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Muslim Integration or Alienation in Non-Muslim-Majority Countries: The Evidence from International Comparative Survey Data

 
Filed under: Uncategorized
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review
Volume 30, Numbers 3–4

Introduction

This article tries to evaluate Muslim integration or Muslim alienation—if such a thing exists—in non-Muslim-majority countries by rigorous quantitative analysis of existing open and freely accessible international opinion-survey data in a comparative perspective. Such investigations, based on the European Social Survey and other opinion data on the issues under scrutiny here, are not new and have been attempted in the past.1

We are interested in how much Muslim communities in non-Muslim-majority countries, especially in Western democracies, are living above or below the poverty line, whether they trust democracy, the legal system, the parliament, the police, and so on. Of course, international political decision-makers are free to draw their conclusions from our results, which are a continuation of such investigations since the availability of the European Social Survey data in 2002.2 In our context, such questions are primarily aimed at assessing political stability. If citizens trust democracy, the legal system, the parliament, and the police, there is less dissatisfaction and likelihood of various kinds of rebellion. While the debate about “Islam” in the West is now endless, it is surprising that hard-core comparable data are rather scarce.

But going back as far as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and the writings of the founding generation of quantitative social science in the 1930s, social science—even in times of heated political debate—must be able to come up with concrete and reliable information on the when, who, what, where, why, and how of phenomena.3 Hence we are not interested in the question, however much we might sympathize with or reject a positive answer, of whether “Islam” “belongs” to Europe, America, or Israel. We are also not interested in making any judgment—political, let alone moral—on the recent nation-state law in Israel.4 Rather, we ask ourselves in a detached and empirical way how well or how badly countries with available data, including Israel, are doing in accommodating their Muslim minorities. Are they poorly integrated or well integrated, and are there not only “integration deficits” but also “integration surpluses” to be observed?5 Thus, for political decision-makers and the security establishments in Western countries, including Israel, this article is intended to offer at least some ways to arrive at best-practice models for the questions discussed here.

Background

Especially since 9/11, social science literature has duly focused on the dangers that Islamist global terrorism poses for the security of the free West. A recent study, which summarized international opinion surveys in the Muslim world, concluded that 17.38 percent of the entire Muslim population in the world on average support terrorist organizations and acts of terrorism.6

On a population-weighted basis, these data also imply that 9.96 percent of the entire surveyed Muslim population on earth is of the opinion that suicide bombings are “often” or “sometimes” justified. The supporters of the Taliban and Al Qaeda correspond, without the necessary corrections of age structures, to 289 million people (Taliban supporters) or 279 million people (Al Qaeda supporters), which is far more than the current entire population of Indonesia or Brazil! This study also concluded on the basis of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) surveys7 that the share of the 8.1 million Muslim anti-Semites in Europe in the total number of almost 80 million European anti-Semites is a staggering 10.1 percent. Some 8.3 percent of global Muslims even support ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; 18 percent of Syrian refugees sympathize with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and 30 percent of them want a theocratic state. In the state of Israel, 38 percent of Muslims hold sympathies for the terrorist organization Hamas, and 40 percent for Hizbullah.8

A rational and data-oriented debate on Islam in the West is urgently necessary. Talking about headscarves, “Islam as such,” or about whether or not Arabic should be an official language will not solve the difficult and complex underlying issues of terror support, widespread Muslim anti-Semitism, or the Islamist ideology. We should not fight headscarves or Arabic letters, we should fight the Islamist ideology and terror groups and their supporting structures.

In the case of Germany, the current “debate” borders on the irrelevant and avoids the truly relevant questions. In Germany, even the national soccer team’s early defeat and relegation from the FIFA World Cup in Russia in summer 2018 was sufficient to reignite the Grundsatzdebatte (fundamental debate), which German culture anyway seems to love so much, about Islam in Germany and in Europe. Germany’s early exit from the World Cup was blamed by many on the presence of two Turkish-born players, Mesut Özil and İlkay Gündoğan, on the unlucky national team. The German tabloid press was quick to say that failure originated with a visit by Özil and Gündoğan to Turkish President Erdoğan. There were even voices that asserted, very much in the style of the “debate” about Germany’s military defeat in 1918, that Germany left the tournament because “two Germany players [sic] committed treason against the fatherland shortly before the tournament.”9

Symptomatically, while even comparative data about Muslim and non-Muslim unemployment in Europe and other Western countries are scarce, the new German coalition government itself, and not only the German general public, hastened to indulge in this Grundsatzdebatte, again on the issue of Islam “belonging” to Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Yes it does”;10 her own interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said, “No, it does not.”11

A rigorous data analysis seems to suggest the relevance of quite another, completely different perspective. In view of the implosion of trust by majority populations in Western democracies in their respective political systems, here it is worth mentioning Ronald Inglehart’s recent theory of cultural evolution.12 Inglehart argues that people’s values and behavior are shaped by the degree to which survival is secure; it was precarious for most of history, which encouraged heavy emphasis on group solidarity, rejection of outsiders, and obedience to strong leaders. High levels of existential security encourage openness to change, diversity, and new ideas. The unprecedented prosperity and security of the postwar era brought cultural change, the environmentalist movement, and the spread of democracy. But in recent decades, Inglehart says, diminishing job security and rising inequality have led to an authoritarian reaction.

