Unease with Islam on rise in France, new poll finds (Report)

April 30, 2016

The study found that 47 percent of French people and 43 percent of Germans felt that the Muslim community poses a “threat” to national identity.

Almost two-thirds of the poll’s respondents in France also said that Islam had become too “influential and visible”, whereas just under half of participants said the same in Germany.

The same study in 2010 found that 43 percent of French people viewed Islam as a threat, while 55 percent said that it was too visible.

A sample of around 1,000 people were surveyed in each country as part of the latest study.

The findings in France, which suggest growing unease with the Muslim religion, come after a year of tragedy during which a total of 147 people were killed in a series of attacks in the Paris area by Islamist gunmen in January and November 2015.

“This poll reinforces the sense that the image of Islam represents a major challenge for French Muslims,” Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil français du culte musulman, or CFCM), told Le Figaro in response to the survey. “Considering the tragic events we’ve lived through, the risk of conflating [Islam and terrorism] is real. Unfortunately, this survey confirms that.”

But according to the director of Ifop’s opinion department, Jérôme Fourquet, the recent bloodshed in the French capital isn’t the only factor at play. “The deterioration of Islam’s image in France wasn’t triggered by the attacks, even if those events contributed to it. What we’re seeing is more of a growing resistance within French society to Islam. It was already the case among voters for the [far-right] National Front and part of the right, but it has now expanded to the Socialist Party,” he told Le Figaro.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared his support for banning headscarves in universities as part of the country’s strict secular rules, which separate state and religious institutions. Muslim veils are already banned in state-run schools, along with all other “visible religious signs”.

Although Valls’s comments sparked an immediate backlash from some within his party, they also reflected changing attitudes towards Islam within segments of the left.

“There are some on the left who feel that the Republic has been too lax with Islam and want it to stop,” Fourquet said. “Manuel Valls’s strong rhetoric is a sign of this. The left is divided on the issue. In the end, it’s a combative form of secularism that’s awakening. It’s looking to repel the influence of a religion it considers too dominant.”

The analyst also pointed to the study’s findings in Germany as evidence that the problem is not only a French one. As in France, the number of Germans who said they viewed Islam as a threat to national identity has also risen since the 2010 survey, although by only three percentage points.

The Ifop poll found that over two-thirds of respondents in both countries thought that Muslims had failed to integrate into society, a situation that 67 percent of French people and 60 percent of Germans blamed on a refusal to adapt to local values and customs.

“Although these two countries have a very different history of immigration, this alignment [between French and German opinion] shows that these important questions are posing challenges in a similar way throughout Western society,” Fourquet said. While France has the largest percentage of Muslims in the European Union (estimated at 7.5% of the total population), Germany has the largest number of Muslims with 4.8 million people in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center’s most recent estimates.

Full Report: IFOP Figaro

New French Report Shows Rise in Attacks on Muslims, Sustained Targeting of Jews amid rising tolerance (report)

May 6, 2016

France’s National Human Rights Commission (CNCDH) recently released a report on the fight against racism in France. The CNCDH reported 429 anti-Muslim threats and attacks in 2015 – a striking 223 percent increase from the previous year, and 808 antisemitic threats and attacks in 2015 – a five percent decrease from the previous year.

The reported surge in anti-Muslim threats and attacks is attributable in large part to backlash from the terror attacks carried out by Islamic extremists in France last year—most notably, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, and the Paris attacks in November. The attacks and consequent backlash fall within a bigger picture in which extremism is often fostered by exclusion and discrimination against French Muslims.

The CNCDH’s troubling figures are consistent with a Human Rights First report released in January, Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France, which explores how antisemitic violence, left unchecked, leads to the persecution of other minorities and an overall increase in repression and intolerance. The findings suggest that the cycle of violence where hate is met with hate has widespread negative consequences.

