A comprehensive report presented at the interior ministry in Berlin on Thursday reveals the prevalence of racism, hatred, and violence against Muslims in Germany.
The Independent Group of Experts on Muslim Hostility spent three years analyzing scientific studies, police crime statistics, and documented incidents of anti-Muslim behavior by anti-discrimination agencies, counseling centers, and non-governmental organizations.
According to the AP news, the report concludes that at least one third of Germany’s 5.5 million Muslims have experienced hostility based on their religion. However, experts believe the actual numbers are significantly higher, as only 10% of Muslims appear to report incidents of hostility and hate crimes against them.
“Muslim life belongs to Germany as a matter of course,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser emphasized, expressing bitterness over the findings of the first comprehensive report on Muslim hostility in the country. “Muslims in Germany experience exclusion and discrimination in their everyday lives—right up to hatred and violence. It is very important to make this visible and to raise awareness of resentment that is still widespread,” Faeser stated.
The report reveals that German Muslims face not only explicit racism but also daily stereotyping from early childhood to old age. Negative prejudices against the community include attributing backward-thinking and threatening characteristics to Muslims and those perceived as Muslim. Such stereotypes result in exclusion and discrimination by mainstream German society, despite 50% of Muslims holding German passports.
Germany’s Muslim community is diverse, with many having Turkish roots, while others originally migrated from Arabic countries such as Morocco or Lebanon. The first generation of Muslim immigrants arrived in West Germany over 60 years ago as “guest workers” to contribute to the country’s economic development.
The researchers found that Muslim hostility pervades various aspects of life, including schools, police, national and local government agencies, the private job sector, housing markets, media, and politics. The study’s authors emphasized the need for joint efforts by society and institutions to raise awareness and combat Muslim hostility, as it affects the entire society.
The report cited an example of anti-Muslim sentiment in education, referring to excerpts from a 2019 political science schoolbook that perpetuated stereotypes about Muslims. The authors stressed that racism against Muslims is not limited to the far-right fringe but is prevalent within mainstream society, highlighting the urgency for structural anti-racist reforms in Germany.