German poll indicates a widespread fear of Muslims and Islam

National Secular Society 7 December 2012

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has commissioned an opinion poll to find out what Germans think about Muslims. Generally, the results are regarded as "catastrophic".

Respondents to the poll were asked to choose which of 21 statements they were offered about Islam that most closely reflected their opinion. 83% of them think that Islam is associated with impairing women's rights, 77% thought Islam was a literalist religion; 70% said Islam is associated with religious fanaticism and radicalism. A significant part of Germany's population also believes that Islam is ready for violence (64%), hatred (60%), active missionary activity (56%), and striving for political influence (56%). Only 13% of respondents associate Islam with love for neighbours; 12% - with charity; 7% - with openness and tolerance.

These results do not differ much from a similar poll conducted in May 2006, although that poll was taken at the height of the Mohammed cartoons controversy.

The high level of mistrust in Islam is reflected in other questions. For example, in 2006, 55% of respondents answered yes to the question "Do you think that serious conflicts will appear between the Western Christian culture and the Arab Muslim culture in the future?" Today there are 44% people who think so. In 2006 and today a quarter of respondents believe that such serious conflicts exist even now. (continue reading...)