German study claims devout Islamic youth more violence-prone
Jun 5, 2010, 17:29 GMT
Berlin - The more devout a young Muslim male in Germany is, the more likely he is to resort to violence, according to a federally financed study seen Saturday by the German Press Agency dpa.
The study, based on interviews with 45,000 boys and girls aged 14 to 16, also concluded that male supremacist views and a preference for violent videos and computer games link closely with mosque attendance among the young. It compared Christians and Muslims.
The as-yet-unpublished research was jointly conducted by the federal Interior Ministry and the KFN criminology research institute in Hanover headed by Christian Pfeiffer. Dpa obtained a copy in Berlin.
In a conclusion, the authors said the finding might be explained by hypotheses of Rauf Ceylan, an ethnic Turkish scholar in German who studies religion.
They said Ceylan had discovered that a majority of mosque clergy in Germany encouraged their congregations to practice a conservative form of Islam and to preserve their ethnic roots.
More than half of German Muslims, who make up 5 per cent of the population, have Turkish roots.
The findings characterised imams or clergy as men working only temporarily in Germany with no knowledge of the German language, preventing them from developing a positive attitude to German culture or from questioning male dominance.
The study suggested those views were transferred to young people at the mosque, whereas non-devout boys picked up more liberal German attitudes. Pfeiffer wrote: 'This is not a problem with Islam, but a problem with their education in Islam.'
Contacted for comment by dpa, Ceylan warned the interpretation might be simplistic and said many other factors had to be taken into account.
KFN conducted interviews in 2007 and 2008 in 61 cities with the aim of detecting how religious belief influences attitudes and behaviour. It found that young people who were intensely Christian were less likely to be violent than the average.
The study also argued that agnostic migrant children were the fastest to integrate, readily considering themselves as German and aiming for the highest educational achievements. By contrast, only 16 per cent of young Muslims aimed for the highest school-completion certificate.