Expectations and reactions to the Integration Summit

May 28

 

 

Kenan Kolat, head of the Berlin-based Turkish Community in Germany, expressed the demand to hire more migrants in civic services. Kolat defined Germany as an Immigration country that needs more migrants. Migrants are still understaffed in ministries, administrations or in the police. With reference to the NSU trials and the failures of the security services, Kolat proposed to discuss about racism in a future summit. Institutional and structural racism would be part of today´s reality  in Germany.

 

Migrants to the Netherlands Send 8 Billion Euros Home Annually

April 4 2013

 

New research from the Dutch National Bank indicates that migrants send at least 8 billion euros a year to their countries of origin, mostly Turkey, Morocco, the Antillean Islands, Indonesia and Germany. The figure does not include transfers made via informal channels such as cash withdrawals from local banks during holidays.

Muslim job consultant

March 9

 

28 years old social pedagogue Funda Doghan is specialized to advise Muslim job seekers. Although, migrants with “diversity” skills have been employed at German public services and job agencies to advise minority groups, the job consultant is a new concept. The city of Waiblingen in the German State of Baden-Württemberg has implemented a unique concept, advising Muslim immigrants in addressing them in parent-teachers conferences, mosques and women centers.

 

Jürgen Kurz, chief executive director of the employment agency of Waiblingen explains the inhibition of Muslims in dealing with German bureaucracy as one challenge for immigrants. For instance, many parents do not have sufficient knowledge about the German education system and cannot guide their children. Having advanced from secondary school to University, Funda Doghan has earned respect among Muslim immigrants. Her knowledge about Muslim traditions enables her to understand classic gender roles when encouraging women for a career path.

 

“Allochtoon” to be Eradicated in Amsterdam City Council

13 February 2013

 

Amsterdam’s city council will stop using the terminology “autochtoon” and “allochtoon” to identify citizens. “Allochtoon” refers to first or second generation migrants, as well as third generation Dutch with at least one grandparent who is an immigrant. In colloquial discourse “allochtoon” refers to those of non-western ethnic heritage and “autochtoon” to autochthnous or ethnic Dutch. The council is eradicating the term on the basis that it promotes a division between “them and us”. With the change, a “foreign Amsterdammer” will now be defined as someone born abroad, or whose parents were born abroad. This is not the first attempt to shift the use of the problematic terminology, which is prolific not only in Amsterdam’s city council but throughout the nation and in popular discourse.

Protests against Ministry of Interior poster campaign

August 28

The Minister of Interior Hans Peter Friedrich has initiated a controversial poster campaign against the radicalization of young Muslim immigrants. The posters look like missing reports, showing young male Muslim migrants: the women in the pictures wear the “hijab”. The reports ask the reader to be aware of the missing person, who might have been radicalized and driven to extreme Islam. The number of a hotline to get advice from the Ministry of Interior is also on the poster. People who are within or close to social circle of Muslims, whether they are friends or relatives, and observe a “radicalization” among them, are invited to contact the hotline.

The initiative has triggered several critical reactions. Aydan Özoğuz, Commissioner for integration and deputy secretary of the SPD, harshly criticized the campaign, which would suggest regarding every Muslim as a fanatic and terrorist.

Kenan Kolat, a representative of the Turkish community in Germany, spoke about a stigmatization campaign, which would distract from the real problem, which in fact is societal racism.

Interview with Kenan Kolat”: We Need an Open Debate about Institutional Racism”

The failure of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency to halt the activities of a neo-Nazi terror cell and recent revelations about the destruction of key files have led to accusations of institutional racism. Kenan Kolat, the head of the Türkische Gemeinde in Deutschland (the Turkish Community in Germany), an advocacy group representing the interests of Turkish people in Germany, says faith in the country’s security organs has hit rock bottom. Samira Sammer spoke to him.

 

British Muslims have more sense of belonging than their white counterparts

30 June 2012

 

In a recent research entitled Understanding Society carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research it was found that British Muslims feel more strongly about their British identities.

 

The research enjoyed a wide participation of around 40,000 UK households. Those of Pakistani origin scored highest in the research and Bengalis and Indians shared the second place in their sense of belonging to Britain. Further, the second and third generation migrants had more sense of belonging than their parents.

The results of the research clearly contradict with the general perception that Muslims are not willing to integrate into the society. The research is accessible from the following link:

http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/files/research/findings/Understanding-Society-Findings-2012.pdf

The new wave of Moroccan immigrants in Spain, is young and better prepared

16 June 2012
The “new wave” of Moroccan immigrants arriving in Spain and in the rest of Europe are mostly young, most of them from upper-middle class, and with better qualifications, explained Douglas Massey, a demographer at Princeton University, USA.
Massey, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Princeton and speaker of a seminar on Moroccan immigration organized by the University of Navarra, has highlighted the fact that Spain has already surpassed France as the country of destination for migrants from the North African country.
These young migrants, stressed the sociologist, are better trained, very different from the “peasant workers” who came to Spain from Morocco in recent decades, Massey also pointed out that in Canada and in the United States it is “clear” that these migrants are now “more qualified and more professional.”

Justice of the Peace for Muslims

May 4

 

The term Justice of the Peace is used to define informal judges, who neither have been trained as lawyers, nor act within the legal framework of German judiciary. The Justice of Peace act as brokers and mediate between rivaling families, victims and delinquents to avoid violence and bloodshed. For instance when an unmarried Turkish girl runs away with an Arabic boy and the “honor of family” is questioned; Justice of Peace is called to mediate between the families to find a peaceful and reasonable solution.

 

Islamic “parallel justice” has been a source of grievance and frustration for German judiciary, says German journalist Joachim Wagner who has published a book about the

Justice of the Peace. In his book, he claims “parallel justice” would be a threat for the rule of law as he believes some of these “judges” to be involved in a criminal milieu.

 

Vice president of the Berlin district court contradicts the discussion about a “parallel justice” and claims that the influence of this institute has been exaggerated. Only a few spectacular cases would cause high attraction for the public audience. Ethno-psychologist Ilhan Kizilhan sees the lack of confidence of migrants in the German judiciary system as a result of fear in their countries of origin. Many migrants come from countries with little tradition of rule of law, where there is little trust towards the judiciary and the police.

Islamophobia in the West: Measuring and Explaining Individual Attitudes

Since the late 1980s, growing migration from countries with a Muslim cultural background, and increasing Islamic fundamentalism related to terrorist attacks in Western Europe and the US, have created a new research field investigating the way states and ordinary citizens react to these new phenomena. However, whilst we already know much about how Islam finds its place in Western Europe and North America, and how states react to Muslim migration, we know surprisingly little about the attitudes of ordinary citizens towards Muslim migrants and Islam. Islamophobia has only recently started to be addressed by social scientists.

With contributions by leading researchers from many countries in Western Europe and North America, this book brings a new, transatlantic perspective to this growing field and establishes an important basis for further research in the area. It addresses several essential questions about Islamophobia, including:

  • what exactly is Islamophobia and how can we measure it?
  • how is it related to similar social phenomena, such as xenophobia?
  • how widespread are Islamophobic attitudes, and how can they be explained?
  • how are Muslims different from other outgroups and what role does terrorism and 9/11 play?

Islamophobia in the West will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, religious studies, social psychology, political science, ethnology, and legal science.