Author: Kamaal Haque


Discussions of the Muslim population in Germany often focus on those of Turkish, and to a lesser extent, Arab descent. This is logical, since the Turkish- and Arab-German populations are the two largest Muslim groups in Germany. The focus on these two groups, however, elides significant distinctions within the population of Muslim migrants in Germany. In this essay I focus on three less-discussed groups: Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani migrants. All three of these groups differ, above all, from Turkish migrants in Germany, because their departure from their home countries was occasioned, on the whole, more by political and religious and less by economic factors. Iranians and Afghans fled revolutions and wars in their countries, while the Pakistani community in Germany includes many Ahmadis, a heretical sect of Muslims according to the Pakistani constitution. Thus, the Pakistani-German community, in particular, presents a fascinating picture of a minority-within-aminority in Germany. This essay provides an overview of the history and current status of these three distinct groups of Muslim migrants in Germany. In addition, I discuss how popular perception of these communities often subsumes them into the larger Turkish-German community.

In: Migration and Religion