Thursday, January 20, 2005

Germans, Jews and Muslims

Apparently, Germany is growing more intolerant of Jews and Muslims:

Germany is growing less tolerant of immigrants, especially Muslims, and more inclined toward anti-Semitism, regarding Jews in the same vein as foreigners, according to a new study of German attitudes.

"There is no distinction anymore between Jews, foreigners and Muslims," said Paul Spiegel, chairman of the Central Council of German Jews.

According to "German Conditions 2004," a study published by Bielefeld University and conducted by Wilhelm Heitmeyer, two thirds of the Germans consider the conduct of Israelis toward the Palestinians the same as the conduct of the Nazis toward the Jews and willingly express their disdain toward Jews living in Germany.

The study, released in Berlin just before Turkey was invited to begin negotiations to join the European Union, found that xenophobia in Germany, especially toward Muslims, has "dramatically" increased in the past two years.

Some 60 percent of Germans, according to the study, believe their country is "too foreign." Germany currently is home to about 6 million foreigners, out of 82 million, about 7 percent. The United States has an immigrant population of about 11 percent.

The main target of German xenophobia is its community of 3 million Muslims, mainly Turks. Seventy percent of the Germans surveyed said that Muslims do not fit in with Western society, and German society in particular. That figure is up from 55 percent of Germans who felt uncomfortable with Muslims two years ago.

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