16.452 Muslims in Extremadura , according to the Observatorio Andalusí

16 April 2012
According to the Observatorio Andalusí ‘s Annual Report for 2011published by the Union of Islamic Communities, in Spain live around 16,452 Muslims in Extremadura.

It highlights the following:
There are 17 Islamic identities with 16 mosques in the region of Extremadura.

Muslims living in Extremadura: 16,452 divided between foreign and Spanish (nationalized)
Foreign Muslims in Extremadura: 9,551
Spanish Muslims (nationalized): 6,901
Foreign Muslims in Badajoz (164 municipality): 3,191
Foreign Muslims in Cáceres (221 ​​municipality): 6,360

With regard to the nationality of the foreigners living in Extremadura, the Moroccan nationality is dominant with 8645.

Muslim Students in Extremadura:
Spanish Students: 1,019
Immigrant Students: 1,655

Dutch Fears of Foreigners “Understandable”

28 June 2011

In a leaked copy of a speech, Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen addresses Christian Democratic Party members with the message that worries about foreigners are ‘understandable’. Verhagen seeks to distance himself from the increasing populism in the Netherlands yet recognizes what drives it. He notes that “People are concerned about churches being replaced by mosques, about the fact immigrants don’t integrate and the risk that they will take Dutch jobs”, NRC reports.

Obama condemns killings at UN office in Afghanistan, offers condolences to victims

President Barack Obama is condemning the attack on a United Nations office in northern Afghanistan Friday. In a statement, Obama offered his condolences to those injured and killed, as well as their families. At least eight foreigners and four Afghan protesters were killed when a demonstration outside the office turned violent.

“Multikulti” or Assimilation? The Question of European Identity

7 February 2011

In this opinion piece, Paul Schulmeister argues that despite the doubts raised by debates concerning the integration of foreigners in Europe, the notion of European identity does exist, and must be promoted. While on the one hand, we should not exaggerate concerning the difficulties that foreigners have had in integrating, on the other hand we should not shy away from wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” or giving a piggy bank as a present.

According to Schulmeister, European identity ultimately rests on the concepts of freedom and justice; the rationality of the Enlightenment; and a striving towards the absolute, which is tempered by scientific relativism. While the German Chancellor Merkel says that “‘Multikulti’ has failed,” what she means is that the ideology of multiculturalism has failed, given that multiculturalism has become a part of everyday life. Schulmeister states that “lip service to European leitkultur” is simply not enough: for immigrants that choose Europe as their new homeland, there must be an unreserved recognition of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and equality of the sexes.

Kebab, Yoghurt, and Prayer

28 October 2010

Seen from the outside, other than a sign on a wooden door, nothing seems to indicate that the Eyüp Sultan Camii in Graz is a mosque. The local imam, Fevzi Karatas, explains that a mosque is simply a space for prayer, and “in the time of the prophet Muhammad, the mosque was a tent.”
Karatas comes from Vorarlberg, though his parents are from Turkey, where he also studied theology and statistics before returning to become an imam in 2000. In his opinion there are no tensions, either with the local community or the authorities. However, in order to fight the fear that some people have of Islam they open the doors three times a year and invite the neighbors. “We are a part of Graz, we aren’t foreigners, we aren’t extremists, we pay taxes and just want to be practice our religion.”
After prayer the canteen serves kebab and ayran – “many people come here not just to pray, but to talk as well,” says Karatas.

A Tool against Coffee Table Racism

30 September 2010
The association WienXtra has published a brochure called “Da mach’ ich nicht mit!” (“I’m not going to join in on that!”), in an effort to combat everyday prejudices and stereotypes. The brochure is aimed at youths, and has ready-made counterarguments to coffee table assertions, such as “all foreigners are criminals,” or “Islam wants to come to power in Austria.” Nonetheless, the author of the brochure, Marion Wisinger of the League for Human Rights, maintains that it is just as relevant for adults as for youths in the fight against discrimination.

A jihadist cell discovered at the Universtiy of Perugia: Two Moroccan students expelled

Roberto Maroni, the Italian interior minister, has ordered the immediate repatriation for security reasons of two Moroccan students at the University of Perugia. According to the investigations, the two foreigners were declared highly dangerous since they were ready to commit acts of terrorism in the country. Although the students were not in contact with the international terrorist net but were “self-trained” via the Internet, they were nonetheless deemed a serious threat for our country and therefore expelled.

The stereotypes surrounding Via Padova: There are problems but it isn’t a Bronx.

A murder (of a young Egyptian man by a group of south-Americans on the 13th of February) that could have happened in any part of Milan, has triggered a press campaign that described Via Padova as a mass of ugly things, a promiscuity of people coming from everywhere, of crumbling buildings, an insecure and unlivable casaba. The journalist, who is also an inhabitant of Via Padova, suggests that the campaign has had the effect to instill in people living in that area with the idea of not being on par with such a civil city as Milan. She tries to counter the stereotype by highlighting the fact that Via Padova is a more than just a four kilometer road and is much diversified. Just as any other areas of the city, Via Padova has its good and bad areas. There are specific and clear responsibilities for the public and local authorities who have yet to take any action towards preventing the recent tension. The streets appear to be under siege due to the strong presence of the police and the army. The journalist rightly claims that the only sustainable way out of the current predicament would require farsighted re qualification policies. Such actions are needed to convince the Italian inhabitants and shopkeepers to remain, contrasting the foreigners’ invasion. In fact, a too large number of immigrants located in the same place make integration difficult. Concluding, she condemns all of the stereotypes that fix reality in an unchangeable status quo. On the contrary, each and every place is unique, neither common nor predictable.

Foreigners in Yemen say terrorism and al-Qaida fears are blown out of proportion

Foreigners in Yemen say they have to go online to recall that the country is at war. They feel their surroundings are calm and normal, and that the issues highlighted by the Abdulmutallab terror attack are nothing new. Many are therefore taking the current issues with a grain of salt. All services are still in place. Many foreigners—students and workers—enjoy the history, architecture, and the hospitality.

“It’s a magical place in some ways, like landing on a different planet” says a Moldovan student.

Most foreigners live in the cities of Sana’a or Aden. Trips into the hills require government permission, which is difficult to get. The Saada province, where the country’s Shiite government rebellion is taking place, is off limits all together.