In the perspective of Inglehart’s theory, growing unease with multiculturalism and migration coincides with rising inequality in many Western countries.13 Israel is no exception here. For 70 years, in the Zionist spirit of its path-breaking Declaration of Independence, the country did quite well in increasing democracy, education, incomes, life expectancies, and employment for its Arab citizens to levels unprecedented in the neighboring region.14 Why precisely now, then, after 70 years of so much progress—including one of the outstanding international examples of bilingualism, which might also serve as a shining example to other countries in the region where Kurdish and other languages are still marginalized—should Israel abandon this experiment?15 As Estreicher correctly remarked,

Israel fares well on the plane of formal legal equality. In nearly all areas of public participation, the state does not officially discriminate against its Arab citizens. They are permitted to serve in the armed forces, if they wish (as do the Druze and Bedouin Muslims). They enjoy the right to vote, run for office, and vigorously exercise rights of free expression, association and group protest. Participation rates are high in Knesset and local elections. Twelve of 120 Knesset members are Arabs; 9 of the 12 from Arab parties. There is a large, growing network of NGOs and civil associations predominantly staffed by Israeli Arabs and oriented to the Arab communities. Arabs have served on the Israeli Supreme Court and as military commanders. Arabs have their own state‐supported school system where Arabic is a principal language of instruction.16

The July 2018 nation-state law stirred a passionate, heated debate within Israel. As Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, wrote in the New York Times:

For many Israelis, Jews and supporters of Israel, the last year has been a challenging one. In the summer of 2017, Israel’s government withdrew from an agreement that would have created an egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall and proposed a strict conversion law that impinges on the rights of non-Orthodox Jews. This summer the Knesset passed a law that denies equal rights to same-sex couples. A day later came the nation-state law, which correctly reaffirms that Israel is a Jewish state, but also damages the sense of equality and belonging of Israel’s Druze, Christian and Muslim citizens.17

Then-Education Minister Naftali Bennett answered Lauder by saying:

As minister of education and a previous minister of the economy, I can attest to our efforts to ensure equality in education, academia and employment for Israel’s Arab communities. The Ministry of Education has found a year-on-year increases [sic] in Arab students graduating from high school, with around 63 percent of all Arab students completing their studies—just a few points below the national average of 68 percent. These figures are expected to rise even further over the next five years. We have seen an increase in employment for Arab women.18

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, for his part, warned that the nation-state law may “harm the Jewish people, Jews throughout the world, and the State of Israel.”19 Retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, former chief of Military Intelligence, went so far as to say:

The law touches on sensitive issues that David Ben-Gurion and the founders preferred not to decide. These matters require time, sensitivity, and the broadest possible consensus. They cannot be decided haphazardly, especially hours before a parliamentary recess, and they most certainly should not be decided by the barest of majorities (in this case, 62 Knesset members voted in favor and 55 opposed). The new law does not go far enough in protecting minority rights and upholding the principle of “equality” of all citizens, although this is enshrined in other legal tenets. Due to these flaws, the new law does not command legitimacy. It stirs negative emotions and polarizes the public debate. It alienates parts of the Arab sector and has strained the special bond with the Druze community, which serves in the Israeli military. Moreover, the law has damaged ties with the Jewish Diaspora, especially in the United States, which Israel can ill afford. In a world increasingly defined by images, the new law creates bad optics and plays into the hands of Israel’s adversaries, who are already predisposed to single out Israel in the international arena.20

In view of these polarizing trends, it is also worth recalling a 2016 PEW report,21 which concluded that nearly half of Jewish Israelis now want to expel Arabs. The survey asked Israeli Jews whether they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed, or strongly disagreed with the statement that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel.” Roughly half of Israeli Jews strongly agreed (21 percent) or agreed (27 percent), while a similar share disagreed (29 percent) or strongly disagreed (17 percent). Even among secular Israeli Jews, about one-third (36 percent) favored the expulsion of Arabs from the country.

The present article will try to give an exact answer to the questions of the when, who, what, where, why, and how of Muslim integration in non-Muslim-majority countries. What can Western countries learn from each other about integrating their Muslim minorities?

Methodology

What do the data say? How much discontent, or life satisfaction and trust in public institutions, characterizes the overwhelming rank and file of Muslims in non-Muslim-majority countries compared to the overall population?

Today there are sizable Muslim communities in non-Muslim-majority countries, from France to Russia, from Ethiopia to India and China.22 Scholars, working with empirical survey data from the European Social Survey, have already tried to address such questions in the past by attempting quantitative comparisons of integration patterns of the respective Muslim populations living in non-Muslim-majority countries.23

The methodology used in this analysis24 has already been applied to earlier European Social Survey and World Values Survey data.25 The present article is based on the latest round of these data up to 2016.

Ever since the 9/11 terror attacks, there has been an understandable research emphasis on the question of the alleged or real support for terror among the rank and file of Muslims around the world.26 While this is a legitimate concern for security studies, the possible underlying issues and potential drivers of radicalism, such as poverty and alienation, cannot be left out of such studies.27

Thus this article relies on the methodology of cross-cultural surveys from international comparable data.28 Such data are, among other sources, available from the European Social Survey (ESS) and the World Values Survey (WVS). Data from the ESS29 are available from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. They are based on more than 28,000 representative interviews in these countries. Israel participated in the surveys in 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

The ESS raw data are based on true random samples of the European and other populations participating in the survey, with samples of often 2,000 or more survey-interviewed persons per country. Like the WVS data, these data are freely available on the Internet and can be downloaded anywhere and by anybody with the help of advanced software packages like SPSS30 or SAS.31 The only precondition is a one-minute operation of registering as a free user.

The religion or denomination variable in the ESS surveys included: 1 Catholic, 2 Protestant, 3 Eastern Orthodox, 4 other Christian, 5 Jewish, 6 Islam, 7 Eastern religions, and 8 for the other non-Christian religions.