All people are equally endowed with fundamental rights and freedoms, and the French government is responsible for respecting and protecting these rights for Jews, Muslims, and other groups alike. This is one of the reasons Human Rights First monitors the increasing power of far-right political parties and warns against their intolerant rhetoric as a significant immediate threat to minority groups.

Although Human Rights First is heartened by any decrease in antisemitic attacks, the five percent decrease that CNCDH reports should not yet be assessed as a positive trend in combating antisemitism. The overall level is still high. The 808 antisemitic attacks in 2015 account for 40 percent of all racist actions in that year. Yet the Jewish population accounts for only one percent of the total population. The French government should remain vigilant in its mission to combat antisemitism, in addition to the growing Islamophobia. Elected representatives and civil society should be better equipped to speak out against all hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents.

Addressing the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combatting Antisemitism in March, U.S. Special Envoy Ira Forman encouraged European governments to adopt a working definition of antisemitism as a tool with which to equip policy makers and civil society in order to more effectively identify and punish antisemitic acts. As anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise, Human Rights First urges European governments to address the severity of the situation for both Jews and Muslims, and to equip civil society with the skills and resources to better identify, respond, and speak out against hate-motivated attacks on all religious minorities.

Human Rights First encourages continued reporting on hate crimes and appreciates the work of CNCDH and other efforts by the French government to shed light on the gravity of the issue in France today. It is important to have accurate and up-to-date data to inform policy decisions. The reporting of racist, hate-motivated crimes is the first step to combating their prevalence.

Link to Report:Racisme 2015 Report

[CAIR Report]: Number of Incidents Targeting U.S. Mosques in 2015 Highest Ever Recorded

More mosque incidents were recorded in 2015 than in any year since we started keeping this tally. 2015 accounted for the most ever cases in both the Damage, Destruction, Vandalism category and the Intimidation category, adding weight to assertions that the most recent cycle of Islamophobia is characterized by its violent tone.

November 2015 was the most significant spike, with a total of 17 mosque incidents, with all but 2 of those incidents occurring in the wake of the November 13 Paris terror attacks. No comparable spike was observed following the January 7 Paris terror attacks, with 5 incidents occurring the entire month of January. By November 2015, Islam was a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, with GOP frontrunner candidate Donald Trump putting for policy ideas that would ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

The incident tallies reached a height not seen since 2010, when the controversy over the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center became an election campaign issue. That cycle of Islamophobia was characterized by efforts to prevent the expansion or construction of mosques.

This lends additional weight to the argument that “levels of anti-Muslim sentiment follow trends in domestic U.S. politics, not international terrorism.”

[i] http://theislamicmonthly.com/islamophobia-is-made-up/

Mosque Incidents:

Mosque incidents 2

It is highly likely that the numbers below significantly underreport the actual number of incidents. Our incidents are collected from news searches and incidents reported to CAIR. Conversations with local community leaders often reveal that they do not report mosque incidents to media, CAIR or law enforcement.


Damage-Destruction-Vandalism (DDV): Incidents involving property damage.

Harassment: Demonstrations or acts that involve Islamophobic slurs.

Intimidation: Threats of violence or other acts apparently intended to cause fear in those targeted by the act. This category includes armed anti-Islam demonstrations and placing severed pig’s heads on mosque property.

Zoning: Islamophobic issues raised during zoning proceedings. We include an incident in the zoning category only if bias is clearly identified in zoning proceedings. Places of worship of many faiths routinely face opposition from neighbors due to traffic or land use concerns. Incidents where no bias is independently identified are not including in our counts.

