Making Up for Lost Time: The Federal Republic of Germany's Attempts to Integrate Its Muslim Population
Integration problems among Europe's Muslims have led to alienation and resentment, leading some Muslims to turn to extremist groups and terrorist violence. Muslims living in Germany are among the least integrated Muslims of the major European countries, with some of the highest unemployment rates and lowest levels of education. The problem is likely to get worse in the near future due to changing demographics in which the German birth rate is declining and the Muslim birth rate is increasing. This paper contends that Germany's Muslim integration problem was caused by the political situation in divided Germany during the Cold War. After reunification the German government became somewhat 'normalized', and has tried to correct the problem through changes to its laws on immigration, citizenship and political asylum, as well as new integration policies. The government is making the legal changes necessary for successful integration however the wider social changes that are necessary for integration have been slow to change. These changes must be made or Germany and the rest of the world may be subject to more terrorist threats and violence. It is an important issue for Germany as well as for global security.