Nearly three of four Germans fear their country will suffer from a terror attack by Islamic radicals in the near future, and nearly two-thirds say the religion of Islam has no place in their country, a poll indicated Thursday. The survey was released as tensions in Germany have continued to rise concerning a large, predominantly Muslim refugee population.
Around 64 percent of respondents said Islam has no place in German culture, with only 34 percent saying it did, a poll from German research agency Infratest Dimap indicated. Those numbers were up from a similar survey in August 2014 when 55 percent of those queried said Islam had no place and 44 percent said it did.
Terrorism fears have also been high, according to the same survey in which 72 percent of those polled said they feared they would see a terror attack on German soil. Concerns over a growing terror threat have mounted throughout Europe in the past year following terror attacks in Paris and Brussels that killed nearly 200 people and injured hundreds more.
More than 1 million people have sought asylum in Germany in 2015, with many of them fleeing a five-year violent conflict in Syria. The vast majority of refugees in Germany are Muslim, and after a series of sexual assaults allegedly carried out by asylum-seekers New Year’s Eve in Cologne, as well as a stabbing earlier this week allegedly executed by an Islamic extremist, fears continued spiked.
Controversy erupted in the German politics earlier this week after the right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) declared Islam was not compatible with the German constitution, triggering ire from several of the establishment parties.
“What the AfD has decided on is an attack on almost all religions,” Armin Laschet, deputy chairman of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told ARD television. “They have identified Islam as a foreign body in Germany. That is divisive, and startling to a Christian Democratic party for which faith has meaning.”
Around 1,000 people were surveyed for the Infratest Dimap poll May 2-3. The margin of error was unavailable.