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Gütersloh, 02/12/2009

Muslims are Tolerant of Other Religions

Switzerland's ban on minarets

Man praying in a mosque

On the one hand, Muslims living in Germany are very religious, on the other hand, they are much more tolerant than their non-Muslim neighbors might think. In light of the recent ban on minarets in Switzerland, the Bertelsmann Stiftung presents here findings from its Religion Monitor on Muslims in Germany.

According to the Religion Monitor, 58 percent of male Muslims living in Germany and 49 percent of female Muslims say that it is quite or very important for them to attend Friday prayers in their mosque several times each month; 34 percent say they attend at least once a month. In addition, 90 percent of the Muslims living in Germany are very religious, but not dogmatic or fundamentalist, as the Religion Monitor study “Muslim Religiousness in Germany” shows.   

The high degree of religiousness is matched by pluralistic and tolerant attitudes. Overall, 86 percent of the survey’s respondents say they agree with the statement that one should be open to other religions, while only 6 percent disagree. This high level of acceptance among Germany’s Muslims of religious pluralism is accompanied by a differentiated view of their own religion. More than half of those queried say they do not believe that their own religion is right on religious matters while other religions tend to be wrong; only 24 percent agree with this statement. For more than half as well, their religious beliefs have little or no influence on their political beliefs. Only 16 percent say religion has a major influence on their political attitudes. 

“Muslim Religiousness in Germany” is based on a representative survey carried out among 2,007 Muslims over the age of 18 living in Germany.

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