How Many Muslims Live in Germany?

In this article from last November’s Citizen Times, Felix Strüning of the Stresemann Foundation discusses the tendentious use of statistical research to discredit any realistic discussion of the multicultural agenda.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation.

(Click to enlarge)

How Many Muslims Live in Germany?

by Felix Strüning

How the “unserious” research of the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) hinders necessary debates about Islam

The Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration (SVR) is going public with a special evaluation of its Integration Barometer 2014, which was finished already at the end of April. In it, the lobbying organization claims that the number of Muslims living in the country is vastly overestimated by the populace. However, rather than asking why this should be so, they conduct a polemic with exaggerations, omissions and arbitrary interpretations. A prime example of how the urgent debate about Islam as an ideology and the Muslims who are to be integrated here can be influenced, if not completely stymied, under the guise of the scientific approach.

The SVR press release of November 13, 2014 begins as follows:

“The number of Muslims in Germany is overestimated.

A special evaluation of the Integration Barometer shows that 70% of those asked overestimate the number of Muslims living in Germany. One-third of those polled even estimate the number at more than 10 million — even though it is only about 4 million. The gap between perception and reality can be narrowed with better information.”

Suppressed Facts: Proportional Increase in Number of Muslims Living in Germany

Even the title of the press release is dubious, suggesting that publicly available statistics are at fault. Only reading further do we discover that this was a poll which was not even typical of the German population (see below).

What is most problematic is that the number of Muslims cited as living here cannot have been true for a very long time. The number of “about four million” Muslims is from a study by the Federal Office for Immigration and Refugees (BAMF) made at the beginning of 2008. So five years have elapsed before the SVR Integration Barometer, during which the number of Muslims in Germany should have risen considerably. Thus, international prognoses on Muslim population development in Germany and the world [1] reveal a much stronger growth than among the native populations.

Add to this that, since the wars and unrest in the Arab-Islamic world, the number of refugees entering Germany has risen exponentially. And this implies a massive increase in the percentage of the population of Muslim persuasion. All facts which the SVR in its press release blithely swept under the rug.

Defective Method: Those Polled Live in Metropolitan Areas

It is also problematic that the polling was done in the heavily settled areas of Rhine-Ruhr, Stuttgart, Rhine-Main, Berlin-Brandenburg and Halle-Leipzig. With the exception of the last one, these are all regions in which the percentage of people with an immigration background — and therefore of Muslims — is clearly higher than the Federal Republic’s average of 20.5%. In Berlin in 2013, for instance, the proportion of people with an immigration background was 27%, in Stuttgart almost 30%.

When people in metropolitan areas believe that there are more Muslims living in Germany than is actually the case, that is a result of their everyday experience. The SVR should have used a poll representative of the present German population.

Islam Dominates Public Debate

The third defect is the interpretation of the misjudgment. Thus Dr. Cornelia Schu, director of the relevant research area in the SVR, has the press release state: “The obvious deficit in information that appears in the estimations indicates that there is a lack of knowledge about the diversity among the Muslims living here.” Aside from the fact that this conclusion is far-fetched (what do numbers and lifestyle have to do with one another?), where is the paramount, decisive question: Why are those polled so very wrong?

Could this be because Islam and with it the question of integration of Muslims is debated daily in the media? Because simultaneously hardly a question arises about discrediting the Islamic legitimization of violence, oppression of women or hatred of gays? The American journalist Christopher Caldwell wrote as early as 2009 that Islam is the most important religion in Europe because it receives the most attention from the media. And every representative poll shows clearly how great the ideological gap from Islam is perceived to be — and at the same time the acceptance of Muslims as devout.

Serious research into causes would be so much better from the SVR than this kind of distortion. But this kind of “research” was never about the causes of alleged biases and misinterpretations. From this perspective, what ought not be, cannot be. A fatal blend of facts and morals, in which dissents are not wrong, but evil (Islamophobic!).


1.   Reference to an article in Citizen Times with the title “Muslim Population Development 1990-2030”

8 thoughts on “How Many Muslims Live in Germany?

