Germans less tolerant of Islam than neighbours, study finds

2 December 2010

Germans are more critical of Islam and less tolerant of building mosques than their neighbours in France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal, a new survey has found.
Despite the other European countries’ often fractious relationships with their Muslim communities, people there were relatively positive about Islam and its followers compared to Germany, according to the survey commissioned by a research group based at the University of Münster.
According to weekly Die Zeit, which reported on an advance version of the study on Thursday, four out of 10 Germans in the former west of the country and 50 percent in the former east feel threatened by foreign cultures.
“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.”