In Europe, prejudice against migrants, Muslims, Jews, women and homosexuals is widespread, according to a survey. Intolerance is most pronounced in Hungary and Poland, according to the "Study on Group-Related Misanthropy in Europe" presented in Berlin on Friday. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has the least prejudice and negative attitudes, it says.
Questioned were in each case 1.000 people in eight EU countries. The study was coordinated by the Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence.Green Party leader Cem ozdemir spoke of a "dramatic situation" for Europe at the presentation of the results. "Precisely because no one is born a democrat," more emphasis needs to be placed on "active education for democracy" in educational institutions, it said.According to the study, about one in four (24.4 percent) believe that Jews have "too much influence" in the country. And nearly a third (31.1 percent) "somewhat or completely" advocate that there be a "natural hierarchy between blacks and whites". In addition, a majority of Europeans (60.2 percent) support traditional gender roles and demand that women take their role as mother and housewife more seriously. 42.6 percent reject equal rights for gays and lesbians and judge homosexuality as "immoral".One in two Europeans (50.4 percent) agree with the statement "that there are too many immigrants in their country" and 54.4 percent believe that Islam is a religion of intolerance. The values vary considerably from country to country. In Poland, for example, only 27.1 percent think there are too many immigrants in the country, while in the Netherlands the figure is 46 percent and in Italy, at 62.4 percent, the most respondents in a European comparison.However, the study also shows that in six out of eight countries, personal contact between average citizens and, for example, migrants, Jews or homosexuals has led to a reduction in prejudice against other groups as well. People were surveyed in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and Hungary.The chairwoman of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, Anetta Kahane, spoke of an "alarming level of prejudice" and called for joint European initiatives to "develop a common non-racist civil society". At the same time, she warned of a threat to democracy from widespread misanthropy.According to the head of the study, social scientist Andreas Zick, authoritarian attitudes in people "are important in explaining prejudices." For example, they say, people are more prejudiced "when they want more discipline and tougher action against troublemakers". In addition, "the more religious they consider themselves to be, the more inclined they are to engage in group-based misanthropy". In addition, prejudice is reported to increase with age and education.