Case Summaries

Mount Sinai, N.Y., January 2013 During a hearing for a proposed mosque, some attendees questioned “what would be practiced and taught in the mosque.”[ii] [Intimidation] 

Manchester, N.H., April 2013 Vandals targeted the construction site for the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester. See also a second incident targeting the structure in July, 2013.[iv] [DDV]

Edmond, Okla., May 2013 Rev. Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming America for Christ, requested that the Edmond planning commission delay a vote on a permit for the Islamic Society of Edmond. Blair alleged ties between the mosque and the Muslim Brotherhood. The council voted to approve the permit.[vi] [DDV]

Morris County, N.J., June 2013 A swastika was spray-painted on a side entrance to the Islamic Center of Morris County.[viii]Worshipers have reportedly been verbally harassed by young people who gather near the mosque. [DDV]

Owatonna, Minn., June 2013 – Officials with the Muslim Society Center reported that a window of the facility was broken. Mosque leaders said it did not appear that an object was thrown at the window, but rather that someone broke it using a bat or another object. It is the second time in two weeks and the third time in a year that a window has been broken at the mosque. Mosque leaders say the mosque has faced opposition since it opened and that some in the community have been hostile to the group’s presence.[x] [DDV]

Manchester, N.H., July 2013 – Vandals targeted the construction site for the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester. The vandalism, which cost more than $30,000 to repair, included a number of smashed windows and attempted arson. The perpetrators were caught on video surveillance cameras. The juvenile perpetrators bragged of the vandalism online and left comments on anti-Muslim hate sites.[xii]  [Intimidation]

Huntington, N.Y., July 2013 Someone threw a metallic object through a window of the Masjid Noor Mosque. [DDV]

Clermont City, Fla., August 2013 Ray Goodgame, a member of the city council, sent an e-mail to supporters in which he described a proposed mosque as “bad news” and lamented potential “wailing music” that would disturb neighbors.[xiv] [DDV]

Vestal, N.Y., August 2013 A pig’s head was left near an unnamed mosque that was being built by the Ahmadiyya community.[xvi]It was later revealed that DeSteph was relying on a 25-slide PowerPoint presentation produced by ACT! for America as his source material.[xviii] Resident Atwood Brooks wrote, “It is well known that mosques are the recruiting and training ground for radical Islamists and terrorists.” Audience members threatened to work to remove from office any council members who voted in favor of the mosque construction plan.  The council voted 9-1 in favor of the plan.[xx] He also asked a member of the worship center what the building was. After receiving an answer, he “asked whether or not the member had killed anyone that day.” [Harassment]

Murrieta, Calif., September 2013 A note was left taped to the front door of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley. The note read, “Pray for the victims of Al-Shabaab. We are watching! Pray for the Christians in Pakistan. He is listening.” [Harassment]

Newark, Del., October 2013 Sometime in the early morning, vandals targeted the Islamic Society of Delaware by tearing down fences, destroying a wooden sign for the facility and damaging an electronic sign. A cross was fashioned from the debris and placed at the site of the vandalism.[xxii] The mosque was eventually opened. [Zoning]

Katy, Texas, March 2014 – Robert James Talbot, Jr. was arrested on terrorism charges by the FBI. Talbot conspired to rob banks and then bomb mosques. He repeatedly posted on his Facebook page about his “revolution” and was caught by undercover FBI agents. [Intimidation]

Hattiesburg, Miss., March 2014 – Several shots were fired into The Islamic Center of Hattiesburg.[xxiv] [DDV]

Redmond, Wash., May 2014 – A flyer distributed anonymously, due to “fear of physical and mental harm and other retaliation” during hearings for a proposed mosque asserted “Since 1960, every single terrorist, which is 100%, operating in the United States of America who has self-identified as a Muslim, or a follower of Islam, has attended a Mosque.”[xxvi] [DDV]

Midland Park, N.J., July 2014 – During a land-use hearing considering an application to convert an old church into a mosque, a resident yelled “Build the mosque in your town!” at a Muslim man from a neighboring town. Another commented: “I don’t care if they worship their God, just not in our town.” There was another man holding a sign that read “Stop Application” and “Keep R Kids Safe.”[xxviii] [Harassment]

Manassas, Va., August 2014 – An expletive was written twice in spray paint on the windows of the Manassas Mosque. In addition, windows were defaced and a glass door was shattered.[xxx] [Harassment]

