Friday, December 21, 2007

Interior Ministry Warns of Radicalization of Muslims

der Spiegel, AFP, AP, DDP, DGS

A new study released by Germany's Interior Ministry on Tuesday found about 40% of Muslims surveyed had a "fundamentalist orientation," which the authors defined as a strongly religious worldview and moral values. The authors saw a potential threat in a small minority with Islamist leanings: Around 6% of those surveyed were classified as having "violent tendencies," while 14% of respondents had "anti-democratic" tendencies. However, the authors concluded that the vast majority of Muslims in Germany reject religiously motivated terrorism and violence: Some 92% of respondents agreed with the statement that terrorist acts in the name of Islam were a serious sin and an insult to Allah ... In the introduction to the report, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble writes that the study leads to the "worrying conclusion that a serious potential for Islamist radicalization has developed in Germany." According to Schäuble, the lack of integration of immigrants into German society is leading to a "fundamental religious orientation." The survey found that more than half of the respondents felt themselves excluded from German society and felt they were treated as foreigners. Around 20% had experienced some form of racism within the last 12 months ... According to a 2006 report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which monitors Islamist activity in the country, there are currently around 32,000 Islamists in Germany who pose a potential security threat. That figure represents slightly more than 1% of the around 3 million Muslims who live in the country.

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