“A breeding ground for religious fanaticism”

Pre-publications of a study on young Muslims in Germany give CSU politicians the opportunity to reintroduce the preserved "Islam, Integration, Violence" to be reopened

For quite some time, it had been relatively quiet around the irritant topic "Readiness of Muslims for Integration". The rescue package, Greece and the Wulff affair had pushed the topic to the side. This is now changing again. The study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and entitled "Living Worlds of Young Muslims in Germany" It has not even been published – it is not due to be presented until today – but pre-released results have prompted CSU politicians to comment on the sentiment package "Islam, Integration, Propensity to Violence" among the people again.

The Bild-Zeitung, which publishes the study "exclusively available". Already yesterday, it had begun to present, in a typically concise manner, the results of the "Shock study" too public. For example, the study reportedly found that 24 percent of Muslims between the ages of 14 and 32 in Germany who do not hold a German passport are conspicuous by the following characteristics: "Strictly religious people with a strong aversion to the West, a tendency to accept violence and no tendency toward integration".

Only 52 percent of non-German Muslims approve of integration, according to study excerpts from the Bild newspaper, 48 percent were "strong tendencies toward separation". The newspaper also gives the rough generalization tendency right away in the subtitle: "Young Muslims Refuse Integration".

Hans-Peter Uhl, a CSU member of parliament and spokesman on domestic policy for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, took up the ball and jumped to the next level of generalization – with an exaggeration that links the study excerpt to the threat of terrorism:

This refusal to integrate does not necessarily have to be, but can be, the breeding ground for religious fanaticism and terrorism.

Hans-Peter Friedrich; Source; License: CC-BY-SA-3.0

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) warns the Bild newspaper against a "Import of authoritarian, anti-democratic and religio-fanatic views", which is unacceptable:

Those who fight for freedom and democracy will have no future here – making this clear is the task of any.

A sentence that is more suitable for election campaign speeches than for dealing with the study results. Thus, the impression arises that the study is quite useful for those conservatives who want to remain generally connectable to a right-of-center milieu that finds its political footing in the defense of "Islamist threats" finds resp. where this is an important element of the political position. In official statements, efforts are made to draw general lines of demarcation in the direction of right-wing pigeons, but it is difficult to draw concrete, clear lines of demarcation, as was also evident in Merkel’s dialogue on the future Merkel’s dialogue on the future is being infiltrated by the right – and the chancellor remains silent:

Instead of countering rumors that play into the hands of Islam-haters, the chancellor and the Federal Press Office, which oversees the campaign, remain silent. One lets the brown spook run simply.

It will be interesting to see what the results of the study look like in detail and how they will be discussed. For example, the integration policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Serkan Toren, who was also looking at the preliminary results, criticized the fact that the study only made headlines, but "no knowledge" produce – at the expense of the taxpayer. In his view, it is also a matter of posturing: Religious confession is often only "an empty hulse", which have less to do with lived religion, but rather with "provocation and cultural demarcation".


In the meantime, the study has been published on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The PDF has more than 700 pages – it can hardly be amed that Friedrich or Uhl have read it and dealt with the results more closely. According to a report in Der Spiegel, the authors emphasize that the results of the study should not be extrapolated to all Muslims in Germany.