Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 1/2020 (English)

Wolfgang Aschauer: Towards a Deeper Explanation of Anti-Muslim Sentiments in Austria. The Drivers of Critical Attitudes Towards Islam with a Special Focus on Religious Attitudes

Terrorist attacks, refugee movements from crisis regions as well as barriers against the integration of Muslim immigrants lead to an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments throughout Europe. Muslims are often generalized as being members of a counter-world that appears incompatible with the West. In this article the results of a representative study (Social Survey Austria 2018) are presented, which includes, for the first time, a sophisticated scale on attitudes towards Muslims. In addition, a complex structural equation model is being used for path analysis in order to trace the dynamics of potential prejudices with a special emphasis on religious attitudes and practises. An analysis of the extent of anti-Muslim sentiments in Austria reveals a dominantly critical view. However, the influences of religious orientations are manifold. While conventional religious practices and superstition increase a criticism against Muslims, inclusive religious attitudes and practices of spirituality result in more tolerant attitudes. Current challenges for social cohesion in Austria, therefore, concern less interreligious coexistence, but revolve much more around questions of recognition, identity and belonging.

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