According to new research, Muslim youths find it far easier to assimilate in Britain than France or Germany. The study finds that Muslim youths “feel much more at ease in Britain than do their counterparts in the other mentioned countries.” The study stopped short of blaming overt racism in France and Germany, instead declaring that, “perceptions of discrimination were lowest in Britain and highest in Germany.” The research was conducted by Lancaster University and is to be published in book form next month. The work is based on a survey of more than 2,500 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 in the three countries. In Britain, the youths mostly came from families originating from the Indian subcontinent. In France, youths of migrant parents from Morocco and Algeria were surveyed and, in Germany, the Muslims came from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.
“Britain’s model of multiculturalism is proving far more effective for the incorporation of ethnic minority groups than the French ‘assimilation’ or German ‘ethnic nationalist’ ones,” said Professor Roger Penn, co-author of
the report in The National, a digital newspaper published by Abu Dhabi Media Company. Although the bulk of Muslim youths in Britain expressed little or no interest in politics, their counterparts from North Africa in France were far more politically active, along with Turkish youths in Germany. During the riots of 2005 in France, media largely focused on Muslim youth as perpetrating the civil unrest in that country. Rukaiya Jeraj, the head of
advocacy at the Muslim Youth Helpline in Britain, said the report highlighted the fact that “young British Muslims are connected and assimilated in the UK thanks to our country’s multi-cultural approach.”
Larry Clifton reports.
Muslim teenagers in the UK are much more assimilated with the nation than their counterparts growing up in other European countries, new research claims. Young British Asians are less radical, do better in school and suffer less discrimination than Muslim youngsters brought up in France and Germany, according to the survey.
Researchers at Lancaster University claim that their poll, based on 2,500 young adults aged 16 to 25, is proof that multiculturalism is working. For the study, young second generation Pakistanis and Indians who were also Muslims living in Blackburn and Rochdale were compared with Moroccan and Algerian youngsters in France and Turks and former Yugoslavs in Germany.
It showed British Asian youngsters are remarkably similar to their white contemporaries; they enjoy watching soaps like EastEnders and Coronation Street, are most likely to read The Mirror or The Sun newspaper and are turned off by politics. Although there is a ‘moral panic’ about young muslims, the British ‘multicultural’ approach of accommodating immigrants actually works better than the French or German approaches, it is claimed.
The research is to be published in a new book, co-authored by Professor Roger Penn of Lancaster, titled Children of International Migrants in Europe.
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Secularisation – the process of a dividing the realms of politics and religion – has been influencing national and worldly affairs for several hundred years. The idea of the desirability of such a division – secularism – is nowadays a given backdrop for public policy issues regarding education, family, gender, media, migration, personal integrity and freedom, reproduction and sexuality. But globalisation and multicultural trends, as well as claims from religious groups for increased political influence or autonomy and the uncertain and varying responses to these from society, have made us aware that the secularist ideal has been realized through the process of secularisation in radically different ways in different settings. As a result, an identity crisis is presently afflicting secular societies. It is no longer as clear what secularism is supposed to amount to, why secularisation is desirable and where its proper limits are. To investigate questions about this is the focus of a newly initiated multidisciplinary research theme at the University of Gothenburg.
- ABDULLAHI AN-NA’IM, Human Rights Law, Emory University
- KENT GREENAWALT, Law, Columbia University
- BRIAN PALMER, Anthropology & Religion, Uppsala University & University of Gothenburg
- PAUL WEITHMAN, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
- LINDA WOODHEAD, Religious Studies, Lancaster University
The conference is open to the public and free of charge. Registration is required for attendance.
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Muslim pupils are more liberal and tolerant than non-Muslim pupils, a Home Office-funded study has found. The research, involving 400 15-year-olds, was carried out by Lancaster University in a two-year project after the 2001 Burnley riots. It found that nearly a third of non-Muslim pupils thought one race was superior, compared to a tenth of teenagers in a mainly Muslim school.