Anika Haverig

Project Responsibilities:

UK and Germany news and research

Contact Information:

ah313@kent.ac.uk

Areas of Expertise:

  • Islam and Muslims in Germany
  • Islam and Muslims in the UK
  • Citizenship
  • Immigrant incorporation and integration in Western Europe
  • Multiculturalism and the “crisis of multiculturalism”

Select Publications:

Constructing global/ local subjectivities – The New Zealand OE as governance through freedom. Mobilities, Vol. 6 (1), 103 – 123.

Professional Bio:

Anika Haverig recently completed her doctoral studies in Sociology at the University of Kent, UK. Her PhD dissertation, entitled “Managing the “enemy within” – The Re-evaluation of Citizenship in Germany and the United Kingdom post-2001”, offers a comparative analysis of recent German and British policy initiatives designed to manage cultural diversity. More specifically, the thesis investigates how the citizenship regimes in the two states are changing to include not only formal forms of belonging, but also what it means to be a citizen in terms of culturally belonging to a nation.

Anika also holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Canterbury, NZ, and a teaching degree in Social Sciences and Mathematics from Bielefeld University, Germany. Her research interests are broadly focused on the field of mobilities, migration, and migrant incorporation .

CV:

CV Anika Haverig

New system of achieving points in order to obtain permanent permit of residence may exclude religious organizations

Just a few days after the government and Danish People’s Party presented a new law for foreigners in Denmark – a much debated system of obtaining points in order to get a permanent permit of residence – the bill seems to run into problems.

According to the bill a foreigner will need to obtain a score of 100 points in order to obtain a permanent permit of residence. Points can be obtained by having a job, speaking Danish, knowing Danish history and culture, engaging in voluntary organizations etc. Organizations in which one can volunteer and thereby obtain 15 points were supposed to be selected from the tax authorities’ list of charities. However, The Islamic Society in Denmark is on that list and several MPs of the government parties as well as MPs from Danish People’s Party will not allow Muslims to obtain points by volunteering in the Islamic Society in Denmark. During the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis the Islamic Society in Denmark played a facilitating role in the riots and several politicians say they suspect the Islamic Society in Denmark of being fundamentalists.

This creates difficulties in choosing which organizations should be approved as part of the new system of obtaining points. A solution could be that no religious organization should be part of the system but MP Naser Khader refuses this and says that many Muslim organizations are promoting integration of foreign Muslims into Danish society. The bill hasn’t been formally presented to the parliament yet and a heated debate on whether the bill can pass is expected.

Citizenship in France refused because of full Islamic face-veil

The French government has refused to grant citizenship to a foreign national on the grounds that he forced his wife to wear the full Islamic veil. The Moroccan-born man needed citizenship to settle in the country with his French wife. Immigration Minister Eric Besson said this was being refused because he was depriving his wife of the liberty to come and go with her face uncovered.

In a statement, Besson said he had signed a decree on Tuesday rejecting a man’s citizenship application after it emerged that he had ordered his wife to cover herself with a head-to-toe veil.

“It became apparent during the regulation investigation and the prior interview that this person was compelling his wife to wear the all-covering veil, depriving her of the freedom to come and go with her face uncovered, and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women,” he said.

Later, the minister stressed that French law required anyone seeking naturalisation to demonstrate their desire for integration. Besson’s decree has now been sent to Prime Minister Francois Fillon for approval. In 2008, a French court denied citizenship to a Moroccan woman on the grounds that her “radical” practice of Islam was incompatible with French values.

UK Muslims are Europe’s most patriotic

Muslims in Britain are the most patriotic in Europe – but more than a quarter in some parts of the country still do not feel British, according to a new study. The report, funded by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist, found that on average 78 percent of Muslims identified themselves as British, although this dropped by six points in east London. This compares with 49 percent of Muslims who consider themselves French and just 23 percent who feel German. The findings, based on more than 2,000 detailed interviews, suggest that Muslims may be better integrated in Britain than in other parts of the European Union.

