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Twenty-First Century Crusades?

Prediction 1: Continued tension and backlash against Muslims in Europe

Rift between Germans and Muslims widens

HAMBURG, Germany-- More than half of Germans feel Muslims living in the country are both an addition and a threat to society, according to a new survey.

That is a 15-point increase compared to a similar study from 1990. However, only 13 percent see Muslims as a threat only.

Roughly a month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 54 percent of Germans believed there would be a long-term conflict between the two cultures. In the study published this month, that value has climbed to 60 percent.

Some 38 percent of polled people said they were afraid of Islam.

More than half of Germans, some 62 percent according to the new poll, say caricatures or jokes about religion and God are inappropriate.

German news magazine Stern commissioned census organization Forsa with the study; Forsa polled some 1,000 people, and gave a margin of error of +/- 3 points.

The release of the study coincides with violent worldwide protests against the publication of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in European newspapers.

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