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.”
Morocco has called over 100 imams in Spain to take part in a meeting aimed at fighting Islamic radicalism among Moroccan immigrants. The meeting, which took place in Marrakesh, discussed “the organization of Moroccan immigration in Spain from the religious point of view.” Moroccan King Mohammed VI launched a religious reform initiative to fight radicalism, which included plans for a special council concerning Moroccans living abroad.
Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
The Union of Muslim communities in Spain (UCIDE) claims that 1.13 million Spaniards (2.5% of the country’s residents) are Muslims, reports Vatican Radio. The largest group includes Moroccan immigrants, numbering approximately 565,000. There are also almost 35,000 native Spaniards who are converts to Islam. UCIDE is pushing for Islamic religion classes to be held in public schools of four Spanish regions with the highest concentrations of Muslims – Catalonia, Madrid, Andalusia, and Valencia.
The premises of Muslim prayer areas in Cartagena are being viewed with suspicion by neighbors in the community. Many Muslims rent areas to pray, including structures like garages and warehouses, being among the only affordable places to hold such gatherings. However, others often see these areas as clandestine centers of conspiracy, and spaces of danger. It is estimated that some 12,000 legal Moroccan immigrants reside in the town, in addition to the many other non-documented members of the Muslim community. Joaquin Segado, spokesman for the municipal government, cites a rise in the number of reports of neighbors expressing concern over prayer gatherings in the town.
This year’s non-fiction prize shortlist features two books related to U.S. military intervention in Iraq and one study of an Islamist extremist murder in Holland Ian Buruma’s Murder in Amsterdam is about the killing of the provocative columnist and filmmaker Theo van Gogh by the son of Moroccan immigrants who was angry because he had collaborated with an anti-Islamic politician. These books edged out other promising biographies-presumably they were favored given the political nature of these times.
Mohammed Farjani says that since his arrival in the Netherlands 38 years ago he has wanted nothing more than to be integrated. Living among many other Moroccan immigrants in Slotervaart, Amsterdam, he became concerned that the groups of dark-skinned youths sometimes congregating on street corners would intimidate native Dutch. “We created an association to work for children in order to help them be like Dutch children, not different,” he says. He and other members of his group, the Buurtvaders (neighbourhood fathers), would patrol the streets, trying to persuade the boys to go to school or back to their homes at night. His organisation has been copied in other Dutch cities, and has been held up as a model of good citizenship.
AMSTERDAM – Forty percent of young Moroccan immigrants reject Western values and democracy. 6-7 % are prepared to defend Islam with force. These are the findings of the still-confidential report “Radicals and democrats”, prepared by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) for Rita Verdonk, Minister for Integration and Immigration. The majority of young Moroccans are against the right of free expression, especially when it comes to unfavourable judgements on Islam.