Study: Migrants Insulating Themselves From European Culture, Not Integrating

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 13: Young Muslim women wearing headscarves and holding Turkish flags walk past the Brandenburg Gate following a vigil organized by Muslim groups to commemorate the victims of the recent terror attacks in Paris on January 13, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is home to four million …
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Migrant communities in Germany, especially those in poverty, are becoming more insular and rejecting western society and values in larger numbers according to a new study.

The biggest challenge of the migrant crisis has been the ability of the German government to properly integrate migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere into German society. A new study by the German Association for Housing and Urban Development (VHW)  shows that migrants, especially those of a lower income bracket, are becoming less integrated and some outright reject the culture of Germany entirely reports Die Welt.

The study, named “immigrant worlds in Germany 2016,” looks at migrants within the major cities and municipalities of the country  shows that many migrant groups are choosing to isolate themselves rather than establish links with those of other backgrounds. Bernd Hallenberg, who works for the VHW, said, “The migrant milieus are developing apart,” noting that many migrant communities retreat into themselves on a social and cultural level.

The study shows a trend of migrants, who once saw themselves as Germans, identifying more with the ethnic and cultural background of their origin. A similar study was carried out in 2008 by the VHW that when compared to the current study shows a large shift toward isolation, rather than integration.

One person who was questioned as a part of the study even said, “We are not Germans, we are now Turks,” and added, “my friends are mostly religious and mostly foreigners, not just Turks. I believe we have more common things with them than with Germans.”

The study questioned 80 people who had come to Germany by the end of 2014, a further 40 who had come to German from the period of 2008 to 2014 and 40 asylum seekers who had come to Germany over the course of the migrant crisis since 2015.

Germany is set to spend billions on the integration of new migrants per year, but if the VHW study is any indication, the money may be largely wasted.  Some academics have urged the German government to take a radically different approach and encourage the further ghettoization of migrant groups.

Sociologist Annette Treibel believes that it is Germans who should  integrate into migrant cultures to make the newcomers feel more welcome. Similar proposals have been made by other academics who see the idea of an overarching German culture as  “proto-fascist” notion. They have called for mandatory Arabic lessons for Germans in the public education system.

An even more radical proposal was made by Salafist expert and Green party member Kurt Edler who said that Syrian asylum seekers shouldn’t be expected to integrate into German society and should instead be given their own city, which he called a “New Aleppo.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at


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