A Call for Muslims in the West to Serve Their Societies: Interview with Amr Khaled

10 November 2010

Amr Khaled is one the best-known TV preachers of the Arab world, reaching millions of mostly young Muslims via satellite channels, internet, books, cassettes and CDs. In this interview with Christoph Dreyer, he talks about the role faith and activism can play for Muslims’ integration into Western societies. In recent years, Amr Khaled has increasingly taken on a global outlook, initiating a dialogue between Arab and Danish youths during the cartoon crisis and speaking out against religious extremism. Today he lives in Birmingham, UK.

A Call for Muslims in the West to Serve Their Societies: Interview with Amr Khaled

10 November 2010

Amr Khaled is one the best-known TV preachers of the Arab world, reaching millions of mostly young Muslims via satellite channels, internet, books, cassettes and CDs. In this interview with Christoph Dreyer, he talks about the role faith and activism can play for Muslims’ integration into Western societies. In recent years, Amr Khaled has increasingly taken on a global outlook, initiating a dialogue between Arab and Danish youths during the cartoon crisis and speaking out against religious extremism. Today he lives in Birmingham, UK.

Interview with Dr. Jocelyne Cesari

Professor Jocelyne Cesari, Director of Harvard’s Islam in the West Program discusses today’s most pressing integration issues in this interview.

She explores how Muslims in America and Europe differ, Islam’s compatibility with democracy, homegrown radicalism in the West, Switzerland’s minaret ban, France’s national identity debate, and ways to build stronger bridges between our two worlds.

Integration and society

Tito Boeri, a famous Italian economist, analyzes the meaning of the terrible events in Rosarno. The integration of immigrants, from his point of view, is a crucial issue in Italy. Migrants are an economic benefit, but they are also a source of social tension for hosting communities.

The events in Rosarno proves that confining the problem of integration solely into a religious dimension is reductive and intellectually dishonest. He criticizes the thesis of the impossibility of integrating Muslims, and historical arguments of three facts (according to a representative survey carried out by Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti, Nov-Dec 2009):

1. One out of every three Italians don’t want Muslims as neighbors. They also don’t want Jews, right or left wing extremists, or AIDS sufferers.
2. Muslim immigrants speak Italian, send their children to public schools and have contact with Italian citizens more than other minorities.
3. Most immigrants work more than Italian citizens.

The answers to issues raised by Muslim immigration, although complex and challenging, cannot be nourished by prejudices. On the contrary, we have to be humble and doubt. We have to observe in order to learn, and to rely on facts and figures to put effective and non discriminatory policies in place.