Turkish Referendum : The diaspora said “yes” to Erdogan

The 16 April 2017, a constitutional referendum in Turkey increased President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers. According to the Turkish press agency Anadolu and the news website Ouest France, the Turkish diaspora living in Europe has largely supported Erdogan in their vote.

Despite a context of tension between the Turkish President and European governments, the level of support of Erdogan is undeniable among Turkish communities in Europe. Especially in the countries where the largest communities live. The vote in favor of Erdogan reached 63 % in Germany, 77 % in Belgium, 73% in Austria, 70% in the Netherlands, 65% in France.

According to Kareem Shaheen, writing for the Guardian: “The result of the referendum sets the stage for a transformation of the upper echelons of the state and changing the country from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential republic, arguably the most important development in the country’s history since it was founded on the ashes of the Ottoman Republic”. (April, 16)


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Middle East company to launch Muslim newspaper in UK

11 October 2010

A media company based in the Middle East is launching a London-based weekly newspaper aimed at Muslim people across the world. The paper, which is backed by the Pakistani pay-TV operator ARY Digital and will be able to tap its network of reporters covering south Asia, is earmarked to launch early in the new year.

The paper, which does not yet have a name, will be edited by Burhan Wazir, a former deputy features editor at the Times who was named young journalist of the year in 1999. Wazir said the title, which will also be published in Pakistan and several Gulf states, will serve the Muslim diaspora in the countries where it is available. It will be a liberal title aimed at a young and relatively affluent readership aged between 20 and 45, including second- or third-generation British Muslims.

Wazir added that its target audience of young readers with Muslim backgrounds will share a modern, cosmopolitan outlook. “I suppose you could say they have a foot in both camps,” he said.

Libyan organization takes over Scandinavia’s largest mosque

Ownership of the largest mosque in Scandinavia – Islamic Center in Malmoe – has been taken over by the Libyan organization World Islamic Call Society.

The mosque was in heavy debt after an arson incident in 2003. The founder and chairman of the Islamic Center, Bejzat Becirov, says he could see no other options than to take the offer from the Libyan organization – which also contributed to Islamic Center when it was founded in the early 1980s.

Professor emeritus Jan Hjärpe believs this can be an attempt to counter Muammar Khaddafi’s bad reputation amongst many Muslims in the diaspora. Hjärpe doesn’t believe the change in ownership will effect mosque activities.

Identity and Terror in Western European Muslim Diaspora

The increasing trend of extremism among the Muslim diaspora youth and its role in terrorism lure great interest in the Western World. Researches and area surveys clearly demonstrate that terrorism and radicalization find more advocates among the Muslim youths compared to their parents’ time. We should accept that it is really difficult to understand this trend for the West because, contrary to their parents, the new generation Muslims are relatively growing up in a wealthier and more stabilized environment. They are richer and more educated than their parents were. Most of them are citizens of the countries where they live in and have more rights compared with their parents. The question at this point is that if they do not have any serious economic and political problem with the country they live in so why the problems in other countries like Palestine or Iraq, where they have never lived before, cause great damages in their personality and lead them into extremism and terrorism. Why was not the Palestine issue so important for the parents to become extremist or terrorist in the past and why has the same problem played a great role in making extremist their sons and daughters? At this point we encounter with the “identity’ issue. Without understanding of Muslim diaspora identity of the young people and their parents, it would be difficult to understand the roots of the extremism among the Muslims living in the West. The identity of an individual or/and a society could be described as their roots. What a root for a tree is is the same for an individual and a society. If individuals have problems with their cultural, religious, ethnic or family roots it is very difficult for them to enhance their identities on a healthy and balanced base. If a root (past, family of a religion, culture etc.) has been abandoned and if that individual or society is being transformed to a new culture, religion, understanding, economic system etc. or all of them at the same time then a new identity must be constructed on new roots. In another word, soul of human must be nourished from a powerful source. If we left a source, we have to find a new and more powerful one. That’s why converts are normally more radical than the others. Converts must legitimate their new choice of life, and he/she makes great efforts to find the good sides of new religion or culture he/she has entered. It is almost impossible to give a meaning to human life in the emptiness. And it is easier for meaningless lives to be thrown to very extreme points. The meaningless of the life and lack of strong identities have big role in the recent radicalization of diaspora Muslim youth. Although immigrant parents came from severe poverty, political crises or even war and conflicts, they had strong ties with their motherland countries. The first immigrants were not educated people yet they were aware of that they were immigrants and the host country was still a foreign country for them. They were grateful to the host country and they made all possible efforts not to harm the neighboring people and the state in the new country. They may even love and embrace the host country more then their motherland country but they were aware of that they were Algerian in France, Turk in Germany or a Moroccan in Netherlands. Most of them could not speak the host country’s language. For instance in Germany, a significant number of Turkish immigrants spoke only Turkish and had no serious contact with the Germans living around. However, contrary to expectations, these people were happy without speaking German language or living under Turkish culture at the heart of Germany. Sedat Laciner reports.

