After the Swiss referendum on banning the construction of minarets, German pollsters are eager to find out about the level of tolerance in their country. Two polls have been conducted, showing that a majority opposes the minaret ban, but the difference between supporters and opponents is small, depending on the survey.
According to a poll by Emnid Institute for the tabloid “Bild am Sonntag”, 48 percent of the Germans are against a minaret ban and 38 percent would vote in favour of such a ban. At the same time, researchers at TNS-Infratest on behalf of “Der Spiegel” found that 45 percent oppose a minaret ban, while as much as 44 percent favour it.
Both surveys, however, revealed stark differences between the former East and West. In the East, a majority supports a minaret ban (Emnid: 44 percent, TNS-Infratest: 47 percent), while a minority opposes it (both polls: 37 percent). In the former West, a minority is for the ban (Emnid: 37 percent, TNS-Infratest: 43 percent), with a majority against it (Emnid: 51 percent, TNS-Infratest: 47 percent).
It is worth noting that all Swiss polls had predicted a majority against the ban prior to the referendum and that the German polls do not necessarily imply a different outcome if Germany – or any other country – were to hold a similar popular vote.