We have already discussed with you the question of the religious affiliation of the inhabitants of the main German-speaking countries. The issue of Islam has not been raised there, because this is such an extensive and incomprehensible topic that it is worth a separate article.
Approximately 5.5% of Germany’s population is Muslim. The theme of Islam in Germany is quite extensive. Former German President Christian Wulff said: “Der Islam gehört zu Deutschland” (“Islam is part of Germany”). And Chancellor Angela Merkel added: “Der Islam gehört unzweifelhaft zu Deutschland” (“Islam is undoubtedly part of Germany”). The question of whether to give Islam equal rights with Christianity is very acute today. Most consider Christianity to be the basis of German culture, and Islam is something alien. Such views are not easily correlated with the declared religious freedom. The answer to the question of what role Islam should occupy in Germany has not yet been found. Germany is not a country where the freedom of people will be restricted on religious grounds, because such views are very unpopular in a country with national shame for Nazism. However, many people are frightened by the threat of radical Islam and the settling of a foreign culture, crowding out their own.
How are things going with Islam in Austria? 700,000 people, namely 8% of all Austrian residents are Muslims, which is more than Protestant (5%). For comparison, in 2001 there were two times less, and all the forecasts promise us a further increase in the percentage of Muslims. But the issue of Islam’s belonging to Austria is not as ambiguous as in Germany. 28% of Austrian residents said that they would not want to live near Muslims, while in Germany only 19% of the population said so. “There should be no Muslim kindergartens in our country,” says Sebastian Kurtz, the Austrian Minister for European Affairs. Also from October 1, 2017, a ban on wearing Muslim headscarves in public places was officially introduced in Austria.
For comparison, in Switzerland, where about 5% of the population is Muslim, a bill to ban the so-called Muslim veils – burqa, burqa, niqab and veils voted by one vote one year earlier than in Austria. Back in 2009, a referendum was held in the country, 58% of the country’s population voted for a ban on the construction of new minarets (a tower next to a mosque calling for believers to pray). But, unlike Austria, only 17% of all Swiss said they did not want to live with Muslims in the survey mentioned above. Representatives of many organizations, such as the Swiss Federal Commission on Combating Racism, the Federation of Islamic Associations and Unions of Switzerland, and the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland constantly state that Muslims in this country often face unreasonable anti-Islamism and xenophobia: get angry letters, get humiliated on social networks, and sometimes it comes to physical violence at school, on the street, etc.
A brief analysis conducted by us shows that the proportion of Muslims in German-speaking countries has long reached the level that it became necessary to determine the status and role of Islam in the culture of Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Germany is probably not ready to answer this question, and Austria and Switzerland are not against giving Muslims the right to freely practice their religion, but they remind that, first of all, Christian countries and their laws and culture will never be focused on Islam.