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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Muslims in Germany esteem liberty, deplore discrimination

A survey published Friday has found that Muslims in Germany value the country's freedom of religion, but complain that they face discrimination because most of them are not German.

The government-funded survey, conducted in four main cities, concluded 10 per cent of Muslims were hostile to democracy.

Only 5 per cent said they supported the use of force so that Islam would prevail, but nearly half of the 1,000 respondents said force was justified to defend Islam if it was threatened by the West.

The study was conducted by Hamburg-based sociologists Katrin Brettfeld and Peter Wetzels.

Practically all said that they could practice Islam without hindrance in Germany and that this was a positive feature.

But more than half the Muslims complained at discrimination on account of their ethnic origins, with one in five saying they had experienced an incident of racism in the past 12 months.

Bekir Alboga, spokesman for the coordinating council of German Islamic bodies, said in Cologne that the report showed there was practically no difference between the attitudes of young Muslims and young non-Muslims to democracy and the rule of law.

The survey, commissioned by the interior ministry, showed 90 per cent of Muslims in Germany agreed that suicide attacks were cowardly and damaging to the Islamic cause. [Link]

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