The spirit of patriotism – How constitutional is German citizens’ national attachment? The case of mosque construction


  • Coskun Canan Dr., Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research


Patriotism, Democracy, Constitution, Freedom of Religion, Social identity, Muslims in Germany, Mosque Construction


Patriotism can have various facets. It can exclude or include the same group of individuals depending on the situation. However, the more important question is whether it is inclusive when it comes to principles of modern democratic societies namely the democratic constitution. In this respect, the construction of publicly visible mosques is a constitutionally protected right in Germany. In this article, I examine the relationship between German citizens` patriotism and the willingness to restrict that right. Empirical findings from a representative sample of German citizens reveal a pattern of patriotism that drives opposition toward Muslims` right to construct mosques. The more interesting finding is that this effect occurs only among those individuals who generally approve of Muslim claims-making. Results are discussed and suggestions for future research are presented.


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