Islam debate in Germany: Anxiety sparked by ignorance

22 Oct 2010

Headscarf discussions, battles about newly built mosques and the Islam-critical best-seller by Thilo Sarrazin. At the same time that German Federal President Christian Wulff is declaring that Islam is part of Germany. But he has by no means been able to persuade the Germans to agree with him.
Many German citizens are ill at ease because they see their way of life being called into question by the presence of Islam. The headscarves and veils worn by Islamic women annoy them especially. They wonder whether these women are being oppressed. The same concerns are also expressed in the results of a study just published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Oliver Decker, who led the study, speaks of a “very distinct increase from previously 34 per cent to over half the population who agree with statements hostile to Islam”. Many Germans are also sceptical with regard to the building of new mosques, he says.