Muslims in Germany: Religion not a good gauge of integration

A study shows that the number of Muslims in Germany has significantly risen compared to 2015 and many still face challenges in employment and education. But religion may only be a minor cause of these challenges.

“Wir schaffen das” — “We can do it.” Those were the now-famous words that German Chancellor Angela Merkel used in 2015 to indicate that Germany was prepared and able to take in a large number of refugees — ultimately around 1 million — many from majority-Muslim countries in the Near and Middle East.

Almost six years later, a study shows that there are a great deal more Muslims in Germany than in 2015 — and that the population has become less homogenous.

“The Muslim population has become more diverse in the context of immigration from Muslim-majority countries in recent years,” said the head of Germany’s bespoke ministry for migration and refugees, Hans-Eckhard Sommer, at a press conference on Wednesday.

According to the study, there are between 5.3 and 5.6 million Muslims with a “migration background,” around 900,000 more than in 2015. This makes up between 6.4 and 6.7% of Germany’s entire population. “Migration background” is a term used in German to describe first-generation migrants or the offspring of migrants.

While the largest number of Muslims in Germany are of Turkish heritage, as has been the case for decades, the countries of origin have become more diverse, most likely owing to the consequences of the high number of refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq since 2015 according to the study’s authors.

How have migrants and refugees who arrived in Germany in 2015 fared?

The study surveyed 4,500 Muslims with a migration background and 500 without, extrapolating figures from this poll to the population as a whole.

Religion may not be that relevant

“The analyses show that the influence of religion on integration is often overestimated,” Sommer said.


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