Recent update to the British country profile

Euro-Islam.info country profiles provide in-depth statistics and analysis in the areas of demographics, employment, education, community organizations, housing, Islamic practice, political participation, bias and discrimination, immigration and anti-terrorism policies, and political discourse.

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Annual report on integration by The Netherlands Institute for Social Research

The annual report on integration from the Netherlands’ Institute for Social Research (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau) was released in December 2009.

This report is designed to track the trends in immigration in the country, providing demographic information and statistics. The Netherlands’ Moroccan and Turkish populations, and particularly their second-generations, feature prominently in the report, followed by populations of Surinamese, Somalian, and Chinese background.

The report provides information on language, living conditions, employment, criminality, and social/cultural status among the country’s many diverse immigrant communities. Special chapters address the position of women, and of youth from non-western backgrounds.

Report:

http://www.vrom.nl/Docs/Jaarrapport%20Integratie%202009.pdf

Homepage Netherlands Institute for Social Research:

www.scp.nl/english

Anti-Semites and enemies of Islam show striking parallels, historian Wolfgang Benz explains

German and European anti-Semites of the 19th century, who paved the way for the Nazis, and enemies of Islam in the 21st century employ similar mechanisms. Historian Wolfgang Benz, who is the director of the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism in Berlin, sees significant parallels between the two supremacist movements. Concepts of the enemy are always constructions following certain principles; they distinguish between good (oneself) and evil (the “other”/external) as a basis for exclusion and putting the blame on a specific group.

19th century anti-Semites have managed to make their racist and deathly pseudo-theories public and to convince a significant number of people with fraud documents such as the fake “Protocols of the elders of Zion”, which were supposed to give evidence for an alleged Jewish world conspiracy. Today, Benz argues, the public should be more aware of these mechanisms and be able to unmask them. But still many people are ready to condemn Islam as “evil” on the grounds of a minority that is extremist. They spread irrational fears of a “foreign power” that takes over the society from within and with the help of demographics – arguments that were also used under Nazi rule when Jews were not allowed to procreate. Benz calls for actively remembering the consequences of the construction of enmities.

How much Allah can the old continent bear?

Switzerland’s recent vote to ban the construction of new minarets has shocked and angered Muslims around the world. But the controversial move also reflects a growing sense of unease among other Europeans who have trouble coming to terms with Islam’s increased visibility.

This article examines the state of Islam in the public sphere of many Western European countries, regarding symbols, values, the relationship with non-Muslims and politics of recognition. It discusses Switzerland’s disturbing vote on minarets and the huge divide within its society, Germany’s fear – and lack of knowledge – of Islam, the British paradox of both integration and exclusion, the French burqa-debate and culture clashes in Belgium.

Debunking the Claims of Muslim Demographics

The BBC News Magazine reports this weekend on Muslim Demographics, a seven and a half minute video posted on YouTube. The video, which has had more than 10 million views, uses slick graphics, punctuated with dramatic music, to make some surprising claims, asserting that much of Europe will be majority Muslim in just a few decades. It says that in the past two decades, 90% of all population growth in Europe has been Muslim immigration.

Yet the sources for the figures regarding immigration and fertility statistics in individual European countries are not provided in the video and in some nations, such as France, the government does not collect statistics by religion. So it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are. Population projection is an inexact science. The current trends suggest that by 2050 Europe will have a bigger proportion of Muslims, although nothing like the level suggested in the video.

According to demographer Dr. Andrew Hinde, while true that immigrant communities often have higher fertility rates, over time these usually fall into line with the indigenous population. This might not happen with Muslim immigrants. But nobody can know and that’s why, according to Dr Hinde, it is so hard to guess the future.

