Islamic Community Life in Berlin: An Introduction

Author: Riem Spielhaus

The media usually portrays Berliners of Muslim origin only in the context of their faith. However, Muslim Berliners are involved in the city’s cultural life, in the arts, in politics, and in education. They contribute to the city’s economy as entrepreneurs, professionals, and through civic activities. The Commissioner for Integration commissioned a study of the city’s religious civic associations, looking at Islamic communities in the context of their social, cultural, urban, and individual aspects.

Between pluralization and change of generations: Results of the research

The different forms of Muslim life in Berlin are both mirror and product of local requirements and frameworks for people with a Muslim background, including juridical aspects for residence, tenancy, and construction, but also communication between municipal institutions and Islamic associations. Nevertheless, Muslim life does not exist detached from the effects of the representation of Islam in the media on a local, national, and global level.

The publication of the study in German collects articles from several authors who engaged with specific topics, based on the survey of Berlin’s mosques and their own intensive, often qualitative, research. They tackled three areas of tension, where communities are searching, addressing, and defending their positions: 


  • Migration, Religion, and Representation
  • Diversity of religious practice
  • Presence in the city.

Click to download the summary of this report in German as well as graphical representations of its conclusions.