Gallup

May 07, 2009 05:00 ET

German Muslims Identify More With Germany Than the General Public

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 7, 2009) - A groundbreaking new report published today by Gallup and the Coexist Foundation shows that German Muslims identify more with Germany than the general public do.

The report, The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations, is the first annual report on the state of faith relations in countries around the world and reveals that more than two out of every five German Muslims (40%) identify with Germany compared to a third (32%) of the general public.

It also shows there is gulf of misunderstanding; nearly four out of ten (39%) of the general public believe that Muslims living in Germany are loyal to Germany. This compares to more than seven out of ten (71%) German Muslims who say Muslims are loyal to Germany.

The German public and German Muslims are very much aligned in their views when it comes to what drives integration. 97% of the public believe that mastering German is crucial as do 96% of Muslims; 94% of both groups believe finding a job is important; and 95% of Muslims say getting a better education is critical compared to 86% among the general public.

The report's authors say this research shows that religion and national identity are complementary rather than competing and dispels the myth that Muslims do not feel loyalty to Germany, despite the preconceptions among the general public.

The Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies Dalia Mogahed says there needs to be a renewed debate about the views of the majority of Muslims. Ms Mogahed, who was recently appointed to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, highlighted how the report had broken down many of the myths about Muslim's attitudes.

"This research shows that many of the assumptions about Muslims and integration are wide of the mark. German Muslims want to be part of the wider community and contribute even more to society.

"The trust that German Muslims place in the country's institutions proves that strong religious beliefs don't translate into a lack of loyalty," she said at the launch of the findings.

Other key findings in Germany include:

- German Muslims have more confidence in institutions compared with the public when it comes to the courts (73%/49%), national government (61%/36%), honesty of elections (62%/42%), and financial institutions or banks (69%/54%); however Muslims have less confidence in the military (55%/67%) and the media (28%/34%).

- Nearly half (47%) of German Muslims are more likely to say they are thriving than the German public (36%).

- German Muslims are roughly as likely (53%) as the general public (58%) to say they have a job (either paid or unpaid).

- Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) German Muslims believe it is necessary to remove the face veil in order to integrate into society; this compares to less than half (45%) among the general population.

The report also investigates the state of Muslim integration in the UK and France. The findings show that although European Muslims surveyed tend to hold more conservative views on moral issues than the general public in France, Germany and the UK, the general European public also hold strong conservative views.

The report also includes results of a 27 country survey, spanning four continents. This found that Bangladesh scored the highest (99%) as a proportion for which religion plays an important part of daily life. Norway ranked lowest (20%), with Germany at 44%.

Link to full report here www.muslimwestfacts.com.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Research

The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies draws its analysis from data collected through the Gallup World Poll, an ongoing research project that surveys residents in more than 140 countries and areas and represents the views of 95% of the world's population.

The German general population was polled four times in 2008. Interviews were conducted in June, July, October and December and included 1011, 1003, 1002 and 1008 individuals, respectively. When available, data from June or July were used as these were the closest field dates to the Muslim dada available from the United Kingdom and France. The 506 German Muslims were polled by phone from mid-June to mid-July 2008, and the data were weighted based on gender, age and household size. The maximum margin of sampling error for all six populations is +5 percentage points.

About Muslim West Facts Project

Muslim West Facts Project is a not-for-profit partnership between Gallup and the Coexist Foundation to disseminate the findings of Gallup's independent research to opinion leaders around the world. www.muslimwestfacts.com.

About the Coexist Foundation

The Coexist Foundation is a charity established in 2006 to promote better understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims - the Abrahamic Faiths - through education, dialogue and research. Through the projects and programmes which we support, we hope to help people of these faiths improve their relations - above all with each other, but also with different faiths, and with those of no faith. www.coexistfoundation.net.

About the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies is a nonpartisan research center dedicated to providing data-driven analysis, advice, and education on the views of Muslim populations around the world. It draws upon Gallup's unprecedented global research initiative, the Gallup World Poll and the Gallup Poll of the Muslim World, to enable global leaders, institutions, and the public to make more informed decisions. For more information please visit www.gallupmuslimstudies.com.

Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Gallup's reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. For more information please visit www.gallup.com.

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