'European Muslims perceive the EU more positively than other Europeans'

October 27, 2017, WWU Münster

According to a study of the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics", Muslims in Europe have a more positive view of the European Union (EU) compared to all other groups of the European population. "On average, Muslims have a higher level of trust in EU institutions than members of other religious or non-religious groups such as Christians and those unaffiliated with any religion," says Prof. Dr. Bernd Schlipphak, political scientist at the Cluster of Excellence. "Of all the groups analysed from 16 European countries, Muslims are the only ones who, for example, rate their trust in the European Parliament higher than 5, on a scale from 1 to 10. Currently, there is a lot of discussion about the lack of acceptance of the EU among many sections of the population - yet the majority of the Muslim immigrants from the first and second generation do not belong to this group of critics." At the same time, the results are in contrast to EU attitudes of Muslims in Arab countries: "We were able to demonstrate in earlier studies that only a minority of the Arab population has a positive opinion of the EU."

According to the new study, one of the most important reasons for the favourable attitudes of the majority of European Muslims is that they are more satisfied with their living situation in the EU than other groups: "Approximately 95 per cent of the Muslims interviewed are first or second generation migrants who compare their new living situation with that in their country of origin: they have a higher appreciation for their economic situation, provision of healthcare and the political system in the host country than those who did not immigrate", explains Prof. Schlipphak. "This satisfaction leads to a higher level of trust in domestic institutions such as the parliament of the host country which, in return, is transferred onto the EU level." In addition to being satisfied with democracy, economy and health, a higher political interest has a positive effect on trust in EU institutions, according to the study. "Religiosity, in contrast, does not have an influence on attitudes towards the EU, contrary to what we assumed."?

"Religiosity has no influence on attitudes towards the EU"

"European Muslims do consider themselves to be more religious than other Europeans", explains Mujtaba Isani, co-author of the study. "This religiosity, however, has neither a negative nor a positive influence on their trust in political institutions on the domestic and the EU level." With this study, the researchers also provide a link to the debate that discusses whether the incompatibility of European and Islamic values and religiosity impedes integration. Like religiosity, neither education nor age nor gender have an influence on EU attitudes, as Prof. Schlipphak remarks. "Our study shows: Successful integration leads to higher levels of trust in political institutions on a domestic and European level. Long-term integration efforts are indispensable if we want to keep up the high level of trust among European Muslims in the EU."

The study is the first systematic empirical analysis of EU attitudes among European Muslims. The researchers evaluated data from the European Social Survey (ESS) from 2002 until 2014; more recent data on the topic of the study is not available. The academics compared the statements of 3,601 European Muslims with those of other religious and non-religious groups. Among the Muslims interviewed, 95 per cent immigrated into the EU; 71 per cent of these were first generation migrants.

"Second Generation Immigrants More Critical - Strengthen Integration"

According to political scientist Schlipphak, the study reveals social threats for the future: "The more distant the migration experience, the lower are the levels of satisfaction." Second generation European Muslim immigrants show less trust in the of the host country and the EU than first generation European Muslim immigrants. Discrimination is demonstrated to have a negative effect on the EU attitudes: "European Muslims, who feel discriminated against, trust the institutions of the European community to a lesser degree. This is all the more problematic since the feeling of being discriminated against is more widespread among second generation European Muslim immigrants, as shown by our analyses." Against this background, the political science scholar recommends "to strengthen the integration of European Muslims in the long term and take a look at the problems of the second generation in particular, in order to maintain the current positive attitude of the majority."

Explore further: Liberal democracy is possible in Muslim-majority countries

More information: Mujtaba Isani et al, In the European Union we trust: European Muslim attitudes toward the European Union, European Union Politics (2017). DOI: 10.1177/1465116517725831

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not rated yet Oct 27, 2017
Well sure. For them eurabia is the land of opportunity. For indigenes, not so much.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Saxons and Franks have forgotten the advantages of outgrowing and overwhelming.

""European Muslims do consider themselves to be more religious than other Europeans", explains political scientist Mujtaba Isani"

not rated yet Oct 28, 2017
This is normal, everyone will blame God or any higher power that sat above them for all their life's problem; from problem arising from uncontrollable market forces like high food price to mediocre interior design issue like lack of thrash bin, there's no shame for people to be ungrateful when everybody else is whining the same! This is when theories and superstition on what is happening with God or the 'people who sit above' being circulated and become a 'facts' by populous masses.

Why do people blame EU when in actuality; execution of EU policies rest upon the discretion of local government?
not rated yet Oct 28, 2017
This is normal, everyone will blame God or any higher power that sat above them for all their life's problem
Well that's not true. Leaders invented the god of Abraham and subsequent iterations so that the people would blame themselves, rather than their leaders, for their misfortunes.

If you are suffering then you have displeased god in some way. Either you aren't praying hard enough, donating enough to the church/temple/mosque, or you're not chastising unbelievers with enough fervor.

Xian added a layer of guilt for the death of the messiah, but then the gospel of John says the jews did that. Yes, nobody has redacted that yet no matter what the pope says.
not rated yet Oct 30, 2017
@TheGhostofOtto1923, that's what I'm saying, people blame something else above them. They create something else if they can't see it, they made stuff up. This doesn't limit to peasant class, this happen to all ungrateful humans, it's a game of blaming someone above you; be it the government or god itself, and nobody is self-aware they are doing it.
not rated yet Oct 30, 2017
@TheGhostofOtto1923, that's what I'm saying, people blame something else above them
And that's exactly not what I said.
not rated yet Oct 30, 2017
I'm saying this because people have better life than those immigrants, they have favourable life compared to the first generation immigrants yet they are mad at EU... even the child of the immigrants themselve succumb to this 'disease'... very typical...
not rated yet Oct 30, 2017
I read this story: a reporter asked a homeless man what is his comment on the food charity that he is enjoying, and this man is concerned about the homeless youth and think the food charity should stop to discourage the youth from continuing to be homeless... that's soo stupid.

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