Monday, October 8, 2007

One Last Thing - Germany's Turks provide a lesson on immigration

by Jonathan Last from The Philadelphia Inquirer

While Muslims of Arab or African origin make up only a tiny part of Germany's Muslim population, they account for most of the cases of Islamic-German conflict. Not all of them, of course: A bomb plot broken up in September involved at least one Turkish national. But as Jonathan Laurence of Boston College noted in his report for the International Crisis Group, Islam and Identity in Germany, Islamist activism "appears to be confined to the non-Turkish Muslim element." As it turns out, German Turks aren't even particularly religious: Government estimates put the number who attend mosque somewhere between 10% and 20%. And unlike other European countries, such as England and France, where Saudi-exported Wahhabi extremism has festered, the Islamic religious space in Germany is taken up mostly by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, which is an extension of the secularist Turkish state.

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