Round Rock, Texas, September 2014 – A highway sign dedicated to a local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was vandalized. The perpetrator spray-painted, in black, over the words “Ahmadiyya Muslim” and left a handwritten note that said, “A Christian Community, USA.”[xxxii] In an email sent to this mosque, someone wrote, “Wake up, get out of our state, get out of our country.” Another email read, “Your day is coming quickly where you will all be purged from my America.”[xxxiv] [Intimidation]

Katy, Texas, October 2014 – Robert James Talbot planned to launch his “American Insurgent Movement” by murdering police and “spraying a mosque with gunfire.” Police arrested him the day he was to allegedly going to launch his attack. [Intimidation]

Albuquerque, N.M., October 2014 – Police said an incendiary device was thrown at a window of the Islamic Center of New Mexico but did not enter the building. The device ignited and caused damage to the exterior of the mosque.[xxxvi] [Zoning]

Coachella, Calif., November 2014 – Shots were fired at the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley. According to local law enforcement authorities, the mosque was occupied at the time of the attack, but no one was injured.[xxxviii] [DDV]

Kennesaw, Ga., November 2014 – The Kennesaw City Council tabled a vote on a proposal that would allow an Islamic worship center to open in the middle of a shopping center in Kennesaw, Ga. Opponents expressed opposition to the presence of Muslims saying the worship center in Kennesaw “will endanger our freedom.”[xl] [DDV]

Santa Cruz, Calif., November 2014 – Someone spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz.[xlii] [DDV]

St. Cloud, Minn., December 2014 – Vandals targeted the Central Minnesota Islamic Center. First a window was broken, and later a window was shot several times with what is believed to have been a BB gun. People who attend this mosque have also alleged that their car windows were smashed. This mosque was targeted at least three times.[xliv] [Zoning]

Columbus, Ohio, January 2015 –Leaders of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center reported that someone called and threatened to destroy the facility.[xlvi] [Harassment]

Lexington, Ky., January 2015 – During a neighborhood meeting, opponents of the planned Islamic Center of Lexington raised concerns about Muslims looking into their homes with telescopes, banning people of other faiths from the area and domestic violence as reasons for the project to be rejected.[xlviii] [Intimidation]

Bridgeview, Ill., January 2015 – The Mosque Foundation was targeted by an online threat and had to ask for an increased police presence. An initial Facebook post read, “F – – – – – – Muslims burn down Christian churches in France! We got to start breaking some rules putting these n – – – – – in check.” This was followed by, “I’d like to start with that mosque down the street . . . Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth.” Later, another person added: “Maybe we should walk down the middle of the street without a worry in the world like they do shootin every one of them!!!!”[l] [Intimidation]

Houston, Texas, February 2015 – Officials with the Quba Islamic Institute say investigators with the Houston Fire Department found that an accelerant was used in the fire that broke out about 5:30 a.m. Darryl Ferguson was later arrested for the crime. During his arraignment prosecutors reported that Ferguson had told a store clerk that he “hated Muslims, they got what they deserved, and things happen for a reason.”[lii] [Intimidation]

Washington, D.C., February 2015 – [Incident 1] Vandals tore covers off prayer books, tore down bookshelves and threw a chair through a window at the Ivy City Mosque. [DDV]

Washington, D.C., February 2015 – [Incident 2] A few days later vandals ripped down religious wall hangings and broke furniture at the Ivy City Mosque.[liv] [Intimidation]

Houston, Texas, March 2015After promoting a religious lecture, the Masjid Hamza Islamic center received a threat via social media. The threat stated: “Islam should be outlawed in the US, I’ll be there to make sure you do not enjoy your ‘event.’ See you soon.” Mosque officials immediately reported the message to the Houston Police Department and the FBI.[lvi] [Intimidation]

