islam som religion enn land som Frankrike, Danmark og Nederland. Under 5 prosent av tyskerne mener islam er en tolerant religion.
Tallene tyder på at den debatten man har sett i sommer og høst er uttrykk for hva folk egentlig mener, de har bare ikke hatt noe sted å si det. Som Europas største land er det betydningsfullt. Debatten i Tyskland vil over tid påvirke hele Europa. Men først må meningsdannerne i Tyskland innse realitetene. De ønsker igjen å belære og moralisere, men det kommer neppe til å virke. Tvert om, det kan bli mediene som må innstille seg på hva folk mener.
“Compared with the French, Dutch and Danish, a rigid and intolerant grasp of foreign religions predominates in Germany,” said the head of the project, sociologist Detlef Pollack. “The statement that Islam is part of Germany is completely disregarded in the opinions of Germans.”
The polling firm TNS Emnid, on behalf of the Münster researchers, surveyed 1,000 people each in the former west and former east Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal. The study will be officially released later on Thursday in Berlin.
Fewer than 5 percent of Germans, compared with more than 20 percent of Danes, French and Dutch consider Islam to be a tolerant religion, according to the study.
Each of the other countries has had high-profile conflict with their Muslim communities – such as the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, head scarf controversies in France and the murder of anti-Islam filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, as well as the rise of far-right politician Geert Wilders.
Nevertheless, a clear majority of people in those countries have a positive view of Muslims. By contrast, just 34 percent of western Germans and 26 percent of eastern Germans are positive about Muslims.
Most Germans saw barely any positive side to Islam, Pollack said. Less than 30 percent in the former west supported the building of mosques, while in the former east the figure was less than 20 percent. The acceptance of minarets or the adoption of Muslim holidays received even less support.
In Denmark, by comparison, more than half of respondents supported the building of mosques, while in France and the Netherlands the figure was about two-thirds and in Portugal it was nearly three quarters.