Shortly before today’s press conference of the Islamic lobby association “Inssan e.V.” to present the current figures of “Islam and Muslim hostility in Germany”, the head of the ” Research Group on Worldviews in Germany” (fowid) Carsten Frerk has published an extensive analysis. Frerk warns against uncritically accepting the data of Inssan or CLAIM, as they are ideologically distorted and do not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
If one believes the data from Inssan (Arabic: “human being”) and CLAIM (“Alliance against Islam and Muslimophobia”), the degree of discrimination suffered by Muslims in Germany increases from year to year. But is this statement really in line with empirical findings? Social scientist Carsten Frerk, head of the “Research Group Worldviews in Germany” (fowid), has taken a closer look: “I don’t doubt at all that there is Muslim hostility in our society,” he says, “but with the methods that Inssan or Claim use, this unfortunate phenomenon cannot be reflected in an adequate manner.”
In his study “Muslimfeindlichkeit und Empirie” (Muslim hostility and empiricism), published today on the fowid website, Frerk shows the improper approach of Inssan/CLAIM on the basis of several different issues. This concerns, among other things, the dubious use of figures (for example, percentages are often used instead of absolute figures, which looks more dramatic but says little empirically), the distorted data collection (mosque visitors are overrepresented in the data, although they only represent a minority of Muslims) and the undifferentiated presentation of the incidents (a “mosque attack” can be a thoughtless graffiti or a criminally relevant, anti-Muslim attack).Frerk also criticises the underlying conceptual categories. For example, he shows that “Muslimophobia” is a real phenomenon that can be studied scientifically, while “Islamophobia” and “anti-Muslim racism” are contradictory artificial terms that cannot be used to adequately describe social reality.
These scientific deficits can probably be explained not least by the ideological interests of Inssan e.V. and CLAIM: “In the course of this analysis,” Frerk writes in his study, “the impression became increasingly stronger that Inssan/CLAIM are not concerned with a correct representation of social conditions, but with strengthening the structures of Islamic lobbyism or legalistic Islamism, which plays the ‘discrimination card’ in order to gain advantages over other social groups. It fits in with this that both organisations are considered to be part of the network of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.”
This also explains why in recent years there has been “an increasing shift from necessary anti-discrimination work to Islam(ist)ism propaganda”. “The data presented by Inssan and CLAIM on hostility towards Muslims in Germany are extremely questionable for this reason!” says Frerk. He therefore also classifies the decision of German government to promote CLAIM as a “federal central institution” as “extremely questionable”:
“I think that organisations that have such a strong interest in a certain, ideologically distorted perspective on society as Inssan/CLAIM are not suited to collect empirical data, which is urgently needed to reduce real discrimination. We need serious social science research in this area, not state funding of legalistic, political Islam! The federal government should, in my opinion, urgently reconsider its funding practice.”