The WVS, in turn, consists of nationally representative surveys using a common questionnaire conducted in approximately 100 countries, which make up some 90 percent of the world’s population.32 The WVS has become the largest noncommercial, cross-national, time-series investigation of human beliefs and values ever conducted. As of the time of writing this article, it includes interviews with almost 400,000 respondents. The countries included in the WVS project comprise practically all of the world’s major cultural zones. Again, advanced software packages like SPSS33 or SAS34 are necessary to analyze data from the Muslim subsamples in these data.

As for our index methodology, following the introduction of the Human Development Index and its annual updates in the United Nations Human Development Report in recent years,35 a rich literature has emerged on the quantitative measurement of development outcomes. The two main approaches applied are nonparametric and parametric indices.36

Following the presentation of the methodology in a recent work,37 it suffices to state here that a nonparametric index is a composite index constructed to aggregate indicators of a certain process or outcome. A typical nonparametric index is the UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI). Composite indices are constructed by transforming each of the indicators into an index on a scale of zero to one, where one is the maximum value and zero is the minimum value. In the aggregation of indicators, a weight must be attached to each indicator, in our case equal weights. Our nonparametric index of Muslim development is thus similar to the UNDP’s HDI, which is based on aggregation of three indicators of educational attainment, life expectancy, and real GDP per capita.

Parametric indices are based on a multivariate analysis of the composite components involved and attempt a dimension reduction and an exact measurement of the underlying developments. These multivariate analyses are commonly based on the correlation matrix between the variables used in the analysis. In our work we used an advanced version of Factor Analysis based on the so-called oblique rotation of the resulting factors, which allows for a higher correlation between the mathematically derived factors, reproducing the correlation matrix. The computing performances were based on the IBM-SPSS XXIV software, Dimension Reduction program.38 Any researcher around the world should be able to reproduce our results with the freely available data.

Working with small subsamples from larger random samples entails a certain methodological risk, very well-known in survey research.39 In the absence of large-scale surveys with identical questionnaires about Muslim minorities in the non-Muslim-majority countries, such a research strategy is only a second-best option. It is, however, without alternatives if we want to achieve a quantitative perspective on the amount of Muslim alienation in non-Muslim-majority countries from existing and available data.

For the necessary calculation of error margins, readers are referred to the easily readable introduction to opinion-survey error margins prepared by the Roper Center of Cornell University: https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/support/polling-fundamentals-total-survey-error. Readers more interested in the details are also referred to http://www.langerresearch.com/moe. On the basis of the methodological literature on opinion surveys, this website makes available a direct opinion-survey error margin calculator. In our Appendix Table 2, we present the margins of error involved in our research at the 95 percent confidence level and are thus very much aware of the limitations of our research results. In general, we recommend that readers treat only results based on n = 30 or more observations as being somewhat reliable.40

For our first results (see Table 1), our chosen ESS indicators to measure Muslim integration in the non-Muslim-majority countries were:

  • The percentage of the Muslim community living above poverty
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in democracy
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the legal system
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the parliament
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the police

In our multivariate analysis, the following nine indicators were used:

  • Trust in the country’s parliament
  • Trust in the legal system
  • Trust in the police
  • How satisfied with life as a whole
  • How satisfied with the way democracy works in the country
  • State of education in the country nowadays
  • State of health services in the country nowadays
  • Member of a group discriminated against in this country
  • Feeling about household’s income nowadays

Since any researcher around the globe with proper access to the SPSS XXIV statistical program and the freely available data from the Internet should be able to reproduce our findings on a 1:1 basis, our presentation of the results will be rather brief, and we concentrate here on the most salient results.

Results

The survey data indeed suggest an in-depth view of the amounts of integration, but also frustration and resentment felt by certain sectors of the Muslim population in non-Muslim-majority countries. Table 1 offers an exhaustive first answer to the empirical questions raised in this article. In 2016, Israel’s rank in accommodating its Muslim minority was unfortunately very low on all fronts.

Using the ESS cross-national and quantitative data, we specifically estimated a new UNDP-type index we called the Muslim Development Index,41 based on our chosen ESS indicators. Likewise, we constructed another UNDP-type index that we called the Muslim Empowerment Index,42 which measures the absence of large differences between a country’s Muslims and the general population. It thus bears resemblance to the famous UN Gender Empowerment Measure, first presented at the UN Development Program’s Gender Conference in Beijing in 1995.

A simple example might illuminate our methodology and calculation. In Austria, for example, as shown in Table 1, 18 percent of the Muslim population have low trust in the country’s parliament. The worst performance in the sample countries, a low-trust rate of 77 percent in the country’s parliament, is found in Bulgaria. The best performance, a low-trust rate in the country’s parliament of only 3 percent, is reported from the Netherlands. The component index for Austria for trust in the country’s parliament is calculated by subtracting 77 percent—the worst value—from 18 percent, the observed performance in Austria, divided by the difference between 3 percent, the best performance (Netherlands), and 77 percent, the worst performance (Bulgaria). This procedure is performed for all five components, and the average of the five components is calculated.

In Table 2 we present the results for the combined Muslim Development Index in the countries under comparison,43 showing that currently the Netherlands has best solved the issue of Muslim integration, followed by Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, and France, while Spain, Israel, and Bulgaria are at the bottom.