British Muslim delegation arrives in Pakistan

A delegation of British Muslims from the United Kingdom arrived in Pakistan on Sunday for a weeklong visit aimed at sharing their experiences as Muslims living in Britain by engaging in constructive dialogue and debate. The delegation will focus on Islamabad and Mirpur, two Pakistani cities with prominent links to the Pakistani diaspora in the UK. The six-member delegation consists of British nationals of Pakistani origin from different walks of life. Their visit to Pakistan is part of the _Promoting British Islam’ programme that is support by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today

The treatment and role of women are among the most discussed and controversial aspects of Islam. The rights of Muslim women have become part of the Western political agenda, often perpetuating a stereotype of universal oppression. Muslim women living in America continue to be marginalized and misunderstood since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet their contributions are changing the face of Islam as it is seen both within Muslim communities in the West and by non-Muslims. In their public and private lives, Muslim women are actively negotiating what it means to be a woman and a Muslim in an American context.

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore offer a much-needed survey of the situation of Muslim American women, focusing on how Muslim views about and experiences of gender are changing in the Western diaspora. Centering on Muslims in America, the book investigates Muslim attempts to form a new “American” Islam. Such specific issues as dress, marriage, childrearing, conversion, and workplace discrimination are addressed. The authors also look at the ways in which American Muslim women have tried to create new paradigms of Islamic womanhood and are reinterpreting the traditions apart from the males who control the mosque institutions. A final chapter asks whether 9/11 will prove to have been a watershed moment for Muslim women in America.

This groundbreaking work presents the diversity of Muslim American women and demonstrates the complexity of the issues. Impeccably researched and accessible, it broadens our understanding of Islam in the West and encourages further exploration into how Muslim women are shaping the future of American Islam.

Citizenship and Immigrant Incorporation, Comparative Perspective on North America and Western Europe

In recent years, scholarly attention has shifted away from debates on ethnicity to focus on issues of migration and citizenship. Inspired, in part, by earlier studies on European guestworker migration, these debates are fed by the new “transnational mobility”, by the immigration of Muslims, by the increasing importance of human rights law, and by the critical attention now paid to women migrants. With respect to citizenship, many discussions address the diverse citizenship regimes. The present volume, together with its predecessor (Bodemann and Yurdakul 2006), addresses these often contentious issues. A common denominator which unites the various contributions is the question of migrant agency, in other words, the ways in which Western societies are not only transforming migrants, but are themselves being transformed by new migrations (Palgrave).

Table of Contents

    Introduction—Y. Michal Bodemann

  • The Changing Nature of Migration in the 21st Century: Implications for Integration Strategies—Aristide Zolberg
  • The Economic Adaptation of Past and Present Immigrants: Lessons from a Comparative-Historical Approach—Ewa Morawska
  • Citizenship and Pluralism: Multiculturalism in a World of Global Migration—Irene Bloemraad

  • Islam and Multicultural Societies: A Transatlantic Comparison—Jocelyne Cesari
  • The Changing Contours of Immigrant Religious Life—Peggy Levitt
  • Crafting an Identity in the Diaspora: Iranian Immigrants in the United States—Valentine M. Moghadam

  • Nation-State Building Projects and the Politics of Transnational Migration: Locating Salvadoran Migrants in Canada, the United States and El Salvador—Patricia Landolt
  • Freedom to Discriminate: National State Sovereignty and Temporary Visa Workers in North America—Nandita Sharma
  • Professionals and Saints: How Post-Soviet Immigrants Do Home-Care Work—Cinzia Solari

  • ’We Are Together Strong’?: The Unhappy Marriage between Migrant Associations and Trade Unions in Germany—Gökçe Yurdakul
  • Liberal Values and Illiberal Cultures: The Question of Sharia Tribunals in Ontario—Donald Forbes

The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism: A Joint Conference

Certain Diaspora communities, frustrated by a perceived war against the Muslim world, have turned against their adopted homelands, targeting the government and its people by supporting terrorist attacks against Western countries through recruitment, fundraising, and training. The problem is exacerbated by the open borders of globalization. Emerging threats must be identified without alienating Diaspora communities and thereby playing into terrorist hands.