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Almost half of eastern Germans support a Muslim ban

25th Nov 2022

Nadine Osman

Xenophobia and Islamophobia have been on the rise in eastern Germany, with some 46.6 percent of people in the region supporting a ban on Muslim immigrants, up from 40.2 percent polled in 2020, according to a survey by Leipzig University.

The survey results, published on November 9, also reveal that 42.7 percent of respondents said they felt like foreigners in their own country because of the large number of Muslims.

Researchers pointed out that anti-Muslim attitudes were higher in the ex-communist eastern German states, where significantly fewer Muslims are living and people have less contact with Muslims.

“Agreement with extreme right-wing statements is not only decreasing in the whole of Germany, but especially in eastern Germany.

That’s good news, but it’s only half the picture,” says the head of the study, Professor Oliver Decker. “While elements of neo-Nazi ideology are rarer, resentment of those perceived as ‘different’ has increased,” added co-head Elmar Brähler.

According to the study, the percentage of people with “manifestly xenophobic” attitudes in eastern Germany has risen from 27.8 to 31 percent compared to 2020, whereas it has fallen from 13.7 to 12.6 percent in western Germany. Forty percent of eastern Germans say they believe Germany is being “swamped with foreigners,” and 23 percent of western Germans also agree with this statement.

In western Germany, 23.6 percent said they advocated for a ban on immigration from Muslim countries, and 36.6 percent said they felt like foreigners in their own country due to the high number of immigrants.
The Leipzig Authoritarianism Study 2022 has also revealed that xenophobia is on the rise in the eastern German states.

Some 33.1 percent of the respondents agreed with certain xenophobic statements, with a majority of them saying “Germany is swamped by foreigners” and that they should be sent to their home countries if there is a shortage of jobs in Germany.

A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to around 4.7 million Muslims, according to the official figures.

The country has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fuelled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.

German authorities registered at least 662 Islamophobic hate crimes in 2021. More than 46 mosques were attacked between January and December last year, and at least 17 people suffered injuries due to anti-Muslim violence.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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