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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Friday, January 20, 2012

Islamophobia harms Poland

Almost 55 percent of all Poles have a negative attitude to Islam, 30 percent more than four years ago according to a survey by the marketing research company TNS Obop. This Islamophobia is difficult to explain and above all harms Poland's reputation abroad, writes political scientist Klaus Bachmann in the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza: "And this in a country that didn't have a single conflict with Islam in the last century, and where Muslims were even a much-appreciated religious minority. They were eligible for being raised to the peerage, and in general Muslim immigration was only minimal. It's hard to explain where the Poles' aversion to Islam comes from. ... We are the ones who stand to lose the most from such an attitude. Polish Islamophobia will be a major obstacle to taking advantage of the trust that Poland enjoys in North Africa, where our country is seen as a successful example of democratisation." 

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