Antisemitism: Muslims significantly more often agree with statements than non-Muslims

AAnti-Semitic stereotypes and resentments are much more prevalent among Muslims in Germany than among the average population. In addition, AfD voters significantly more often agree with anti-Semitic statements than voters from other parties. These are the results of a representative survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy on behalf of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The survey is available to WELT.

As a result, almost 22% of the country’s population share anti-Semitic attitudes – a finding that has been consistently proven by studies for many years. Of the Muslims surveyed, nearly 46% agreed with anti-Semitic statements.

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About one in three non-Muslims believe Jews have used their status as Holocaust victims to their advantage. 54% of German-speaking Muslims agree. 23% of Germany’s non-Muslim population subscribes to the anti-Semitic myth that Jews have too much power in business and finance. No less than 49% of Muslims surveyed agree with this statement.

The statement “Jews are richer than the average German” is shared by 27% of the total population – as well as 47% of Muslims. This has nothing to do with reality: since the 1990s, around 220,000 people have come to Germany as Jewish refugees from the quota of the successor states of the Soviet Union; they represent about 90% of the Jews living in Germany. According to the Central Office for Jewish Welfare in Germany, between 65,000 and 70,000 of these people live in poverty in old age, including many Holocaust survivors.

A third of Muslim representatives surveyed even hold Jews responsible for many economic crises, which is true for eleven percent of non-Muslim respondents.

Source: WORLD infographic

“The results show once again that anti-Semitism is not just a problem at the political margins, but is deeply rooted in the middle of society,” says AJC Berlin director Remko Leemhuis. “Anti-Semitism is not just a problem for the Muslim community. However, this immense problem cannot be ignored if the fight against anti-Semitism is to be successful.

The survey also shows a close link between the degree of religiosity and anti-Semitic resentment in the Muslim population.

Thus, Muslims who said they frequently attended a mosque agreed with the anti-Semitic statements asked for significantly more frequently than Muslims who said they only occasionally, rarely or never attended religious services. However, approval of anti-Semitic statements among those who seldom go to mosque is sometimes lower than among those who never attend a service.

Source: WORLD infographic

There are also clear differences in attitudes towards Israel. Among non-Muslims polled, 54% have a “good” or “very good” image of the Jewish state. Among Muslims, this concerns only 19% of respondents, while two-thirds say they have a “bad” or “very bad” image of Israel. Anti-Semitic resentments are much more common among people who have a poor image of Israel.

Demonstration against the anti-Israeli boycott movement BDS

Demonstration against the anti-Israeli boycott movement BDS

Source: dpa/Swen Guardian

The AJC also commissioned a survey of how approval of anti-Semitic statements differs among voters of parties represented in the Bundestag. What is striking here is that across all of the statements surveyed, approval ratings are highest among AfD supporters and lowest among Green supporters.

48% of AfD voters polled share the view that Jews exploited the Holocaust for their own benefit, compared to 24% of Green Party voters and 34% of the general population. 46% of AfD voters consider Jews to be wealthier than the average German, 20% of Green voters and 27% of the general population.

Source: WORLD infographic

There are also clear differences between the groups surveyed when it comes to commemorating the National Socialist extermination of the Jews. A total of 91% think Holocaust remembrance is important. However, among young people (14%), Muslims (21%) and AfD supporters (24%), the opinion that the commemoration is “not that important” is also widespread.

As early as October last year, a representative survey commissioned by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and conducted by opinion research institute Forsa showed that AfD supporters agreed with anti-Semitic statements with above-average frequency.

Other findings from the new survey: 60% of the general population and 53% of Muslims see anti-Semitism as a widespread problem. 43% of the general population and 37% of Muslims see far-right views as the main cause of hatred of Jews.

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In contrast, only 17% of the general population and 8% of Muslims see Islamist views as the most important cause. Two-thirds of Muslims and 73% of the general population see anti-Semitism as a problem that affects not only Jews but society as a whole.

For the study, the Allensbach Institute interviewed 1,586 German speakers aged 18 and over between December 22, 2021 and January 18, 2022, including 561 Muslims. To align the samples with the general population, a weighting was carried out on the basis of the 2020 microcensus and the “Muslim life in Germany 2020” study of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

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