  1. The foreign intelligence service in Germany- and I mean the real spooks- is the BND, not svr.This may be a misunderstanding.
    The overestimation of the number of muslim inhabitants,not citizens, is not due to their overrepresentation in the media alone .About 15 years ago,when there was no Islam in our media at all, I had a discussion with a young man ,student of medicine,who presumed the rate of muslims in Germany was 25%, which even today would be an absurd overestimation. In those days, I talked back, today I would not, because he was right in a way: the presence of muslims is overweight in public life, when I walk the streets of my city in the morning,now that I am retired, I get the impression that we feed a new leisure class of foreign origin. When this young man went to a club or discotheque with all th hassle that muslims cause with their pompous behavior and violence under the influence of alcohol they eagerly refuse when being offered. Recently I wrote to a radio station that downplayed the number of muslims in Northrhine-Westphalia to about “only 5%” at an absolute number of 1.5 million.As a matter of fact ,this state counts 17 million inhabitants. So the misinterpretation of the editor was close to 100%, right?I recieved a very weak and twisted response to my mail,saying that the misunderstanding was due to my inattentive listening.So far,so bad.

  2. Heb: Thank you for your comment. I am afraid the truth is that I was lazy. The English phrase appeared as an equivalent to SVR, and I happily accepted it. I can just imagine what my old Latin teacher would say about mental laziness.

  3. If I am deciphering the German correctly it is “The German Bureau/Agency for Integration and Migration?” So, this is a government department writing the report and doing the polling? If so, they should be ashamed of themselves.
    Of course immigrants of all types are more concentrated in urban centers. They aren’t out working on the farm that has been in the family for 4 generations… They aren’t shopkeepers in some bucolic town in which they grew up. Even I know that!
    Every time I go to New York City I am struck by the number of women dressed in Islamic garb and the overwhelming number of street vendors selling halal k-bobs and sandwiches. In fact, the last time I was in there every single food vendor had a sign that the meat was halal. It seemed the majority of other vendors had the crochet cap on. So, based on my observation, I might conclude that there are a million Muslims living in NYC! I actually have no idea how many Muslims live in NYC but, just to throw a number out to someone taking a poll, I might say one million out of a total population of 8 million.
    Another reason people might inflate the number is the negative impact the Muslims that do live in their midst have made. Vociferous demands of cultural accommodation, diminution of the educational system, increased violent crime, impact on social services, etc.
    But the message I got from this survey was “you ethnic Germans, look how stupid you are. You think there are roughly 9 million Muslims living in Germany. Well, there are only about 4 million, so quit your whining and your marches and your carrying on.” And, if my supposition is correct that this poll was produced by an arm of your government, it is the GOVERNMENT that wants to bring you this message!

  4. BAbs and anyone else I have confused: What I get out of the title of the group is: Council of Experts of German Foundations for Integration and Immigration, so, not government, but easily as pernicious.

  5. Babs–Apparently an independent think tank devoted to the “scientific study” of the question of immigration and integration, founded in 2008, funded by contributions from a number of foundations, including e.g., Volkswagen, Bertelsmann, etc. “Independent” of course is a legal-technical term and does not reflect any particular independence of thought.

  6. No, no, no, Felix Strumer has it all wrong, there were “about 4 million” Muslims in 2008 and that figure remains the same in 2015 because since then:

    1) Very few of them have had any children and the few they have had have been balanced out by the migration of German Muslims to Iceland (or Greenland, or possibly Vanautu);

    2) No new Muslim immigrants have been permitted into Germany in the past 7 years due to the wise policies of the Greens and SDs;

    3) No Muslim asylum seekers try for Germany because of its notoriously stingy welfare system; and

    4) There is no illegal immigration of Muslims into Germany. And never has been which is why the 2008 figure of 4 million is so utterly reliable.

  7. jhl: you rightly name those foundations and think tanks ! I wonder what their hidden agenda could be, but they are always first when it comes to guilt,be it by non- integration of muslims( the only group complaining about the hardship of living in this country) or the failures of our educational system or whatever you can blame pn the Germans. In german we used to call this ” schwarze Paedagogik” a term that won’ t need translation,right?Some centuries ago, the evocation of Lucifer had done the job.

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