Islamophobia or Threat to Secularization? Lost Letter Experiments on the Discrimination Against Muslims in an Urban Area of Switzerland

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Abstract

Two explanations for discrimination against Muslims in Switzerland are threat to secularization and xenophobia. We conducted lost letter experiments and find that distinctively religious Muslim groups are indeed discriminated against, although not to a larger degree than Christian sects. Moreover, discrimination against Muslims decreases when there is no reference to religiousness. In sum, the discrimination against Muslims seems mainly to be a result of distinctive religious characteristics attributed to this group.

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