Young Turks Increasingly Favor Integration and Religion
Hardly a year goes by in Germany without a shrill debate on immigration and Islam. Despite the public hand-wringing, however, those in the country with a Turkish background are increasingly eager to integrate, according to a new survey. But younger Turks are also becoming more religious.
When news hit the headlines this spring that Salafists in Germany were handing out free Korans in city centers across the country, the outcry was immediate. Politicians called for the campaign to be banned, journalists wrote extensively about Salafist radicalism and even the publishing house printing the free Korans distanced itself.
One group of people living in Germany, however, was not nearly as put off by the promotion. According to a new survey among those of Turkish descent living in the country, almost two-thirds of those aged between 15 and 29 consider the distribution of the Koran to be "good" or "very good," and one-third of them would donate money to the cause.
The result, says Holger Liljeberg, who heads Info GmbH, the company that conducted the survey, "could be the result of a resurgence among young people of religious values from their parents' homeland."
Liljeberg, however, warned against concluding that the survey results -- based on interviews with 1,011 people of Turkish heritage in Germany over the age of 15 -- indicate a trend toward radicalization. Indeed, even as the number of those who identify themselves as strictly religious is rising (from 33 percent in 2009 to 37 percent this year), so too is the share of immigrants who wish to integrate completely into German society. (...)