Spain expels 122 illegal migrants to Mali

A group of 122 illegal migrants were recently expelled from Spain, and sent to the capital of Mali last week. Having gone to Spain to look for jobs, the Malians said they had been held in Spanish camps since their arrival three months ago. Some of the migrants expressed their wish to try to make the trip again despite the risks, and having witnessed the drowning of others in their group.

Polygamy, Practiced in Secrecy, Follows Africans to New York

Thousands of New York’s African immigrants are thought to be practicing polygamy as they did in their native countries, where it is legal; practice is clandestine because polygamy is grounds for exclusion from US under immigration law; no agency is known to collect data on polygamous unions, and many agencies that deal with immigrant families in New York have adopted don’t-ask-don’t-know policy; some men have one wife in US and others abroad; Islam is often cited as authority that allows polygamy, but practice is cultural tradition in Africa that crosses religious lines, and some Muslim lands elsewhere sharply restrict it; some African immigrant women speak bitterly of polygamy, saying they had no choice but to accept their husband’s other wives; many women accept situation, fearing to expose their husbands to arrest or deportation; presence of polygamy in New York was revealed after March 7 fire in Bronx that killed woman and nine children in two families from Mali.

Muslims Remain Very Attached to Collective Rituals

It is generally said that France is home to 5 million Muslims. In reality, however, no one has counted them, because ethnic and religious census questions are forbidden. The last projections made by poller Michele Tribalat (on the basis of INED’s family surveys in 1999) put the estimation at more like 4 million Muslims living in France. But the alleged Muslim population level has grown unceasingly in the past few years. Some even put the number at 10 million, obviously confusing national origin with religion. Up to now, most people coming from the Maghreb, from Senegal, Mali, Turkey, and Pakistan have effectively considered themselves Muslims. But the last firm survey, taken from a large population samble by Cevipof, shows an increasing gap between national origin and religious practice, especially among those born in France of North African origin. In 2005, 35% of this population declared themselves to have no religion. The process of secularization has been set in motion…