The Muslim voting block in Germany

Muslims in Germany form a potential voting block that cannot to be ignored. According to a study by the Islam Conference last June, the total number of Muslims in Germany lies between 3.8 and 4.3 million, of which 1.84 million hold a German passport. The German Federal Statistics Office conservatively estimates that some 750,000 Muslims are eligible to vote in the country.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) would probably have mixed feelings when glancing at the results of this poll. The Social Democrats are in first place with 35.5 percent of the vote, but only two years ago, 52 percent of Muslims were willing to cast their ballots for the SPD. The party has primarily lost ground to non-voters. The Greens have increased their support by 3.6 percent to a current level of 18 percent. This is a clear result of choosing Cem Özdemir as their leader. The Left Party and FDP don’t even make it to 5 percent, the cut-off threshold for seats in the German Bundestag. The same holds true of the CDU, which only garnered 4 percent support.

Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives

A report which explores the philosophical and theological perspectives on what it means to be a Muslim in Britain today has been published.

The publication of the study, entitled “Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives” marks the culmination of a nine month research project by the University of Cambridge in association with the Universities of Exeter and Westminster.

A total of 26 Muslim scholars, academics and activists representing a diverse spectrum of views from Muslim communities in the UK took part in discussions about what it means to live as a Muslim in modern Britain. The report covers a wide range of issues including secularism, democracy, Shari’a law, human rights and citizenship.

The report presents the group’s conclusions and aims to act as the basis for a wider discussion with other Muslim leaders and communities around the UK. In time, it is hoped that this will lead to the development of a virtual “House of Wisdom”, providing space for discussion among both Muslims and non-Muslims on how Islam should function in modern Britain and contribute to wider society.

The research project was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government but remained independent of both Government and the Universities involved.

Members were invited to participate by a steering committee of academics and activists. Members of the project set their own agenda, choosing items for discussion and meeting five times between February and May 2009 to debate these issues before producing the final report.

The document is, however, only intended to mark the start of the debate. “The report’s contents are the ideas of a small group and they need to be refined by a wider number of participants,” said Project leader Professor Yasir Suleiman, Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge.

“The process has already succeeded in bringing together Muslims from a wide range of backgrounds who, in spite of those different backgrounds, have been prepared to work together. What we want to do now is stimulate further dialogue with a wider group of Muslim leaders and communities.”

Minister for Communities Shahid Malik said: “This is a ground-breaking report from a wide cross-section of British Muslim scholars, academics and community leaders. I hope that this report by Cambridge will inspire wider debate from communities across the country on the values that we all share.

“Following the terrorist attacks in New York and London, many Muslim leaders expressed concern that their religion was being misrepresented and misinterpreted. The silent majority of Muslims have since fought hard to restate their religion as they see it and this report is an important contribution to that.”

Despite its exploratory nature, the report puts forward conclusions concerning a number of key areas.

The authors argue, for example, that a secular British state provides many benefits for British Muslims, not least by allowing Islam to be practiced freely in an atmosphere of respect, security and dignity.

The group agreed that Muslims should assert and teach what they see to be the truth of their faith, but also recognized the existence of different religions and the right of others to do the same. Their study urges Muslims to identify shared values between Islam and other world views, pointing out the Qu’ran’s emphasis on qualities such as good neighborliness, charity, hospitality and non-aggression.

The report also redefines a number of terms which the authors believe have been misinterpreted. It notes, for example, that both Muslims and non-Muslims often have “skewed understanding of the term Shari’a, which conjures up images of floggings and beheadings.”

In fact, it stresses, Shari’a is a way of life based on an ethical code that emphasizes dignity, equality and justice for all. Islam, it says, teaches the equality of all human beings regardless of gender.

Similarly, the study notes that “jihad” in its true sense refers to active citizenship, and is meant to encourage Muslims to strive for social justice, fight against poverty and make efforts to reform themselves.

In some, clearly defined, cases, it can also mean the legitimate use of force in self-defense. The authors add, however: “It is important to stress that Islam is opposed to all forms of terrorism, regardless of who sponsors them. While all legal systems recognize self-defense as a legitimate rationale for the use of force, it is clear that foreign conflicts cannot justify violence in Britain.”

