Controversy over study on young muslims

Controversy over study on young muslims

Interior minister hans-peter friedrich (CSU) warned immediately after the publication on thursday against placing young muslims under general suspicion of terrorism. Justice minister sabine leutheusser-schnarrenberger (FDP) questioned the validity of the study. There is a danger that it will only produce headlines, she said. The opposition also attacked friedrich over the study.

The figures about young muslims who reject integration in germany caused particular excitement. According to the study, 22 percent of german muslims between the ages of 14 and 32 are reluctant to integrate. They rather emphasize their own culture of origin. Among muslims without a german passport, as many as 48 percent had a strong tendency toward separation.

Willingness to use violence was also investigated. The study included "strictly religious people with a strong aversion to the west, a tendency to accept violence and no tendency to integrate". In the group of young muslims, this applies to 15 percent of germans and about 24 percent of non-german youths.

Hans-peter uhl, the spokesman on domestic policy for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told the "neue osnabrucker zeitung" (thursday) that the high number of muslims who are not integrated and are also not willing to integrate is frightening. "This refusal to integrate need not, but can, provide the breeding ground for religious fanaticism and terrorism."

Justice minister leutheusser-schnarrenberger stressed that "citizens who believe in islam live in germany today as a matter of course and are at home here". We should finally leave behind the prejudices of the past and old-established reflexes. We don’t need a debate that paints a distorted picture of germany as a country of immigration."

Interior minister friedrich said in potsdam that young muslims often had the feeling that – as far as islamism was concerned – they were placed under general suspicion. "This is also something we have to work against – also in public presentation," warned friedrich. Such a general suspicion is unfair. " And i also believe that it generally does not exist."

Meanwhile, friedrich told the "bild" newspaper (thursday): "germany respects the origin and cultural identity of its immigrants. But we do not accept the import of authoritarian, anti-democratic and religio-fanatic views. Those who fight freedom and democracy will have no future here."

Jena psychologist wolfgang frindte, who played a key role in the study, told the dpa news agency that he was not surprised by the study’s findings. If the generations of parents and grandparents had also been included, it had been shown that the proportion of radical attitudes was falling and that muslims were clearly distancing themselves from islamist terrorism. A look at germany shows that there is also another side: 25 percent of the german population is islamophobic, said frindte. "There are problematic trends on both sides of this society that need to be critically addressed."

SPD deputy chairwoman aydan ozoguz called on the interior minister to implement the study’s recommendations for action in an expedient manner. "Among other things, the acceptance of dual citizenship is demanded. In addition, the study found that statements such as "islam does not belong to germany for integration in germany in this striking manner – very correct," ozoguz said.

Grunen chairman cem ozdemir accuses the authors of the study of ignoring the social background of the respondents. "However, when it comes to right-wing extremist, anti-semitic and islamophobic attitudes in the population, it is rightly emphasized in the same breath that the education and social background of the respondents play a significant role."

Meanwhile, the author and politician thilo sarrazin sees his controversial integration theories as having been strengthened by the study. "It brilliantly confirms the analyses in my book and is a call to the major parties to see the reality of muslim immigration with more realism and less wishful thinking."

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