Table 3 shows that Muslim Empowerment44 was highest in Austria, the Netherlands, and France, and lowest in Sweden, Denmark, and Israel. There is an apparent contradiction between the high velocity of integration policy for the newly arriving immigrants to Scandinavia, measured by the Migrant Integration Policy Index called MIPEX,45 and the long-run gaps developing between long-term Muslim immigrants, who often arrived in Scandinavia decades ago, and overall societies.

If we construct the same way as above an Index of Integration Policy Success46 over time from the original data contained in Table 1, we arrive at Table 4 of this study. Lamentably, Israel is the country where the situation changed most rapidly for the worse since 2012.

In Table 5, we look at the evidence for the gap in overall life satisfaction between Muslims and overall society across countries according to the World Values Survey. Studies of overall life satisfaction have become very frequent in recent years, with the good reason that it must be regarded as one of the central social indicators, highly correlated with a host of other phenomena such as income, education, health, and so on.47 On the scales of this one-catch-all indicator of Muslim discontent as compared to overall society, Israel again is in the upper league of relatively high gaps in life satisfaction. Interestingly enough, the table also expresses gaps experienced by non-Muslim minorities (mostly Christians) in majority-Muslim countries, as well as the relatively high life satisfaction among some predominantly immigrant Muslim communities in the West, such as in Slovenia, France, and Germany.

Toward a Multidimensional Analysis

Adherents of the more stringent social scientific methodology of parametric indices will perhaps say at this stage that adding together just five variables and drawing the averages is not enough. For that reason, we also calculated a multivariate analysis of nine indicators of integration and developed a factor-analytical model of Muslim integration in non-Muslim-majority countries. This was based on the following ESS variables:

  • Trust in the country’s parliament
  • Trust in the legal system
  • Trust in the police
  • How satisfied with life as a whole
  • How satisfied with the way democracy works in the country
  • State of education in the country nowadays
  • State of health services in the country nowadays
  • Member of a group discriminated against in the country
  • Feeling about household’s income nowadays

Two factors whose central mathematical statistical property, the so-called eigenvalues, were larger than 1.0 were extracted; 51.487 percent of variance was explained. The eigenvalue of factor 1 was 3.527; the eigenvalue of factor 2 was 1.107. Factor 1 explains 39.190 percent of total variance, factor 2 explains 12.297 percent of total variance. The cumulative percentage of total variance explained is 51.487 percent. The correlation between the two factors is relatively high and is 0.392. In view of the loadings (strength of the statistical connection) of each variable with the resulting factors, we decided to call them trust in the democratic system and economic and social well-being. These are the two factors contributing to overall integration. Theoretically, loadings can range from +1.0 to -1.0.

Following the well-established practice in factor-analytical indicator research, we simply weighted the two factors by their so-called eigenvalues to arrive at the measurement of overall integration.

While in Israel, Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands we could indeed speak of integration deficits characterizing the situation of Muslim communities vis-à-vis the overall society, our analysis shows that in the Russian Federation, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Austria, Muslims were surprisingly even better placed according to our nine indicators than the overall society, that is, one could even speak of an integration surplus.48 This finding only repeats findings from earlier European Social Surveys49

Table 8 summarizes at a glance the factor-analytical results. When the combined results for our nine indicators are considered, Switzerland is at the top and Israel is at the bottom of the list of the overall situation of the Muslim communities.

Table 9 establishes the integration trajectory of the overall population of each country according to our nine-indicator oblique factor analysis of the data from the European Social Survey.

Table 10 offers an insight into the integration surpluses and integration deficits of the Muslim communities in non-Muslim-majority countries. The table expresses relative and not absolute conditions. For example, Russia is the leader because a relatively well-integrated Muslim community must be compared with a general population, still facing many hardships and expressing a stronger distance from the central authorities of the state. The case of Israel, the last in the list of Table 10, is exactly the reverse of the Russian case.

In Table 11 we compare the different integration trajectories of groupings of self-professed political-party supporters and the overall country. We took great care to interpret only statistical results based on 30 or more observations, and relegated results from smaller samples. Table 11 thus highlights the trajectory of Muslim integration/alienation in Western countries (with complete data) compared to that of the integration/alienation of self-professed political-party supporters. In general, voters for regionalist and populist political parties were more deeply alienated from society than the Muslim communities in the respective countries.

Legitimate Concerns about Israel’s Long-Term Security

In view of the pessimistic results for Israel, the trends under debate here have already been debated by scholarship in Israel for a long time.50 A 2015 article by Itamar Radai highlights that polls show overwhelmingly that the Arab citizens of Israel, despite their firm belief in the institutional and social discrimination against them, are eager to remain Israeli citizens and be part of the fabric of Israeli society. As a consequence, the study proposes what it calls the “serious handling of the inequality issues” and that these inequalities in “public resources, occupational opportunities, education, and more, should be considered by policymakers as a way to decrease the sense of inequality that threatens to destabilize Israeli society.” Already this study emphasized that the large numbers of Arabs who harbor a genuine feeling of discrimination should serve as a warning to Israeli policymakers.

At the same time, positive trends, such as the condemnation of terror attacks against Jews, should not be ignored. The Israeli leadership must address these issues in both verbal and practical fashion. Affirmative acts on the ground can demonstrate to the Arab population that the Israeli government and society are bent on full equality and integration of the Arab citizens into many aspects of life within the Israeli society.

