Islamophobia: rise in France and Germany


A new poll has underlined growing concerns about the rise of far right politics in mainland Europe.

French and German people were polled about Muslim citizens living in their respective countries revealing staggering levels of predjudice. Four out of ten in each country said they see the Muslim community as a threat to their 'national identity'.

Of the sample of people surveyed in the poll in early December 2010, 68% in France and 75% in Germany said they considered Muslims "not well integrated in society". Of these numbers, 61% of French and 67% of Germans blamed this perceived failure on "refusal" by Muslims to integrate. However 18% of those who said Muslims were not integrated in France and 15% in Germany blamed it on "racism and lack of openness by certain French and German people".

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, estimated at about six million, originating largely from its former colonies in North Africa. It has passed a law banning the wearing of the face-covering Muslim veil in public.

Germany received large numbers of migrant workers, most of them from Muslim Turkey, from the 1960s. German federal authorities estimate its current Muslim population at about 4.3 million.

Leon Green