Op-Ed: Muslims in Europe: Identity versus Integration

An op-ed by Asma Hanif in the Khaleej Times examines some of the challenges faced by Muslims in Belgium, particularly youth, who feel that a wide gap exists between their world at home and their daily life at school. Hanif suggests that this challenge stems from a conflict between preservation of cultural and religious identities on one end, and a call for integration on the other – creating a polarized tug of war, that is experienced as real. Hanif stresses that the situation of Muslims in Belgium is directly connected to the not so distant past, with immigrants coming to work in the country answering labor calls. As ethnic minorities resided in economically low-end neighborhoods, the living patterns of their forefathers are evident today – but as neighborhood resources and institutions like banks and post offices left, economically lagging ghettos remain. More from Asma Hanif can be found at the link below.