“Arab House” intuition publishes Spain’s first Muslim guide

Spain has released a guide on the Muslim community in the country. The guide includes such data such as demographic information and information about mosques and/or places of worship. According to the guide, there are approximately 1.3 Muslims in Spain, with Moroccans, Algerians, Pakistanis, and Senegalese making up the majority. Previous estimates put the number at about 1.5 million out of a total of 40 million in the country. Approximately 300,000 Muslims live in the north-eastern province of Catalonia, 120,000 in Andalusia, and 80,000 in the capital city of Madrid. The guide also shows that there are nearly 400 mosques and prayer spaces in the country, but only 13 “big” mosques and Islamic centers. The guide was released by the Arab House Institution of the immigration Ministry.

Bulgaria: Imam shortage forces 200 mosques to close

Bulgaria’s Grand Mufti Mustafa Haji announced the closure of 200 mosques in the country due to a lack of imams or religious leaders. “Although the number of faithful has grown, we are forced to close the mosques due to a lack of religious leaders. Many years of Communist rule and a lack of funds are the reasons for this crisis,” said Haji. Bulgaria has about 1,500 mosques, but only 900 have been open for the faithful – of which 200 are likely to closed.

Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Most Muslim Voters in France Lean to the Left

In this short summary of a recent study by the IFOP (Institut Français d’Opinion Publique or the French Institute of Public Opinion) published in La Croix on September 1st, based on a study of 3280 French Muslims between 2003-2008, 51% vote for the PS (Socialist Party). 26.8% of the rest of the French population typically vote for the PS. Including those with sympathies to the extreme left and the ecologist party, more than 73% of those Muslims polled were leftist voters.

See full-text articles:

Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Larger 2004 study done by the IFOP on political orientation and Muslims in France available here.

Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream

The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.

The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 Muslims living in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The resulting study, which draws on Pew’s survey research among Muslims around the world, finds that Muslim Americans are a highly diverse population, one largely composed of immigrants. Nonetheless, they are decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes. This belief is reflected in Muslim American income and education levels, which generally mirror those of the public.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.
  • A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the United States can make it if they are willing to work hard.
  • The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.
  • Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adult Muslims in the U.S. were born elsewhere. A relatively large proportion of Muslim immigrants are from Arab countries, but many also come from Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Among native-born Muslims, roughly half are African American (20% of U.S. Muslims overall), many of whom are converts to Islam.
  • Based on data from this survey, along with available Census Bureau data on immigrants’ nativity and nationality, the Pew Research Center estimates the total population of Muslims in the United States at 2.35 million.
  • Muslim Americans reject Islamic extremism by larger margins than do Muslim minorities in Western European countries. However, there is somewhat more acceptance of Islamic extremism in some segments of the U.S. Muslim public than others. Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al Qaeda. In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified. Nonetheless, absolute levels of support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans are quite low, especially when compared with Muslims around the world.
  • A majority of Muslim Americans (53%) say it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most also believe that the government “singles out” Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring. Relatively few Muslim Americans believe the U.S.-led war on terror is a sincere effort to reduce terrorism, and many doubt that Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Just 40% of Muslim Americans say groups of Arabs carried out those attacks.

Pew Center poll page

Download PDF of report

‘Muhammad’ Is Growing Popular In Britain

LONDON, Jan. 6 (Reuters) – Muhammad joined the perennial favorites Jack and Joshua in 2004 as one of the most popular names given to British boys, a sign of growing ethnic diversity and a legacy of Muslim immigration decades ago. The Office of National Statistics said Thursday that Muhammad, meaning “one who is praiseworthy” or “exalted,” had moved up two places, to enter the top 20 for the first time. “It is all about demographics,” said Dr. Jamil Sherif, of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group of 400 organizations. “There are now more Muslims being born in Britain than previously. About 40 percent of Muslims here are under 25; there are a lot of young families.” Immigration from Asia and Africa surged during the 1960’s and 70’s and Britain, with about 61 million people, is home to about 1.6 million Muslims. But despite its increased popularity, Muhammad has a long way to go before it takes the laurels from Jack, which has topped the charts for 10 years. Joshua was No. 2, Thomas at 3, James at 4 and Daniel at 5. For girls, Emily held the top spot for the second year running, and Ellie was again No. 2.