The U.S. and Germany struggle with integrating immigrant populations and crafting immigration policies for the twenty-first century. In Germany, cultural and religious concerns guide the debate, while in the U.S., the debate is focused on socio-economic and security concerns. Looking at policies on both sides of the Atlantic can be useful in understanding how to develop successful policies for immigration and integration, bettering both German and U.S. societies.

By most measures the United States today is a religiously tolerant country, despite its past history of discrimination against many minority faith communities, writes Mark Rozell, Professor at George Mason University, in Issue Brief #36, “Religious Tolerance and Islam: A Comparative Analysis.” In comparison, societal acceptance of Muslims has been far more difficult to achieve in western Europe than in the United States, Rozell argues, and he cites some reasons for this difference in acceptance, additionally focusing on the role of the media. This Issue Brief is part of AICGS’ project on the “Integration of Muslim Immigrants in Germany and the United States,” which works to deepen German and American understanding of immigration and integration of Muslims.

In this Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Scott Stock Gissendanner, Juniorprofessor at Georg-August-Universität, examines the question of whether or not Muslims in Europe can ever become “true Europeans.” Using the lens of public goods consumption, Dr. Stock Gissendanner looks at the role of NGOs in local communities and how their efforts set up the conditions for many different resolutions to the problems that tend to separate “the West” from “Islam.”

In Issue Brief 33, “Similarities in Difference: The Challenge of Muslim Integration in Germany and the United States,” Mounir Azzaoui examines the status of Muslim integration in both countries and concludes that even though the challenges each nation faces are somewhat different, a dialogue about the experiences of Muslim integration could be made fruitful for all of the challenges ahead. This Issue Brief is part of AICGS’ project on the “Integration of Muslim Immigrants in Germany and the United States,” which works to deepen the German-American understanding of immigration and integration of Muslims.

In this AICGS Transatlantic Perspectives essay, Former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Ann Keller-Lally, Assistant Professor of German at the University of Northern Colorado, examines the differences in the German and American school systems and how the respective systems impact immigrants’ integration into the two societies. Dr. Keller-Lally looks at what the U.S. and Germany can do to improve immigrant education and integration, offering four specific recommendations to improve integration going forward.

Most migration studies tend to ignore the extent to which formal immigration and integration policies of the receiving countries affect the formation of feelings of collective belonging among immigrants. This is an aspect of particular importance when examining the experiences of migrants who came from countries where they had already existed as minority groups…

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