Germany .. Islam is a source of threat or richness and cultural diversity? | Politics and Economy -

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About 50 percent of Germans consider Islam a "threat," while only about a third of respondents see "rich cultural diversity" as in other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism. These are some of the conclusions of a study published Thursday (July 11, 2019) by the German Bertelsmann Foundation. We read in the study a quote attributed to one of its administrators, the German researcher in the Islamic Shun and Immigration d. "Many people do not view Islam today as a religion, but rather a radical ideology that tends to antagonize democracy," she said in a previous study. However, the researcher is of immigrant origin, recalling that the widespread suspicion among the Germans does not mean anti-Islam, as she put it.

The results differed among the participants in the study among the so-called new states (formerly East Germany) and the population of western German states; if the mental image of Islam in the West is more positive than in the East.

On the other hand, the results of the study, conducted on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the "Basic Law" (German Constitution), indicated that 89 percent of Germans, who embrace Judaism, Christianity and Islam, see democracy in Germany as a good form of government.

Reflect the reality on the ground?

Researcher in Islamic Affairs at the University of Freiburg educational, d. Abd al-Hakim Orgi, praises the study of Arab – and finds it "scientific and observant," but takes it and others like it to consider Islam as a "single block" without taking into account the fundamental differences within it between different sects, sects, sects, religious methods and currents.

Yasmine Al-Manwar defended the study and stressed that it "represents" the view of the Germans. In an interview with – Arabia, she said that studies in the past years were mostly "similar."

In a poll conducted early this year, about a quarter of young people in Germany expressed concern about the construction of mosques in their country. The survey found that about half of teenagers and young adults believe that in Germany no one can openly adopt specific views on topics such as immigration or Islam without being classified as right-wing or extreme right.

Berlin LKW nach Anschlag am Breitscheidplatz (picture-alliance / dpa / M. Kappeler)

Dozens of Germans have been killed and wounded in the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin

Terrorism, Refugees and Information

The head of the Supreme Council of Muslims in Germany, Ayman Mezik, does not hide his positive surprise at the results of the study. "Under the rhetoric of years ago, I expected the result to be worse," he said.

"The Germans are skeptical about the propaganda of the populist right and the speech that has been going on for more than a decade about Islam, which focuses on a small minority of terrorists and issues headlines," he said. He added that the media played a role attributed to "many problems related to Muslims to religion alone," stressing that religion has a role, but not the only factor: "There are social, cultural and political reasons."

Researcher Abdelhakim Orgi, Algerian origin, does not deny the role of "negative" media here, but believes that the biggest role played by Islamic extremism. Germany has been subjected to a series of terrorist attacks in the last few years, resulting in dozens more dead and wounded, more striking the German public opinion was the Christmas market attack in Berlin at the end of 2016.

"For years, the two discourse on Islam and immigration have been intertwined," said Rove Ceylan, an expert on Islamic affairs at the University of Osnabruck, Germany, adding that global conflicts in the Middle East are also linked to Islam. He believes that it is the duty of the German media not to present Islam only problematic.

"We have to admit that the Germans have a kind of fear of Islam because of the great wave of asylum in 2015," said Abdelhakim Orgui, a professor of immigration and asylum. However, Oreghi offers a positive picture of the refugees: "Two Syrian students joined our university two and three years later." The Syrian bloc, in general, is integrated.

The number of Muslims in Germany is estimated at about 5 million people, about 6% of the total population, mostly Turks or Turkish origin. The number of Arabs is more than one million, the majority of them Syrians, who numbered about 750 thousand at the end of last year.

"The German believes everything he reads"

"The German believes everything he reads," said researcher Abdulhakim Orgi, "the implications of the increase in fear of Islam will be used by the Alternative Party and the populists as proof of their policies."

Two months ago, the leader of the German populist Alternative Party, Alexander Gawland, said that "written Islam" was incompatible with the Basic Law. The populist politician explained that he understood within Islam "the set of religious rules that Muslims must follow." "I know that many Muslims do not follow part of these religious rules and live in accordance with the Basic Law," said the right-wing politician. In an earlier interview, Gawland described Islam as a "foreign body" in Germany.

In recent years, the number of attacks on Muslims, mosques and Islamic facilities in Germany has increased, according to the Interior Ministry. But fell significantly in 2018 compared with the year before.

According to estimates by the Supreme Council of Muslims, the number of mosques in Germany at the end of last October was about 2500, and in the same direction by experts in the German Bundestag: between 2350 and 2750.

What to do?

Dr. Abdel Hakim Orgi said that the biggest burden on Muslims is to prove the opposite of what is being said to improve the image of Islam in the minds of the Germans: "As Muslims we must provide Islam, not as a political project, but as a human project that respects the Creator and the Creator. Europe and the whole world. "

The President of the Supreme Council of Muslims, Ayman Mezik, makes concrete proposals: "To promote the activity of Muslims and their communities as the day of the open mosque and to speak more towards the Germans and participate in political life and activities in support of pluralism and democracy."

"It is not right to look at improving the image of Muslims in Germany as the mission of Muslims alone," said Islamic scholar Yasmin Al-Manwar, stressing that trans-religious relations are important for enhancing trust and removing reservations.

In the same vein, according to a study by the German Bertelsmann Foundation, 46 percent of Germans with continuing Muslim connections see Islam as enriching and rarely find it as a threat.

Khaled Salama

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