In one of the most influential studies of quantitative political science, the American political scientist Ted Gurr already highlighted the fact that various types of perceived discrimination—including linguistic discrimination—are among the most robust predictors of rebellions.51 Linguistic conflicts especially can be long-drawn-out. In addition, general and deep disagreements about the foundations of the nation can trigger instability and rebellion. The well-documented cases of the Basque Country (ETA terrorism) and Northern Ireland (IRA terrorism) highlight the potential of destabilization, which feelings of discrimination in national (Basque Country and Northern Ireland) and linguistic aspects (Basque Country) can foment even in highly developed, industrial countries.52 Table 12 compares extents of self-professed discrimination (five types of discrimination) according to European Social Survey data. Lamentably, Israel heads the list in very high proportions.

The general inequalities between Jewish and Israeli Arab Israelis are amply documented in Israeli statistics.53 There have been significant improvements in the educational levels of Arabs, but the gaps between Arabs and Jews are still large. The rates of the 17-year-olds receiving university-eligible matriculation certificates are: Jews 53 percent, Druze 50 percent, Arab Muslims and Christians 40 percent, Bedouin 22 percent. Graph 1 and Graph 2 highlight the still-existing gaps.

In interpreting the data of Graph 2, one should emphasize that—the gaps in life expectancy notwithstanding—Jewish female life expectancy in Israel is one of the highest in the world, and that Arab female life expectancy is way ahead of all Arab countries and even some European Union countries. Equally, Jewish male life expectancy is the world record-holder, surpassing Switzerland, and Arab male life expectancy in Israel is again ahead of all Arab countries.55

The gaps in family size, education, employment, and wages have led to major gaps in socioeconomic status between Arabs and Jews:

  • In 2016, 53 percent of Arab families lived in poverty (after taxes and transfer payments) compared with 14 percent of Jewish families.
  • 66 percent of Arab children lived in poverty compared with 20 percent of Jewish children.
  • Arab families constitute 38 percent of all poor families, far above their proportion of all Israeli families.

In view of Inglehart’s theory, referred to above, and the results of our study, which clearly established the leading role of the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway as the “best-practice models” of Muslim integration in the West, we apply the University of Texas Inequality Project (UTIP) data series about inequality in the countries of the world since 1963 and compare the inequality data of these countries with the rise of inequality in Israel since 1963.57 The unique and freely available UTIP data series is based on the Theil Index of Inequality between wages paid in different branches of the economy.58 The data clearly show that the neoliberal policies of the 1980s, adopted in Israel, led to an oscillating higher level of inequality, while the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway as the leading “best-practice counties” of integration according to our survey data were characterized, just like Israel, by egalitarian social welfare structures in the early 1960s.59

Inglehart correctly emphasizes that under conditions of rising inequality, the acceptancy of “the other” shrinks. Whereas the Israel of 1948, 1968, 1988, and 2008 was still proud of its omnipresent road signs in three languages—Hebrew, English, and Arabic—and its tolerance in the spirit of the Enlightenment, which was fully embraced by Judaism as its partner for over 200 years, nowadays nearly half of Israeli Jews are simply in favor of expelling the Arab population. Inglehart rightly points out that diminishing job security and rising inequality can lead to growing unease with “multiculturalism.”

Conclusions and Prospects

This article evaluated Muslim integration or Muslim alienation in non-Muslim-majority countries by rigorous quantitative analysis of existing open and freely accessible international opinion-survey data in a comparative perspective. It relied on the methodology of cross-cultural surveys from international comparable data from the European Social Survey and the World Values Survey.

Following the introduction of the Human Development Index and its annual updates in the United Nations Human Development Report in recent years, a rich literature on the quantitative measurement of development outcomes has developed. The two main approaches applied here are nonparametric and parametric indices. For our first results, ESS indicators to measure Muslim integration in the non-Muslim-majority countries were:

  • The percentage of the Muslim community living above poverty
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in democracy
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the legal system
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the parliament
  • The percentage of the Muslim community expressing some or great trust (levels 4 to 10 on the ESS scale) in the police

In our multivariate, parametric indicator analysis, the following nine indicators were used:

  • Trust in the country’s parliament
  • Trust in the legal system
  • Trust in the police
  • How satisfied with life as a whole
  • How satisfied with the way democracy works in the country
  • State of education in the country nowadays
  • State of health services in the country nowadays
  • Member of a group discriminated against in this country
  • Feeling about household’s income nowadays

The survey data indeed suggest an in-depth view of the amounts of integration, but also of frustration and resentment, felt by certain sectors of the Muslim population in non-Muslim-majority countries. Using the ESS cross-national and quantitative data, we specifically estimated a new UNDP-type index we called the Muslim Development Index, based on our chosen ESS indicators. Likewise we constructed another UNDP-type index that we called the Muslim Empowerment Index, which measures the absence of large differences between a country’s Muslims and the general population.

The Netherlands best solved the issue of Muslim integration, followed by Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, and France, while Spain, Israel, and Bulgaria were at the bottom. We also showed that Muslim empowerment was highest in Austria, the Netherlands, and France, and lowest in Sweden, Denmark, and Israel. Our Index of Integration Policy Success over time shows that Israel is the country where the situation changed most rapidly for the worse over time since 2012.

We also looked at the evidence of the gap in overall life satisfaction between Muslims and overall society across countries according to the World Values Survey. Israel again is in the upper league of relatively high gaps in life satisfaction.

Our factor-analytical, so-called parametric indices showed that in the Russian Federation, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Austria, Muslims were surprisingly even better placed than overall society. When the combined results for our nine indicators are considered, Switzerland is at the top and Israel is at the bottom of the list of the overall situation of the Muslim communities. We also compared the different integration trajectories of groupings of self-professed political-party supporters and the overall country. In general, voters for regionalist and populist political parties were more deeply alienated from society than the Muslim communities in the respective countries.

