Integration of Muslims better in Germany than in rest of Europe: study

Photo: DPA
Muslims who have already lived in Germany for a while are better integrated than Muslims in other European countries, according to a study released by the Bertelsmann Foundation on Thursday. But the study revealed some weaknesses in integration, too.

The study called “Integrated, but not accepted?” compared the situations of Muslims who came to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Great Britain before 2010. Categories for assessment included language skills, education, work and social contact.

Germany came out on top in a few categories, including the integration of Muslim immigrants into the labour market and low unemployment.

About 60 percent of Germany’s 4.7 million Muslims are in full time employment, in line with the national average. The unemployment rate among German Muslims (including part-time jobs) is actually better than for the rest of the population. While the Bertelsmann Foundation found that 5 percent of Muslims were unemployed, it recorded that 7 percent of the rest of the population had no job.

Regarding language skills, only 46 percent of Muslims surveyed learned to speak German as a first language as children. In France, the percent of Muslims who learned the local language as children is 74 percent, and in Britain 59 percent.

The study points out though that the origins of Muslims in both Britain and in France are different to Germany. Very good language acquisition exists in both countries due in part to the fact that the Muslim immigrants arrived from ex-colonies where the languages are already spoken.

Photo: DPA.

The study revealed other weaknesses in the integration of Muslims in Germany.

While 11 percent of French Muslims leave school before the age of 17 without a diploma, the figure in Germany stands at 36 percent. Researchers in the study suspect different school systems might account for this. But despite higher graduation rates in France, Muslims there still encounter above average unemployment rates and fewer full-time job opportunities.

“The international comparison shows that it is not religious affiliation that determines the chances of success for integration, but rather, the state and economic framework,” says Stephan Vopel, an expert on social cohesion at the Bertelsmann Foundation.

The study moreover shows the reservations Germans have toward Muslims.

Respondents from all five European countries were more against the idea of having Muslims as neighbours than having big families, foreigners and guest workers, homosexuals, Jews, people of colour, atheists or Christians next door. Only in Britain were people more willing to live next to Muslims than next to families with children.

Visitors at Ramadanfest in Berlin in 2014. Photo: DPA.

Religious sociologist and professor at the University of Münster, Detlef Pollack, has criticized the study.

He argues that it’s difficult to broadly compare Muslims in western Europe because they’ve emigrated from different countries.

“We must also take into account what those who are coming bring along with them, so that integration works,” he said.

An assessment of integration from the perspective of Muslims is also missing, according to Pollack.


6 replies

  1. My suggestion to Muslims who live in America and Europe ; please do not intend to create the Syariah law ir Islamic system in your City where you live. Obey the existing authority faithfully no matter what religion of the authority.
    If company where you work at, and hijab is not allowed in work place, take hijab away, you are not sin at all.Allah will forgive you. Actually Hijab is not obligatory in Islam, it is a suggestion to women who live in desert.

    • Your apprehensions about Muslims bringing Shariah Law are not correct or accurate. Muslims who truly follow the true Islam respect their countries and owe their loyalty and patriotism to the country that gave them refuge. Islam requires them to follow the law and obey the ruler. The threat you may feel may be real but that is not from Muslims but is from those who use religion as a scapegoat and a sorry excuse to spread terror and hate among men.

  2. Thousands of Muslims who are living peacefully and are contributing all the good enormously to their societies, they have the right to be treated respectfully.
    Don’t mix those who are only using the name of Islam to spread hatred with those who are actually following the humanitarian teachings of Islam.

  3. Muslims living peacefully should be treated with the same amount of respect as any other person living in the same place as Muslims. People are getting the wrong message of Islam.

  4. When everyone in the world has the right to be treated respectfully then why are Muslims apart from them. Majority of Muslims are peaceful and they love their countries because according to Islam love of a country is part of faith.

  5. Allah Almighty or Prophet Muhammad command Muslims
    to obey the existing authority or the Ruler faithfully. Q. 4:59. Obey Allah and His Messanger and Existing Authority among you.
    From Bible:
    Those who obey Authority, obey Allah, those who reject the authority reject Allah.

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