BERLIN – A new study on Muslim immigrants in Europe has found that most of German Muslims feel integrated into their society, a fact that did not protect them from falling target to Islamophobia.
“The international comparison shows that it is not religious affiliation that determines the success opportunities of integration, but the state and the economic framework,” said Stephan Vopel, an expert on social cohesion at the Bertelsmann Foundation.
The study, titled “Muslims in Europe: Integrated but not accepted?”, was released by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation on Thursday, August 24, Deutsche Welle reported.
The study assessed self-identified Muslims’ language skills, education, work, and social contacts in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, and the United Kingdom.
It found that almost all of Germany’s 4.7 million Muslims are well integrated into German society, especially when compared with other European nations.
Focusing on the five European countries, the study found that 60 percent of Muslims in Germany participated in the labor market with near identical employment compared to other Germans.
The unemployment rate among Muslims is also improving to match the national average.
Seventy-three percent of children born to Muslim parents in the Federal Republic grow up with German as their first language.
Despite adopting the country’s main language, children face challenges in schools. Though high school graduation rates are improving, there remains room for improvement, especially in Germany. The study found that in France only 11 percent of Muslims do not graduate from high school. In Germany, the number is 36 percent.
The study also revealed views of Islamophobia across Europe.
In four of the five nations surveyed, more people said they would refuse to live next to Muslims than next door to any other demographic category.
Only in Britain did more people dislike the idea of living next to families with several children than living next to Muslims.