We also considered what we call legitimate security concerns for Israel on the basis of our data. In one of the most influential studies of quantitative political science, the American political scientist Ted Gurr already highlighted the fact that various types of perceived discrimination—including linguistic discrimination—are among the most robust predictors of rebellions. Linguistic conflicts in particular can be long-drawn-out. In addition, general and deep disagreements about the foundations of the nation can trigger instability and rebellion. We compared the extent of self-professed discrimination (five types of discrimination) according to European Social Survey data. Lamentably, Israel is heading the list in very high proportions. There have been significant improvements in the educational levels of Arabs in Israel, but the gaps between Arabs and Jews are still large. One should also emphasize that Jewish female life expectancy in Israel is one of the highest in the world, and that Arab female life expectancy is way ahead of all Arab countries and even some European Union countries, the gaps in life expectancy notwithstanding. Equally, Jewish male life expectancy is the world record-holder, surpassing Switzerland, and Arab male life expectancy in Israel is again ahead of all Arab countries. Yet in 2016, 53 percent of Arab families lived in poverty (after taxes and transfer payments) compared with 14 percent of Jewish families. Sixty-six percent of Arab children lived in poverty compared with 20 percent of Jewish children.

In view of these polarizing trends, we also recall a 2016 PEW Report, which concluded that nearly half of Jewish Israelis now want to expel Arabs. We concur with a recent analysis by Estreicher,60 which maintains that:

The appeal here is not simply to liberal or cosmopolitan values, and Israel’s self‐professed identity as a Jewish state and a state for all of its citizens. It is also an appeal to the enlightened self‐interest of all Israelis, Jewish and Arab. Social order will not be sustainable unless all in the society believe they have full economic and social opportunity to live a good life, and thus feel they have a stake in Israel’s survival.61

Estreicher is right in calling for a massive program to achieve the following aims:

  1. instituting vigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination laws in employment, housing and business, coupled with a visible affirmative action program to place university graduates in the high‐tech and other growing sectors of the economy;
  2. requiring all Israeli citizens to complete two years of national service, which need not be military service;
  3. changing the electoral system so that the system is based on legislator accountability to local constituencies rather than political parties; and
  4. promoting public symbols of inclusion.

Facing the realities described in this article, there seems to be no other alternative.

* * *

Notes

For Graphs, Maps, and Tables see the PDF.

