Spain and Italy discuss migration

Italian prime minister Romano Prodi and his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero plan to meet in Naples to discuss issues of immigration, as more and more migrants seem to be killed attempting to make the risky trip from Africa. Hundreds of people die each year trying to cross into the two countries to try and reach the European mainland.

Netherlands Not So Dutch Anymore

THE HAGUE – One was a Somali refugee, the other an Argentine investment banker. Both are now high-profile Dutch women challenging this country to rethink its national identity. Princess Maxima, the Argentine-born wife of Crown Prince Willem Alexander, triggered a round of national soul-searching with a speech last month about what exactly it means to be Dutch in an age of mass migration. “The Netherlands is too complex to sum up in one cliche,” she said. “A typical Dutch person doesn’t exist.”

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

Bernard Lewis Applauds the Crusades

Famed Princeton Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis drew a standing ovation from a packed house of conservative luminaries Wednesday night in a lecture that described Muslim migration to Europe as an Islamic attack on the West and defended the Crusades as a late, limited and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad that spread Islam across much of the globe. Lewis gave the nearly hour-long speech at the annual black-tie dinner of the American Enterprise Institute after receiving the group’s Irving Kristol Award. Among the attendees were Vice President Dick Cheney, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and ex-Pentagon official Richard Perle. Notably absent was I. Lewis Scooter Libby, convicted this week of perjury and obstruction of justice. At last year’s event, Libby, then under indictment, received considerable support from attendees. The 90-year-old Lewis, seen by some as the intellectual godfather behind the administration’s decision to invade Iraq, warned in his lecture that the West – particularly Europe – was losing its fervor and conviction in the face of an epochal challenge from the Islamic world. The Islamic world, he said, was now attacking the West using two tactics: terrorism and migration. He listed ideological fervor and demography as two of the chief strengths that the Muslim world had in its favor in its face off against the West, but fell short of offering any prescriptions for what Europe should do to stem the flow of immigrants from North Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. Lewis, author of The Arabs in History and Islam and the West, among many other books, also gave a ringing endorsement for the ill-fated Crusades, which spanned two centuries starting in 1095, when various European armies tried to regain the Holy Land for Christendom. -Neil King Jr. CORRECTION: Bernard Lewis called the Crusades a late, limited and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad, not a successful imitation as incorrectly described in the original post. In the AEI speech, he made the point that the Crusades, as atrocious as they were, were nonetheless an understandable response to the Islamic onslaught of the preceding centuries, and that it was ridiculous to apologize for them. The more central point to his speech was that Europe in particular is now losing its conviction in facing off against Islamic extremism and migration.

Muslims in the EU: City Reports

This new EUMAP project Muslims in the EU: Cities Reports will focus on the situation of Muslims in eleven selected major cities across the EU with significant Muslim populations. It will look in particular at the extent to which local policy addresses their needs and seeks to include them in the policy-making process. In each selected city, monitoring will focus on the following general areas:

  

  • consultation and participation
  • social protection: covering access to social services in general, with a particular focus on housing and healthcare
  • education
  • employment
  • safety and security

More than 20 million Muslims currently reside within the European Union (EU). Citizens and migrants, native born and newly-arrived, they are a growing and varied population that presents Europe with one of its greatest challenges: how to ensure equal rights for all in a climate of rapidly expanding diversity.

Most communities are the result of economic migration in the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, Muslims have arrived as refugees seeking asylum. The economic impetus for the initial phase of migration is reflected in Muslim settlement patterns. Thus, the majority initially settled in the capital cities and in large industrial areas. The concentration of Muslims in these areas ensures that while the overall Muslim population in each state remains low, they are a significant and visible presence in particular cities and neighbourhoods.

The need to develop policies that meet the needs of Muslims in Europe has moved on to the political agenda for a number of reasons:

  • Demographic trends indicate that a significant proportion of the growth in the Europe’s population over the next decade will be within Muslim communities.
  • Government policies must develop and adjust to ensure that they meet the needs of Muslims.
  • There has been growing official acknowledgement of prejudice and discrimination against Muslim communities.Recent studies indicate severe levels of disadvantage experienced by sections of the Muslim communities in the EU; these are among the most impoverished and disadvantaged commnities, suffering from poor levels of educational achievement, employment, income, housing and health.

Muslim community groups and politicians are campaigning for governments to address issues of concern to them.

There has been unprecedented scrutiny and focus on Muslim communities following the attacks Madrid and London, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the riots in France in November 2005.

A preliminary phase of the project was initiated in May 2006 and is now complete. This focused on the selection of the countries and cities that would be a priority to include in the monitoring, as well as refining the project methodology.

When Social Conflicts Become Ethnicized

Prof. Christoph Butterwegge, head of the Political Science Dept. at K_ln University and member of the Forschungsstelle f_r interkulturelle Studien, was interviewed by Islamische Zeitung about the subjects of his new book, Massenmedien, Migration und Integration. He talked about the battle for control over the Western image of Islam, including right-wing extremists’ attempts in Germany to blur the distinction between immigrants and Muslims, the responsibility of intellectuals in discussing “parallel communities”, and the tepid risk-avoidance of German media in adhering closely to official statements on migration and integration. He suggested that more Muslims should go into and contribute to opinion-forming German media, and expressed his optimism about the humanising, anti-nationalist potential of globalisation that may facilitate genuine integration, which is unlikely to occur on the strength of legal obligations alone – however liberal the state enforcing them may be.

Mosques Conflicts in Western Europe

The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS) publishes the results of first-class research on all forms of migration and its consequences, together with articles on ethnic conflict, discrimination, racism, nationalism, citizenship and policies of integration. Contributions to the journal, which are all fully refereed, are especially welcome when they are the result of comparative research, for example within Europe or between one or more European country and the countries of North America and the Asia-Pacific. The journal tends to focus on advanced industrial countries and has distinguished associate editors from North America and the Asia-Pacific.