Edmond, Okla., April 2015 – Pieces of pork were left in the parking lot and tied around a main door handle of Islamic Society of Edmond in Edmond, Okla. The vandalism reportedly occurred between early morning prayers at 6:30 a.m. and noon, when children arrived for their regularly scheduled Sunday school.[lviii] [DDV]

Tempe, Ariz., April 2015 – Over a period of several weeks, controversial “street preacher” Dean Saxton and other demonstrators targeted the Islamic Community Center of Tempe, yelling insults at the mosque’s attendees and desecrating the Quran, Islam’s revealed text.[lx] [Intimidation]

Tempe & Phoenix, Ariz., May 2015 – During Memorial Day weekend, letters were received at mosques in Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz. The letters from “Patriotic Friends” read in part: “First of all, in any state where sharia law is invoked in any way, all Imam’s in the that [sic] state and their families will die.”[lxii] [DDV]

Phoenix, Ariz., May, 2015 – Jon Ritzheimer organized an armed anti-Islam demonstration outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix that drew hundreds of participants and counter-protestors. Some participants “openly used strong abusive language and racist remarks on their placards.” One man wore a white supremacist t-shirt with Nazi symbols on it.[lxiv] [Intimidation]

Roanoke, Va., July, 2015 – A teenager smashed the glass front door of Masjid An-Nur.[lxvi] [DDV]

Johnson City, Tenn., July, 2015 – An online threat was made against the Muslim Community Center of Northeast Tennessee.[lxviii][DDV]

Spokane, Wash., July, 2015 – The phrase “Death to Islam” was scrawled on the Bosnia and Herzgovina Heritage Association of Spokane.[lxx]

Omaha, Neb., August 2015 – Someone was caught on surveillance video smashing a window at the Islamic Center of Omaha. Police say a group of people began throwing stones at the mosque after 3 a.m. When the rocks failed to cause damage, one vandal threw a 40-pound boulder through a side-door window. [DDV]

Monroeville, Penn., August, 2015 – At a city council meeting, Anti-Islam comments were made regarding a planned mosque.  One mosque opponent said, “It is a questionable lifestyle. It will be closed off to us, it’s anti-American. Their teachings are well against the format of normal American values.” Another mosque opponent said, “I think it’s pretty blatant when the Koran tells us, Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels,” said Kim Wilson. “How does that end up to be self-defense? I’m just concerned about my safety and your safety.”[lxxii] [Intimidation]

Kendall, Fla., September 2015 – Worshippers arriving for Eid prayers at the Islamic School of Miami, which is also identified as a mosque, found a ceramic skull, bouquets of flowers like those used at funerals, and other objects.[lxxiv] [intimidation]

Louisville, Ky., September 2015 – Vandals spray-painted “Moslems- Leave the Jews Alone, “This is for France” and “Nazis Speak Arabic” on the Louisville Islamic Center.[lxxvi] [DDV]

Sterling Heights, Michigan, September, 2015 – A crowd outside a zoning hearing for a mosque became so hostile that an Islamic religious leader had to be escorted away for his own safety. According to a local news report “some felt the atmosphere was unsafe for Muslims in favor of the mosque.”[lxxviii] [Zoning]

GLOBAL RALLY FOR HUMANITY DAY 10/9-10 BELOW THIS LINE *****************************

[Note: Events labeled “GRH” were part of the Global Rally for Humanity organized by John Ritzheimer, whose armed anti-Islam demonstration in Phoenix earlier in the year drew national media coverage.  The rally was initially called as a counter weight to a planned Washington, DC rally commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. At least 20 events were scheduled.[lxxx]Similarly, a ten-person event in Oregon was re-branded as a “pro-Police” rally and held outside a police station. A group of over 100 people who had arrived to counter the anti-Islam theme supported the new focus.[lxxxii]  A group of Nazis attempted to join the anti-Islam demonstrators, but were asked to leave by organizer Jon Ritzheimer. [Intimidation]

