Alix Culbertson, Express, November 22, 2016
An increase in violence, polarisation and a strong mistrust in democracy is taking over Germany, the Friedrich Elbert Foundation’s right-wing extremist attitudes researcher Mitte-study found.
A new survey found 34.7 per cent of Germans completely or slightly agree with the view “because of the many Muslims, I sometimes feel like a stranger in my own country”.
The same numbers says there are “too many foreigners in Germany”.
A total of 15 per cent demanded the government stops granting citizenship to Muslims, the ‘Divided middle-hostile conditions’ report found.
Germany has experienced an increasing anti-immigration backlash following Angela Merkel’s open-door policy which saw more than 1.1 million migrants entering the country last year.
The Chancellor has attempted to minimise the flow this year due to widespread outrage and protests, but critics say it is too late.
Angela Merkel, who yesterday announced she will be running in next year’s general election, faces being ousted over her migrant policy which has seen the far-right increase in popularity.
Since the last biennial study, support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party has grown, while its members have become more extreme.
The study found 68.4 per cent of AfD supporters are xenophobic, while six per cent of the Greens and 15.8 per cent of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union were xenophobic.
Disparities between the east and west of the country show xenophobia is 28.8 per cent more widespread in the east of Germany compared to 16.8 per cent in the west.
Muslim hostility is higher in the east, at 23.9 per cent, with 16.8 per cent in the west while 60 per cent of those in the east have a negative view of asylum seekers and 46.9 per cent in the west.
A majority of Germans (52.9 per cent) want a limit on refugees coming into the country, compared to 44 per cent in 2014.
They also said the internet in Germany was full of hatred as they criticised the “uncritical, unreflected adoption and passing on of threat rhetoric” by using concepts such as “refugee crisis, “refugee chaos” or even “refugee tsunami”, as Christian Socialist Union leader Horst Seehofer branded them.
They said right-wing populists are given a forum when this type of rhetoric is used.
The pair said: “This is how opinions are made and shaped – including right-wing populist and right-wing extremist ones.”