  1. See European Social Survey, available at http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org. All downloads as of August 23, 2018. As to the literature about such surveys, see Lewin-Epstein, Noah, and Yinon Cohen, “Ethnic origin and identity in the Jewish population of Israel,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2018): 1-20; Hough, Mike, Jonathan Jackson, and Ben Bradford, “Ethnicity, group position and police legitimacy: Early findings from the European Social Survey,” in: Police-Citizen Relations across the World, Routledge, London (2017), 70-96; Tausch, Arno, “Israel and the World of Catholicism(s),” Jewish Political Studies Review 28, 3/4 (2017): 7-17; Norris, Pippa, and Ronald F. Inglehart, “Muslim integration into Western cultures: Between origins and destinations,” Political Studies 60, 2 (2012): 228-51; Halperin, Eran, and Daniel Bar-Tal, “Socio-psychological barriers to peace making: An empirical examination within the Israeli Jewish society,” Journal of Peace Research 48, 5 (2011): 637-51.
  2. Tausch, Arno, C. Bischof, and K. Mueller, Muslim Calvinism, Rozenberg, Amsterdam (2009). Empirically, one has to talk about an integration surplus, when low rates of confidence among the general populations in many Western countries in the central institutions of the state, observable especially since the great economic and financial crisis of 2008, are surpassed by Muslim confidence in the legal system, the police, and so on.
  3. Rowe, Christopher J., and Sarah Broadie, eds., Nicomachean Ethics, Oxford University Press, New York (2002); Lasswell, Harold D., “The structure and function of communication in society,” in: Lyman Bryson (ed.), The Communication of Ideas: A Series of Addresses, Cooper Square, New York (1964), 215-28.
  4. The Times of Israel, July 29, 2018, available at https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-trouble-with-israels-jewish-nation-state-law; Matza, Doron, Meir Elran, Khader Sawaed, and Ephraim Lavie, “The Arab Society in Israel and the Nation State Law,” INSS Insight No. 1087, August 22, 2018, available at http://www.inss.org.il/publication/arab-society-israel-nation-state-law.
  5. Tausch, Arno, Almas Heshmati, and Hishām Qarawī, The Political Algebra of Global Value Change: General Models and Implications for the Muslim World, Nova (2015).
  6. Grinin, Leonid, Korotayev, Andrey, and Arno Tausch, Islamism, Arab Spring and the Future of Democracy: World System and World Values Perspectives, Springer, New York (2018).
  7. Tausch, Arno, “The New Global Antisemitism: Implications from the Recent ADL-100 Data” (January 14, 2015), Middle East Review of International Affairs 18, 3 (Fall 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2549654 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2549654.
  8. Grinin, Korotayev, and Tausch, Islamism, Arab Spring.
  9. Euro-Islam Info, Paris, available at http://www.euro-islam.info/2018/07/01/blaming-turk-world-cup-elimination-lays-bare-germanys-fragilities-racisms.
  10. “Merkel says Islam ‘belongs to Germany’ ahead of Dresden rally,” Reuters, January 12, 2015, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-islam-merkel/merkel-says-islam-belongs-to-germany-ahead-of-dresden-rally-idUSKBN0KL1S020150112.
  11. “‘Islam does not belong to Germany,’ says country’s new interior minister. Statement puts Horst Seehofer at odds with Angela Merkel as she begins fourth term as Chancellor,” The Independent, March 16, 2016, available at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/islam-germany-not-belong-muslims-interior-minister-horst-seehofer-angela-merkel-afd-a8259451.html.
  12. Inglehart, Ronald F., Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations Are Changing, and Reshaping the World, Cambridge University Press (2018).
  13. For most recent time-series data about inequality, see University of Texas Inequality Project, available at https://utip.lbj.utexas.edu/data.html.
  14. Peretz, Donald, The Government and Politics of Israel, Routledge (2018); Estreicher, Samuel, “A Jewish State and a State for All of Its Citizens: Addressing the Challenge of Israel’s Arab Citizens,” NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-41, July 14, 2017, available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2832267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2832267.
  15. Harff, Barbara, Ethnic Conflict in World Politics, Routledge, London (2018).
  16. Estreicher, “Jewish State,” 4.
  17. Lauder, Ronald S., “Israel, This Is Not Who We Are,” New York Times, August 13, 2018, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/opinion/israel-ronald-lauder-nation-state-law.html.
  18. Bennett, Naftali, “Israel Is Proud of Who We Are,” New York Times, August 15, 2018, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/opinion/israel-nationality-law-naftali-bennett.html.
  19. Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2018, available at https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/President-Rivlin-Nation-state-bill-liable-to-harm-the-Jewish-people-562088.
  20. Amos Yadlin, “Why a former Israeli military intelligence chief stands with the Druze,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, August 6, 2018, available at http://www.inss.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Why-a-former-Israeli-military-intelligence-chief-stands-with-the-Druze-An-article-by-Amos-Yadlin-in-the-JTA.pdf.
  21. “Israel’s Religiously Divided Society,” PEW Research Center, 2016, available at http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/03/Israel-Survey-Full-Report.pdf.
  22. Nationmaster, available at http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Religion/Islam/Percentage-Muslim; “5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe,” PEW Research Center, November 29, 2017, available at http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/11/29/5-facts-about-the-muslim-population-in-europe.
  23. Schlueter, Elmar, Bart Meuleman, and Eldad Davidov, “Immigrant integration policies and perceived group threat: A multilevel study of 27 Western and Eastern European countries,” Social Science Research 42, 3 (2013): 670-82; Norris, Pippa, and Ronald F. Inglehart, “Muslim integration into Western cultures: Between origins and destinations,” Political Studies 60, 2 (2012): 228-51; Maxwell, Rahsaan, “Evaluating Migrant Integration: Political Attitudes across Generations in Europe,” International Migration Review 44, 1 (2010): 25-52; Tausch, Arno, and Philippe Jourdon, Trois essais pour une économie politique du 21e siàcle, Editions L’Harmattan, Paris (2011).
  24. Tausch, Bischof, and Mueller, Muslim Calvinism.
  25. European Social Survey, available at http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org.
  26. “Where Terrorism Finds Support in the Muslim World. That May Depend on How You Define It—and Who Are the Targets,” PEW Research Center, May 23, 2006, available at http://www.pewglobal.org/2006/05/23/where-terrorism-finds-support-in-the-muslim-world; Berman, Russell A., and Arno Tausch, “Support for Terrorism in Muslim Majority Countries and Implications for Immigration Policies in the West,” Strategic Assessment 20, 1 (2017): 7-21.
  27. Grinin, Korotayev, and Tausch, Islamism, Arab Spring.
  28. Tausch, Heshmati, and Qarawī, Political Algebra.
  29. European Social Survey, Prospectus, available at http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/about/ESS_prospectus.pdf.
  30. IBM SPSS Software, available at https://www.ibm.com/analytics/spss-statistics-software.
  31. SAS Stat, “State of the Art Statistical Software,” available at https://www.sas.com/en_us/software/stat.html.
