Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism. Comparing the social psychological underpinnings of Anti-Semitic and Anti-Muslim Beliefs in Contemporary Germany.


In response to critical stances voiced in regard to a comparative approach toward Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, the aim of this paper is to account for these critiques, and to statistically re-analyze the two phenomena in their structural and dispositional similarities and differences. First, an alternative perspective on Islamophobia is proposed, which differentiates between anti-Islam sentiment and anti-Muslim prejudices, and additionally includes anti-Muslim conspiracy beliefs as an integral component. Second, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices and conspiracy beliefs are then compared in their social psychological correlates. For this purpose, an online survey was conducted with young adults from Berlin (N=450). The results indicate similarities and differences in the underlying social psychological mechanisms of both phenomena. Both anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices are partially explained by a personal ideology of inequality, e.g., social dominance orientation, the belief-in-a-just-world ideology, and racism. However, regarding the conspiracy beliefs, conspiracy mentality (Bruder et al. 2013)—a psychological construct that measurs a general propensity towards conspiratorial thinking—better predicted anti-Semitic conspiracy beliefs than anti-Muslim conspiracy beliefs.
Last updated on 12/17/2017