Oklahoma City, October, 2015 [GRH] – A lone anti-Islam demonstrator held up a sign that read “know Sharia.” [Harassment]

Plano, Texas, October 2015 [GRH] – A video of two anti-Islam demonstrators was circulated standing outside the mosque during Friday prayers. On the video, the men can be heard saying, “Your god is disgusting. This is a Judeo-Christian nation. We will take our country back from you pathetic people.”[lxxxiv] More than 100 people turned out to support the mosque and its congregation. [Harassment]

Richardson, Texas, October, 2015 [GRH] – A handful of anti-Islam demonstrators appeared outside a mosque. At least one of the six people in a photo of the demonstration was carrying a firearm.[lxxxvi] [Harassment]

GLOBAL RALLY FOR HUMANITY DAY 10/9-10/15 ABOVE THIS LINE *****************************


Burlington, Ma. November 2015 – Two teens spray-painted “USA” repeatedly on the exterior walls of the Islamic Center of Burlington. The graffiti was an apparent reference to a common Islamophobic theme that Muslims are not “real” Americans. [DDV]

Omaha, Neb., November 2015 – A vandal was caught on surveillance camera attempting to break a glass door at the Islamic Center in Omaha. [DDV]

BELOW THIS LINE IS AFTER THE 11/13/15 PARIS ATTACKS *************************************


Lubbock, Texas, November, 2015 – An official with the Islamic Center of South Plains in Lubbock reported that worshipers at a mosque associated with the center discovered outside lights broken and the mosque’s main glass door smashed when they arrived for early morning prayers. Nothing was stolen from the facility.[lxxxviii] [DDV]

Lexington, Ky., November 2015 –The Islamic Center of Lexington in received an email which stated: “I’m going to kill everyone I there [sic] you Muslim f**ks. Salabis is coming for you.”[xc]   [Intimidation]

Irving, Texas, November, 2015 – A group of demonstrators calling themselves the Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR) held an armed anti-Islam demonstration outside the Islamic Center of Irving. One of the demonstrators signs read, “Stop the Islamization of American.” This may be a reference to the campaign of the same name launched by inner core staple Pamela Geller. Responding to a reporter’s question, a spokesperson for BAIR said, “We do want to show force. …It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.”[xcii] [DDV]

Spotsylvania, Va., November 2015 – A sheriff’s deputy ended a local government meeting to discuss a proposed the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg[xciv] [DDV]

Austin, Texas, November 2015 – Vandals targeted the Islamic Center of Pflugerville covering the door of the mosque in feces and tearing pages of the Quran and throwing them to the ground covered with feces. [DDV]

Omaha, Neb., November 2015 – Officials with the Islamic Center in Omaha reported that someone spray-painted graffiti of an Eiffel Tower peace symbol, which was being used online as a sign of solidarity with those impacted by the Paris attacks. [DDV]

St. Petersburg, Fla., November 2015 – A voicemail threat was left at the Islamic Center of St. Petersburg just hours after the Paris terror attacks. The caller said in part: “We are tired of your (expletive) and I (expletive) personally have a militia that is going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County and firebomb you and shoot whoever is there in the head. I don’t care if they are (expletive) two-years-old or 100.” [Intimidation]

Portland, OR, November, 2015 – Worshipers at the Portland Rizwan Mosque were met by a handful of sign-holding protesters shouting along the sidewalks outside the facility. One protestor was wearing a black t-shirt that said “Proud Infidel” while others were carrying signs that said “THE WAGES OF SIN & DEATH” and “JESUS SAVES FROM HELL.”[xii] [Harassment]

BELOW THIS LINE IS POST 12/3/15 SAN BERNARDINO*************************************


Philadelphia, Penn., December, 2015 – A severed pig’s head was left outside the Al Aqsa Islamic Society.[xcvi] [Intimidation]

