Debate on integration of Muslim youth in Germany reignited

March 01, 2012, Thursday/ 15:48:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The debate surrounding the integration of young Muslims into German society was reignited with the results of a controversial study commissioned by the German Interior Ministry claiming that nearly one in four non-German young Muslims in the country rejects integration and questions Western values.

The study, titled “The Daily Life of Young Muslims in Germany,” which was released on Thursday morning, claims that a quarter of Muslims who are not German citizens, aged between 14 and 32, are opposed to integration. The study also claims that within such groups there are those who hold anti-Western views, join religious-extremist group and are reportedly “prepared to use violence.”

In an interview published in the Bild newspaper on Thursday, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich described the results of the study as worrying, contending that while Germany respects the cultural identity of its immigrants, the presence of “anti-democratic and religiously fanatical” ideologies within society is unacceptable.

Amongst those who have voiced criticism against the study is the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the government's junior coalition partner. Serkan Tören, the FDP's speaker for domestic politics, said it is questionable that the Interior Ministry should “use taxpayers' money to finance a study that produces sensationalist headlines but no findings.”

Tören said religious commitment among young Muslims has nothing to do with actual religious practice but is a question of “provocation and cultural segregation.”

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