A new report from Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation looks at the education, employment and social engagement of Muslims in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom, and has found that 96% of German Muslims (both of first and following generations) say that they feel connected to Germany. However, the report, entitled Clear Progress for Integration of Muslims in Western Europe, indicates that the community faces resistance with nearly one in five Germans saying they would not want Muslim neighbors.
According to the Washington Post, “the researchers spoke to more than 10,000 Muslims who were either born in Europe or arrived before 2010, which means they did not interview the millions who traveled to Europe from Syria and the Middle East during the recent refugee crisis. In 2015, Germany took in nearly a million migrants and asylum seekers.”
The report also found that 73% of the children born in Germany to Muslim immigrants now speak German as a first language. (Those numbers are high in France, too, as many Muslims came from countries that used to be French colonies.) And 93% of German-born Muslims said they spent free time with Muslims and non-Muslims. (per Washington Post)
“The international comparison shows that it is not religious affiliation that determines the success of opportunities for integration, but the state and the economic framework,” states Stephan Vopel, an expert on social cohesion at the Bertelsmann Foundation.