The majority of Germans do not think that Islam is a true part of German society, according to a poll by Forsa for Stern magazine. A total of 52 percent said disagreed with former President Christian Wulff’s statement that “Islam is now a part of Germany”, with 44 percent agreeing.
However, when asked how Germany should deal with hostility to Muslims, 53 percent believed it should be taken as seriously as anti-Semitism.
Green Party supporters were most likely to be favourable towards Islam, with 69 percent thinking it is a full part of Germany society, while 61 percent of people aged 14 to 29 also agree.
Only 36 percent of supporters of Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats agree with former president Wulff, while half of Social Democrat supporters agreed.
People from former East Germany also strongly disagreed, with only 31 percent agreeing that Islam is now a full part of German society, while 61 percent of over-60s disagree.
The most hostile group, however, are supporters of the anti-Euro Alternativ Für Deutschland (AfD), who are allied to Britain’s Conservative Party in the European Parliament. A massive 82 percent of AfD supporters did not think Islam formed part of German society.
Last week, Germany’s biggest tabloid newspaper, Bild, came under fire after writing a scathing editorial attacking Islam. Deputy editor-in-chief Nicolaus Faust wrote: “I’m bothered by the considerably disproportionate criminality of youths from Muslim backgrounds. I’m bothered by Islam’s murderous contempt for women and homosexuals. I’m bothered by forced marriages, ‘justices of the peace,’ ‘honour killings.'”
The piece attracted thousands of angry comments, leading to editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann having to write another editorial rejecting Faust’s arguments.
The controversy came in the wake of numerous anti-Semitic attacks in the country following large protests against Israel’s Gaza campaign.