Decreasing Availability of Arabic Classes in France

Le Monde reports a decline in the availability of Arabic language classes in France. There are currently 7,300 high school student studying Arabic; there were twice as many students enrolled at the end of the 1970s. Chinese-language classes, in comparison, attract 15,000 students annually.

Decline in Mosque and Church Attendance in the Netherlands

Mosque and church attendance in the Netherlands has dropped over the past ten years, according to a publication from the Central Statistics Bureau (CBS) outlining religion at the beginning of the 21st century. Last year 29% of the Netherlands’ 825,000 Muslims attended mosque at least once a month, a decline from 35% in 2004-2008 and 47% in 1998-1999. The study found analogous pattern in attendance at other religious institutions, noting that attendance at Catholic churches has also declined. Mosque and church attendance differed in terms of age demographics, as 40% of those attending mosques are under the age of 18.

Researchers attribute the decrease in mosque and church attendance to a “general shift towards individualization” in religious practice. However Emin Ates of the Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation has not noticed a decline in mosque attendance and reports that imams cannot complain about a lack of listeners: “For us it’s just not a matter for discussion.”

StatsCan Notes Decline in Hate Crimes Against Arabs and West Asians in 2007

The Canadian Statistical Agency, Statistics Canada has released data which claims that police services reported 785 crimes that were motivated by hate in 2007, down from 892 in 2006.

Statistics Canada says race or ethnicity continues to be the most common motivation for reported hate crimes. There were 185 religiously-motivated incidents in 2007, down from 220 in 2006. There were fewer incidents targeting Jews and Muslims. Incidents against Jews continued to account for about two-thirds of all hate crimes motivated by religion.