In Italy, backlash against migrants grows

Hostility toward immigrants is largely directed at Muslims, making up the largest group of immigrants after Latin Americans, the article states. Described as cancers, fanatics, drug addicts and cheats, fears are amounting especially in Northern Italy, where many factories and farms employ immigrants seeking work.

Belgians agree on one issue: foreigners

Political and governmental conflict still divides Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia, but the two communities put aside their differences to approve a tough new approach concerning asylum and economic migration. Under the agreement, migrants from outside the EU will only be able to fill jobs if there are not enough EU candidates. Further toughening of income, language, and time requirements were put forth in the agreement.

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
    PART I: THE CHANGING NATURE OF MIGRATION IN NORTH AMERICA

  • 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
    PART II: DIASPORA, RELIGION AND COUNTER-TRADITIONS

  • 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
    PART III: IMMIGRANT WORKERS AND THE NATION-STATE

  • 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
    PART IV: IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION INTO SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

  • ’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

Spain’s Migrants Encounter Social Acceptance and Institutional Resistance

{This article explores Spain’s Islamic legacy and how this history impacts the experiences of the latest wave of Muslim immigrants. According to the author, the Catholicization of the country (beginning in the 13th Century) involved a concerted effort by the Church to expel or convert threatening elements from its midst, including Jews and Muslims. Though Spanish culture and society in some ways provide familiar and accomodating spaces for Muslim immigrants now, habits of institutional resistance to Muslims are still maintained by the Catholic Church.} Original Title: Spain’s migrants ‘seek jobs not conquest’ By Leslie Crawford in Madrid On the cobblestones outside the great 8th century mosque in C_rdoba, once the largest mosque in the western world, Mansur Escudero, a Spanish convert to Islam, unfolds his prayer mat and kneels down to pray. Muslims are not allowed to pray inside. The Roman Catholic Church, custodian of the building since the 13th century, says it would “confuse” Christians to see Muslims worshipping there. Mr Escudero has lobbied the Vatican to transform the C_rdoba mosque into an ecumenical place of worship, – “a symbol of religious tolerance and co-existence,” he says – but his campaign has not met with success…

More Moroccans than Italians in Belgium

The Italians are no longer the largest group of immigrants to Belgium. The Moroccan immigrants have managed to outnumber them for the first time, according to sociologist Jan Hertogen. He says it is a “historic moment.” Hertogen based his analysis on figures from the General Department of Statistics and Economic Information of the federal ministry for the economy. Belgium counted 264,974 Moroccan and 262,120 Italian immigrants as of 1 January 2006. This includes both foreigners and naturalised Belgians. For the first time Italians are not the largest group of migrants in the country, but the second largest. After the Moroccans and Italians, the Turks are the next largest group, with 159,336 immigrants. The French (145,556) and Dutch (126,447) are once again the largest groups of European migrants. Hertogen says there are a total of 1,569,909 migrants. The statistics department was more cautious about Hertogen’s numbers. “The figures Hertogen is using are more or less accurate, but they are not the comprehensive official figures. He counted the naturalisations but did not take into account deaths or people who had re-emigrated,” they say.

Ramadan in Melilla

By Emma Ross-Thomas MELILLA, Spain (Reuters) – It’s Ramadan in Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla and as tempers fray, a group of shopkeepers argue about how Spanish they are. “I am a Spanish Berber,” one fasting shopkeeper shouts in Spanish, repeating it in the Berber language Tamazight. Mimon Mohamed Amar shouts back: “Come on, all of us Muslims have family in Morocco … we all migrated from Morocco.” Melilla, nestling on Morocco’s northeast coast, has been Spanish since the late 15th century but Morocco claims it, along with Spain’s other enclave of Ceuta. Insecurities about Melilla’s status as a Spanish city or colony — never far from the surface — have re-emerged in recent weeks amid an immigration crisis in the city and residents in both enclaves held pro-Spanish demonstrations last week. “The Melillans will fight however we can so that it is not surrendered,” said 56-year-old health worker Maria Dolores Gongora. The hundreds of African migrants who have tried to enter Europe by storming the enclave’s heavily guarded razor-wire border have a limited impact on the city as they are regularly flown to the mainland but the crisis has sparked tensions between Melilla and Madrid and between the enclave and Morocco. Several local and national newspapers have suggested Morocco was turning a blind eye to African migrants crossing the razor-wire border fence in order to put pressure on Spain to ditch the enclaves — Europe’s only land borders with Africa. “Our southern neighbor is using these thousands of desperate people as a tool … so that we do not forget that they want Ceuta and Melilla for themselves,” an editorial in a Melilla newspaper said. A piece in a nationalist Moroccan newspaper fueled that by saying Spain could rid itself of the immigration problem by leaving the continent. Morocco has since reinforced police and military units around the enclaves, arresting hundreds of migrants. Moroccan troops killed six Africans who were trying to get into Melilla last Wednesday. Some Melilla residents — a large proportion of whom have relatives in the army or civil guard police — said they felt abandoned by the Socialist central government which was not doing enough to stop the migrants clambering over the fences. They also felt Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero did not feel strongly enough about keeping Melilla Spanish. “The new (Socialists) I think aren’t very keen. They make a lot of agreements with the Moroccans, they talk a lot with the Moroccans,” said a 46-year-old civil servant who gave his name only as Antonio. Melillans were angered by press reports Zapatero failed to answer a question on Melilla’s sovereignty at a news conference with his Moroccan counterpart and he was forced last week to state his commitment to the territory staying Spanish. The city is home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus who are broadly united in wanting the city to be Spanish. Like Britain’s colony Gibraltar off Spain’s southern coast, the enclave is much richer than the surrounding area. It is full of civil servants who earn more than their mainland counterparts. Melilla enjoys low taxes and swathes of the population live off border trade. “I don’t want Morocco to take over Ceuta and Melilla, it would mean ruin,” Mohamed Dris, a 70-year-old shopkeeper, said. “Ceuta and Melilla are Morocco’s, of course they are, but Spain has taken them and I don’t want Morocco to ruin everything.” Many of the Muslims in Melilla, like the shopkeeper who declined to give his name, are Berbers, a group traditionally repressed in Morocco and therefore less keen on Moroccan rule. “This is Spain, whoever wants it to be Moroccan can go off to Morocco,” said the shopkeeper, who sells Moroccan gifts, clothes and ornaments. Multicultural Model? Just over half the residents are of Christian descent but the Muslim community is growing faster. Of the 90 births in the city in July, 63 were to families with Muslim surnames, a National Statistics Institute official said. Residents say Melilla — where veiled women are a common sight and minarets dot the skyline amid the traditional Spanish architecture — is a model of tolerant multi-culturalism. “We get on famously. We have Jewish friends and we have dinner with them and Muslim friends who have parties we all go to,” Gongora said. Some Muslim residents are less sure of the Christians’ tolerance and residents of Spanish descent, while denying accusations they are racist to their Muslim neighbours, feel uneasy about becoming the minority. Antonio Sanchez says that when that happens, the Christians will abandon Melilla. “We will have to leave here … the mayor will be Moorish, the councillors will be Moorish, this will be Moorish.”