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IN NUMBERS: A breakdown of Germany’s Muslim population

Around 5.5 million Muslims live in Germany, almost one million more than five years ago. And now the group is more diverse than ever before, according to a new study.

IN NUMBERS: A breakdown of Germany's Muslim population
Muslims praying in a mosque in Hanover during the month of Ramadan. Photo: DPA

The study, conducted once every five years, was presented this week in Nuremberg by the Interior Ministry.

It found that between 5.3 and 5.6 million people of the Islam faith currently live in Germany, making up a share of 6.4 to 6.7 percent of the country’s total population – which stands at around 83.2 million.

Compared to the last projection amid the refugee crisis in 2015, the number of Muslims in Germany has increased by around 900,000 people.

“The Muslim population has become more diverse in the context of immigration from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East in recent years,” said BAMF President Hans-Eckhard Sommer.

Turkey continues to be the largest country of origin, accounting for 45 percent of the Muslim faith population. However, 27 percent now also come from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and almost 20 percent from southeastern Europe. 

READ ALSO: Eight things to know about Islam in Germany

The study showed that levels of how religious people define themselves vary: 82 percent consider themselves strongly or ‘rather’ religious, and 39 percent of Muslims in Germany pray daily.

Yet only 30 percent of Muslim women and girls wear headscarves. But among women over the age of 65, the majority (62 percent) wear a head covering.

Most Muslims would rate their German language skills as good or very good (79 percent). And almost most all Muslims who were born in Germany state that they have a very good knowledge of German (93 percent).

Religion and integration

Presenting the report, Sommer said that factors such as length of stay in Germany, reasons for migration, or the overall social situation shape the integration process to a far greater extent than religious affiliation. 

Belonging to a German Verein (association) and learning the language are also key factors fostering better integration, he continued. 

The number of Muslims with vocational training is significantly higher in the second generation than among those who have emigrated themselves.

“The analyses also show that the influence of religion on integration is often overestimated,” Sommer said.


The faith – (der) Glauben

Headscarf – (das) Kopftuch

Country of origin – (das) Herkunftsland

overestimated – überschätzt

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Al-Azhar university calls for Sweden boycott over Koran burning

The Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious educational institution, Al-Azhar in Egypt, has called for the boycott of Swedish and Dutch products after far-right activists destroyed Korans in those countries.

Al-Azhar university calls for Sweden boycott over Koran burning

Al-Azhar, in a statement issued on Wednesday, called on “Muslims to boycott Dutch and Swedish products”.

It also urged “an appropriate response from the governments of these two countries” which it charged were “protecting despicable and barbaric crimes in the name of ‘freedom of expression'”.

Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan on Saturday set fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book in front of Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm, raising tensions as Sweden courts Ankara over its bid to join Nato.


The following day, Edwin Wagensveld, who heads the Dutch chapter of the German anti-Islam group Pegida, tore pages out of the Koran during a one-man protest outside parliament.

Images on social media also showed him walking on the torn pages of the holy book.

The desecration of the Koran sparked strong protests from Ankara and furious demonstrations in several capitals of the Muslim world including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned” the Koran burning, expressing “deep concern at the recurrence of such events and the recent Islamophobic escalation in a certain number of European countries”.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned Paludan’s actions as “deeply disrespectful”, while the United States called it “repugnant”.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday said the burning was the work of “a provocateur” who “may have deliberately sought to put distance between two close partners of ours – Turkey and Sweden”.

On Tuesday, Turkey postponed Nato accession talks with Sweden and Finland, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Stockholm for allowing weekend protests that included the burning of the Koran.