Tolerance towards Muslims – How Can Conflicts in Everyday Life Be Defused?

According to the Mannheim-based social researchers Marc Helbling and Richard Traunmüller, there is more tolerance towards Muslims in our society than we sometimes realize. Helbling and Traunmüller show how this potential can be harnessed in two studies, which they have conducted together with international colleagues.

Quite a few people in Germany have reservations about religious behavior by Muslims and freedoms for Islamic religious communities. For example, many people feel that refusing to shake hands with people of a different sex due to religious reasons is incompatible with liberal and democratic values. Many people are also critical of including more halal dishes, i.e., food suitable for religious Muslims, into everyday life, or of discussing plans for a public Islamic holiday. However, this does not apply to all circumstances in the same way, as Professor Dr. Marc Helbling and Professor Dr. Richard Traunmüller have found out in a research project at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES): Those who are able to correctly identify the behavior and group rights of religious Muslims are more tolerant.

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