A recent study from the end of 2009 examines the livelihoods of Muslim immigrants living throughout Europe – the survey focused on residents of 11 European cities. According to the article, there is a common view that Muslims do not wish to integrate into their new surroundings, but the sampling found that many Muslims in fact feel that they have integrated well, in the sense that they identify with the city or neighborhood in which they live. At the same time, however, they feel that the local population does not accept them. In Berlin, the findings show that an 80% majority “positively identified with their particular district,” but only 11% believed that the native German population would perceive them as fellow Germans.
It is interesting to note that the survey found most of the people interviewed preferred to live in “very mixed and diverse neighborhoods.” This could be a reaction to the discrimination that Muslims and those of immigrant backgrounds face in countries throughout Europe. In more culturally mixed neighborhoods, perhaps there would be a higher level of tolerance due to the fact that there would be a less clear “other” living in their midst. Instead, perhaps in an ideal society, no one ethnic group would dominate and feel the right to discriminate against those who appear different.