  32. World Values Survey, available at http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs.jsp. The chosen SPSS data-file from the WVS database is WVS_Longitudinal_1981_2014_spss_v2015_04_18. sav.
  33. IBM SPSS, op. cit.
  34. SAS Stat, op. cit.
  35. UNDP Human Development Report, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/2016-report; Tausch, Heshmati, and Qarawī, Political Algebra.
  36. Tausch, Heshmati, and Qarawī, Political Algebra.
  37. Ibid.
  38. IBM SPSS, op. cit. .
  39. Tausch, Heshmati, and Qarawī, Political Algebra.
  40. Clauss, Günter, and Heinz Ebner, Grundlagen der Statistik, Volkseigener Verlag (East Berlin, GDR), 1974.
  41. According to the United Nations Human Development Programme website, the HDI—Human Development Index—is a summary composite index that measures a country’s average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. See furthermore, United Nations Development Program, “Data,” available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/data.
  42. United Nations Development Program, “Data.”
  43. See also Verkuyten, Maykel, “Supporting the democratic political organisation of Muslim immigrants: The perspective of Muslims in the Netherlands and Germany,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43, 1 (2017): 137-55; Elsayed, Ahmed, and Andries De Grip, “Terrorism and the integration of Muslim immigrants,” Journal of Population Economics 31, 1 (2018): 45-67; Maliepaard, Mieke, and Diana D. Schacht, “The relation between religiosity and Muslims’ social integration: A two-wave study of recent immigrants in three European countries,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 41, 5 (2018): 860-81; Lindemann, Anaïd, and Jörg Stolz, “The Muslim employment gap, human capital, and ethno-religious penalties: Evidence from Switzerland,” Social Inclusion 6, 2 (2018): 151-61; Kranendonk, Maria, Floris Vermeulen, and Anja van Heelsum, “’Unpacking’ the Identity‐to‐Politics Link: The Effects of Social Identification on Voting among Muslim Immigrants in Western Europe,” Political Psychology 39, 1 (2018): 43-67.
  44. See also van Heelsum, Anja, and Floris Vermeulen, “Cities’ Policies: The Work of European Cities to Counter Muslim Radicalisation,” Journal of International Migration and Integration 19, 1 (2018): 161-79; Joppke, Christian, “Multiculturalism by Liberal Law: The Empowerment of Gays and Muslims,” European Journal of Sociology/Archives Européennes de Sociologie 58, 1 (2017): 1-32; Joly, Danièle, and Khursheed Wadia, Muslim Women and Power: Political and Civic Engagement in West European Societies, Springer (2017).
  45. See also Migrant Integration Policy Index (British Council), available at http://www.mipex.eu; furthermore Wiesbrock, Anja, “The integration of immigrants in Sweden: A model for the European Union?” International Migration 49, 4 (2011): 48-66; Czaika, Mathias, and Hein De Haas, “The effectiveness of immigration policies,” Population and Development Review 39, 3 (2013): 487-508; Schall, Carly Elizabeth., The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Welfare Machine: Immigration and Social Democracy in Twentieth-Century Sweden, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY (2016).
  46. For the vast and divergent literature on the subject, see also Cheung, Sin Yi, and Jenny Phillimore, “Gender and refugee integration: A quantitative analysis of integration and social policy outcomes,” Journal of Social Policy 46, 2 (2017): 211-30; Wright, Matthew et al., “Multiculturalism and Muslim accommodation: Policy and predisposition across three political contexts,” Comparative Political Studies 50, 1 (2017): 102-32; Mohiuddin, Asif, “Muslims in Europe: Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Integration,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 37,4 (2017): 393-412.
  47. Amit, Karin, “Determinants of life satisfaction among immigrants from Western countries and from the FSU in Israel,” Social Indicators Research 96, 3 (2010): 515-34; furthermore Oishi, Shigehiro et al., “Cross-cultural variations in predictors of life satisfaction: Perspectives from needs and values,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 25, 8 (1999): 980-90; Suh, Eunkook et al., “The shifting basis of life satisfaction judgments across cultures: Emotions versus norms,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74, 2 (1998): 482; Diener, Ed, “Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index,” American Psychologist 55,1 (2000): 34; Bjørnskov, Christian. “The happy few: Cross-country evidence on social capital and life satisfaction,” Kyklos 56, 1 (2003): 3-16.
  48. Tausch, Bischof, and Mueller, Muslim Calvinism.
  49. Ibid.
  50. Among the vast literature on the subject, see Radai, Itamar et al., “The Arab citizens in Israel: Current trends according to recent opinion polls,” Strategic Assessment 18, 2 (2015): 101-16, available at: http://www.inss.org.il/wp-content/uploads/systemfiles/adkan18_2ENG_version2_Radai%20et%20al.pdf; Wilmer, Franke, “Victimization, Empathy, and Breaking the Cycles of Violence in Israel and Palestine,” International Relations and Diplomacy 5, 2 (2017): 61-77; Rudnitzky, Arik, “Back to the Knesset? Israeli Arab vote in the 20th Knesset elections,” Israel Affairs 22, 3-4 (2016): 683-96.
  51. Gurr, Ted Robert, Why Men Rebel, Routledge, London (2015).
  52. Shafir, Gershon, Immigrants and Nationalists: Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Latvia, and Estonia, SUNY Press, Albany, NY (1995); Bell, J. Bowyer, The IRA, 1968-2000: An Analysis of a Secret Army, Routledge, London (2013); Barker, Fiona, Nationalism, Identity and the Governance of Diversity: Old Politics, New Arrivals, Springer, New York (2015); Horgan, John, The Psychology of Terrorism, Routledge, London (2004).
  53. Sources for the following statistics: “Statistical Abstract of Israel,” Central Bureau of Statistics, 2018, available at http://www.cbs.gov.il/reader/shnaton/shnatone_new.htm; “The Arab Population in Israel,” State of Israel, Prime Minister’s Office, available at http://www.cbs.gov.il/statistical/arabju.pdf; Myers-JDC-Brookdale, “The Arab Population in Israel: Facts & Figures 2018,”available at http://brookdale.jdc.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/MJB_Facts_and_Figures_on_the_Arab_Population_in_Israel_2018-English.pdf.
  54. Source: National Insurance Institute Annual Poverty Report, 2016, Tables 7 and 8; quoted in Myers-JDC-Brookdale, “Arab Population.”
  55. “Life expectancy increased by 5 years since 2000, but health inequalities persist,” press release, WHO, World Health Statistics, May 19, 2016, available at http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/19-05-2016-life-expectancy-increased-by-5-years-since-2000-but-health-inequalities-persist.
  56. Source: “Statistical Abstract of Israel,” Central Bureau of Statistics, 2016, Table 3.24; see Myers-JDC- Brookdale, “Arab Population.”
  57. See University of Texas Inequality Project, available at https://utip.lbj.utexas.edu/data.html.
  58. See ibid., and the description of the methodology and the econometric evidence showing the close relationship between these data and standard World Bank data on inequality, available for fewer countries and time points since 1963.
  59. Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah, The Transformation of Israeli Society: An Essay in Interpretation, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1985); Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah, and Ora Ahimeir, eds., The Welfare State and Its Aftermath, Routledge, London (1985).
  60. Estreicher, “Jewish State,” 5.
  61. Ibid.