Europe’s Muslims Treated As Outsiders

Fatima Yaakoub, 24 years old, born in Morocco, living in the Netherlands since she was 12, says she wants nothing more than to fit in. She works hard, cleaning offices in the early mornings, going to college during the day, taking English classes on weekends-trying to get ahead, trying to do what is expected of a good citizen in her adopted homeland. But three years ago, she began wearing a head scarf, the sign of a devout Muslim woman, and got a rapid education on how much of an outsider she remains.

Dutch Conservatives Want Stricter Laws For Islamic Schools; Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues

Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali says her party, the VVD, wants to see stricter legislation governing Islamic schools. The conservatives claim these schools are teaching children to discriminate against women, homosexuals and the indigenous Dutch population. She made her remarks during a parliamentary debate on a new integration bill put forward by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Most parties support the minister’s plans, but the left-wing opposition has criticised a proposal that would make migrants pay part of the cost of their integration courses. They argue this will force many people into debt. Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues Christian Democrat Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has criticised a proposal by the conservative VVD party to monitor Islamic schools. She says the proposal breaches an article in the constitution guaranteeing educational freedom. VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for an end to government support for certain Islamic schools. She says they promote intolerance towards homosexuals and Jews, and are opposed to equality for women. The Lower House debate on Islamic education in the Netherlands has further intensified. Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven, a Christian Democrat, has rejected a Conservative proposal to set additional requirements to such schools. The minister has not yet vetoed the motion of Conservative parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she did say it violated article 23 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of education. The minister also opposes the Conservative’s request that all board members of Islamic schools have Dutch nationality. The other house factions also reject the motion. Although Ms. Hirsi Ali’s resolution has thrown Conservatives themselves into a commotion, the party is not withdrawing it. The house debate will continue next week.

European Muslims and the Secular State in a Comparative Perspective

Sorbonne: Salle Louis Liard 17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005 Paris

European Muslims and the Secular State in a Comparative Perspective

NOCRIME CONFERENCE – Organized with the Sponsorship of the European Commission (DG Research)

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003

I. Modes of Interaction in Non-Muslim Societies

President Patrick Michel CNRS/CERI, EHESS, France

Discussant: Tuula Sakaranaho University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Jonas Otterbeck Silence and Speech in the Muslim Groups in Sweden Malmö University, Sweden
  • Lars Dencik Jewish Life in Sweden Roskilde University, Denmark
  • Philip Lewis Beyond Victimhood – from the Global to the Local: a British Case Study Bradford University, UK
  • II. Muslim Leadership and Institutional Constraints in Europe

    President Jean-Paul Willaime EPHE, Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE), France

    Discussant: Martin Van Bruinessen ISIM, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

  • Séan McLoughlin Islam, Citizenship and Civil Society: New Muslim Leaderships in the UK Leeds University, UK
  • Valérie Amiraux Building Religious Authorities among Muslims in Europe: Some Case Studies from Germany and France CURAPP-CNRS, France
  • Nico Landman New Policies on Foreign Imams in the Netherlands Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2003

    III. Religious Authorities in the Global Era: Ethnicity and Diasporas

    President Sami Zemni University of Ghent, Belgium

    Discussant: Jonathan Friedman EHESS, France

  • Jocelyne Cesari Muslim Leadership in Europe: What Connections with the Umma? GSRL-CNRS, Harvard University, NOCRIME coordinator, France/USA
  • Sébastien Fath Transnational Dimension of Evangelical Movements CNRS/GSRL, France
  • Yngve Lithman, Transnational Radicalism and Muslim Diasporas University of Bergen, Norway
  • Garbi Schmidt Formation of Transnational Identities among Young Muslims in Denmark Danish National Institute of Social Research, Denmark
  • IV. Islam and European Urban Life

    President: Tariq Ramadan University of Fribourg, Switzerland

    Discussant: Jose Casanova New School University, USA

  • Chantal Saint-Blancat/Ottavia Schmidt di Friedberg Visibility of Muslims in Italy and Communication Issues University of Padova, University of Trieste, Italy
  • Gema Martin-Munoz Mapping the Muslim Leadership in Spanish Urban Centers (Madrid and Barcelona) Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain
  • Dilwar Hussain Muslims in British Cities: Are they Different from Other Migrants? The Islamic Foundation, UK