Resentment against Jews and Muslims is widespread in Germany, and it is even more widespread among people with a migration background.

This is a finding of a study by the Advisory Council for Integration and Migration (SVR).

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have been well researched with a view to society as a whole, said the head of the SVR's scientific staff, Jan Schneider, on Wednesday.

"What has been lacking so far is systematic research on anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim attitudes within the population with a migration background." This is where the study comes in.

So how widespread are such attitudes and what does this have to do with?

Tobias Schrors

political editor.

  • Follow I follow

According to the study, between just under ten and a good 50 percent of those questioned have anti-Semitic attitudes, depending on the population group and the form of anti-Semitism. Such attitudes are less common among respondents without a migration background.

In addition, anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic attitudes are somewhat more common among people with a migration background, although the difference to the population without an immigrant background is smaller here.

Close distance to Muslims

Between a third and almost half of the respondents have anti-Islamic attitudes, although a similar number of respondents stated that Islam fits into German society.

And while the majority of those surveyed rated the integration of Muslims positively, around four out of ten respondents stated that many Muslims in Germany were religious fanatics.

38 percent of people without a migration background affirm the latter, and around 43 percent of those surveyed with a migration background see it that way.

In view of these findings, it is surprising that the social distance to Muslims seems to be small for most respondents.

Between 61 and 83 percent accept Muslims as equal members of society.

Overall, Muslims are viewed more positively than Islam as a religious community.

The SVR scientists also show that anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attitudes are related to educational backgrounds and intercultural contacts.

In short: Those who have a German school-leaving certificate are less likely to make anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim comments.

This connection does not only apply to people with Turkish roots.

The scientists also attribute this to the fact that schoolchildren in Germany deal intensively with the Holocaust.

They recommend considering the topic in integration courses.

Another aspect is personal relationships.

People without a migration background who maintain contact with people with a migration background are less likely to have anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attitudes.

At least with regard to anti-Muslim attitudes, this also applies to people with a migration background; such a connection cannot be proven for anti-Semitic attitudes.

The study also shows that people who feel discriminated against are more likely to adopt anti-group attitudes.

Perceived discrimination based on origin is more strongly associated with anti-Semitic attitudes and discrimination based on religion is more strongly associated with anti-Muslim attitudes.

Four out of ten respondents who feel discriminated against because of their origin agree with most anti-Semitic statements.

Based on surveys from 2019 and 2020

In the population with a migration background, Muslims tend to have anti-Semitic attitudes more frequently than Christians and people who do not belong to any religious community.

Half of the Muslims surveyed said they were anti-Semitic, a third of the Christians and a quarter of those without a religious affiliation.

Schneider pointed out that resentment affects living together in an immigration country.

"In the worst case, however, these attitudes lead to violence." This was shown not only by catastrophes such as the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019 or the attack in Hanau in 2020, but also by many thousands of other punishments that had an anti-Semitic or Islamophobic background.

Although most of them can be assigned to the right or right-wing extremist spectrum, between 2020 and 2021 the cases of so-called politically motivated crime that went back to a foreign or religious ideology also increased.

Data from the integration barometer, a representative survey of people with and without a migration background in Germany, were evaluated for the study.

It measures the integration climate in the immigration society and collects assessments and expectations in relation to integration and migration.

A total of 15,095 people were surveyed between November 2019 and August 2020 for the 2020 integration barometer.