Finally, the report says that Muslims have a responsibility to be active citizens and engage with society in a positive way. Political engagement is described as an obligation for Muslim citizens and voting is to be encouraged. This can, however, also involve questioning and challenging the state when it fails to uphold principles of justice.

Copies of the report are being supplied to the Government, community leaders and others, but it can also be downloaded by anyone online.

University of Cambridge in Association with the Universities of Exeter and Westminster

Aga Khan Granted Honorary Canadian Citizenship

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Shah Kari al-Hussayni – the 49th Aga Khan – will receive the rare award of honorary Canadian citizenship to recognize his efforts in working toward that goal. He founded the Aga Khan Development Network, an organization that has brought better health care, education and urban and rural development to impoverished communities in Asia and Africa. Khan joins an elite group of four others who have also been given honorary citizenship. “[He is] a beacon of humanitarianism, of pluralism and of tolerance throughout the entire world,” Mr. Harper told the House of Commons.

In 2005, Khan was named an honorary companion to the Order of Canada. He was also given an honorary doctor of law degree by the University of Alberta.

Amsterdam mayor wants to drop Moroccan name list in Dutch-Moroccan official registration

Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen plans to petition city hall stop using a list of first names approved by the government of Morocco.

Although city hall recognizes dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality, the government in Rabat insists that people with a Moroccan parent are its nationals, and suggest using approved names to prevent future travel and inheritance problems by having a foreign name on their official documents.

Presently, persons of the local Dutch-Moroccan community have been given the list of approved names when officially registering their children. MPs from two senior members of the Christian Democrats and Labour have also called for Dutch-Moroccans to be able to choose whatever names they place on their registration documents.

Dutch authorities enforce new Moroccan law on citizenship

Local governments are enforcing a new law which calls for every Dutch person born to a Moroccan mother, to be compelled to accept Moroccan nationality.

For many years, Moroccan law stipulated that children born to a Moroccan father are automatically Moroccan nationals. The legislation is being tightened further, now calling for children of a Moroccan mother – and the father of a different nationality – to also automatically obtain Moroccan citizenship.

Local authorities in the Netherlands are obeying the new law from Rabat. In accordance with Morocco’s wishes, Dutch municipalities are registering children of at least one Moroccan parent as Moroccan. Such cooperation is drawing criticism from a number of Dutch politicians. Conservative MP Paul de Krom says that the move is “bizarre and shocking that the Dutch government is pro-actively cooperating with the territorial inclinations of another country, even when parents have not requested it themselves.” Dual nationality is not usually permitted in the Netherlands, but Moroccan citizens are among those exempted from this rule, as Morocco does not allow for its citizens to renounce their Moroccan nationality.

Post-Immigration Minorities, Religion and National Identities

Registration is now available for the Bristol-UCL Leverhulme Programme on Migration and Citizenship conference on Post-Immigration Minorities, Religion and National Identities, 14-15 November, 2008 in Bristol. A limited number of places are available for non-paper givers and those not connected to the Programme.

The Leverhulme Programme team will address topics based on the following themes: Ethnic Enclaves and Economic Integration, Social Capital, Gender and Differential Educational and Economic Outcomes, National Identity, Citizenship and Religious ’Difference’ and Majoritarian Identities and Resentment of Multiculturalism.

Keynote speakers will address issues in relation to contemporary issues on minority ethnicity, religion, integration and national identity, and include:

  • Professor Zygmunt Bauman (Leeds)
  • Professor Craig Calhoun (New York University and President of the Social Science Research Council)
  • Professor Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion)
  • Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh (Westminster)
  • Professor Roland Robertson (University of Pittsburgh and University of Aberdeen)

Over 50 additional papers will be presented. The conference will begin with registration at 9.30 – 10.30am on Friday, 14th November and the final paper session will conclude at about 6pm on Saturday, 15th November, followed by a dinner at 7.30pm.

Please find a registration form for the conference on our website here.

Contact: Sara Tonge (Leverhulme Conference Administrator)

Further details of the programme and centre.