North Palm Beach, Fla., December, 2015 – The Islamic Center of Palm Beach was vandalized, windows were broken and the prayer room was “torn apart.” Joshua Warren Killets was arrested and charged with burglary and “damaging property at a religious center.”[xcviii] [DDV]

Jersey City, N.J., December, 2015 – The Al Tawheed Islamic Center received a letter that said, ‘We do not want you here. We do not like you. You are evil.” The letter also said, Get the hell out of OUR COUNTRY and go back to the desert. GOD BLESS AMERICANS.”[c] [DDV]

Phoenix, Ariz., December, 2015 – Vandals broke lights and windows at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.[cii]  Carl Dial was later arrested and charged with arson, commission of a hate crime and burglary.[civ] [Intimidation]

Hawthorne, Calif., December, 2015 – The word “Jesus” was spray-painted on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque and an object, later determined to be a plastic grenade, was placed inside the facility.[cvi] [DDV]

Alameda, Calif., December, 2015 – A vandal threw a brick through a window at the Islamic Center of Alameda.[cviii]


Macon, Ga., December, 2015 – A vandal spray-painted “terrorist” and profanity on the Islamic Center of Macon.


OP-ED: Freedom of the press and global jihad (J. Cesari)

At the offices of French satirical magaizne "Charlie Hebdo." (Photo: Reuters)
At the offices of French satirical magaizne “Charlie Hebdo.” (Photo: Reuters)

Since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo on 7 January, the saying (wrongly attributed to Voltaire), “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” has become a motto against radicalism. Unfortunately, this virtuous defense of freedom of speech is not only inefficient but is backfiring, as demonstrated by protests in Muslim countries against the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo, which was released in the aftermath of the attacks.

The challenge of global jihad in Europe is broader and is the result of the lack of symbolic integration of Islam within liberal democracies, as well as the preeminence of a global theology of intolerance which Al Qaida and ISIS have used to build their political ideology.

See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2015/02/freedom-press-global-jihad/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=oupacademic&utm_campaign=oupblog#sthash.4vkcNJ4u.dpuf

New Book: The Oxford Handbook of European Islam (Jocelyne Cesari, Editor)

European Islam CoverThe Oxford Handbook of European Islam is the first collection to present a comprehensive approach to the multiple and changing ways Islam has been studied across European countries. Parts one to three address the state of knowledge of Islam and Muslims within a selection of European countries, while presenting a critical view of the most up-to-date data specific to each country. These chapters analyse the immigration cycles and policies related to the presence of Muslims, tackling issues such as discrimination, post-colonial identity, adaptation, and assimilation. The thematic chapters, in parts four and five, examine secularism, radicalization, Shari’a, Hijab, and Islamophobia with the goal of synthesizing different national discussion into a more comparative theoretical framework. The Handbook attempts to balance cutting edge assessment with the knowledge that the content itself will eventually be superseded by events. Featuring eighteen newly-commissioned essays by noted scholars in the field, this volume will provide an excellent resource for students and scholars interested in European Studies, immigration, Islamic studies, and the sociology of religion.

New Study of Post-Migrant Germany asks: “Do you love Germany?” [PDF DOWNLOAD]

"Naika Foroutan (pictured above) headed the interdisciplinary research group at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin that conducted the "Post-migrant Germany" study, which exposed ambivalent attitudes towards migration." (Photo: Qantara.de)
“Naika Foroutan (pictured above) headed the interdisciplinary research group at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin that conducted the “Post-migrant Germany” study, which exposed ambivalent attitudes towards migration.” (Photo: Qantara.de)

“A new study entitled “Post-migrant Germany” set out to investigate attitudes on national identity in Germany. According to the results, these attitudes are ambivalent: people in Germany are open-minded, yet many in mainstream society have major reservations with respect to Muslim immigrants.” Claudia Mende reports for Qantara.de.

[Click for Qantara’s Summary of the Report in English]

[Copy of Report – Only Available German]