The perception of the younger generation about Islam in Germany has improved, a study conducted in the country has found. The study was recently conducted by the Working Group of Evangelical Youth in Germany. Its results were first published this month in an annual conference about “Islamophobia” and racism against Muslims, IslamiQ reported.
Entitled “Perspectives on Society, Religion and the Islamic Debate”, the study also shows that prejudices are fewer in those young people whose parents have higher education.
The study has been carried out on young people between the ages of 14 and 29 from February to April 2021.
The finding above notwithstanding, the study shows that still, part of the society in Germany has a hard view against this religion.
In an earlier study, Allensbach Institute estimated that 65% of Germans believed the right to freedom of religion applied to Muslims just as much as it did to Christians and members of other religions but 18% are opposing this view.
On the other hand, 28% of people in Germany perceive Islam as a threat while 63% believe certain groups affiliated with Islam are a threat and 5% see no threat in Islam.
The institute had found in 2010 that a majority of Germans believed the country’s roughly four million Muslims were an economic burden, adding further fire to a raging immigration debate in Europe’s top economy. The survey, by the Allensbach Institute for the Financial Times Deutschland, showed that 55% of Germans thought Muslims “cost considerably more socially and financially than they produce economically”.
In 2013, the institute found that prejudices against immigrants were the strongest predictor for anti-Muslim opinions, followed by gender stereotypes, violence and intolerance for minorities.
Nevertheless, a Pew survey found in 2017 that between 2010 and 2016, the number of Muslims living in Germany rose from 3.3 million (4.1% of the population) to nearly 5 million (6.1%), while the rest of the population shrank modestly from 77.1 million to 76.5 million. Immigration has been a major factor in the growth of Germany’s Muslim population. But, even if there is no more immigration, Muslims will continue to increase as a share of Germany’s population in future decades because German Muslims, on average, are much younger and have more babies than Germans as a whole.
The Muslim minority in Germany has been largely remained marginalised in the mainstream public sphere. In response, some Muslims in Germany have turned to blogs as an alternative space to challenge the dominant public discourse through varied discursive practices.