The Bigotry That Armed the Quebec Mosque Attacker

TORONTO — On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, killing six people and wounding eight. Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, called the shootings a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”

Worshipers gunned down in a mosque — people here more readily associate such news with the United States than with Canada. That this happened in Quebec City has shocked many of us, myself included.

In Quebec, Islamophobia manifested itself in a series of sensational cases, in 2007 and 2008, over the “reasonable accommodation” of religious minorities, Muslims in particular. The provincial soccer federation barred hijab-wearing girls on the pretext of safety. It took an official commission to calm public nerves. Its 2008 report, which had the eminent philosopher Charles Taylor as an author, found there was no crisis: Sensationalist media coverage had distorted perceptions, but Muslims were not making unreasonable demands.

I remain an incurably optimistic Canadian, and I want to believe that Canada is still not the United States. But as Sunday’s attack showed, we face the challenge of undoing the damage of years of suspicion and bigotry.

Immigrant Citizens Survey: perceptions of the immigrants about integration

23 may 2012

 

 

The Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS) was presented at the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Spain. The survey was directed from Brussels by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Migration Policy Group, in collaboration with the CIDOB in Spain and the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). The ICS is the first international survey which reflects the opinion of immigrants on the facilities and difficulties encountered when integrated into the host society.
“The results of the ICS are striking because they show that the vision of immigrants on their situation is more positive than expected,” said Jordi Vaquer, director of CIDOB, during the presentation.
The survey of more than 7,000 immigrants with authorized residence status in 15 cities and in 7 EU countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal) was done in the late 2011 and reveals what immigrants think on key integration policies. The study focuses on analyzing the perception of immigrants on issues such as residence permits, citizenship, family reunification, labor market, social participation and education, among others.

Immigrant Citizens Survey: perceptions of the immigrants about integration

23 may 2012

 

 

The Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS) was presented at the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Spain. The survey was directed from Brussels by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Migration Policy Group, in collaboration with the CIDOB in Spain and the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). The ICS is the first international survey which reflects the opinion of immigrants on the facilities and difficulties encountered when integrated into the host society.
“The results of the ICS are striking because they show that the vision of immigrants on their situation is more positive than expected,” said Jordi Vaquer, director of CIDOB, during the presentation.
The survey of more than 7,000 immigrants with authorized residence status in 15 cities and in 7 EU countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal) was done in the late 2011 and reveals what immigrants think on key integration policies. The study focuses on analyzing the perception of immigrants on issues such as residence permits, citizenship, family reunification, labor market, social participation and education, among others.

The main results in Spain reveal both positive aspects of the situation of immigrants in the country and others could be improved. Among the positive aspects are:

– The immigrants say they have found few problems when applying for permanent residence, nationality or family reunification.

– There is less difficulty finding work in the two Spanish cities than in many other European cities like Milan, Brussels and Paris.

– The main issues raised at the time of finding work are the temporary contracts and jobs in the underground economy, but there is a low incidence of discrimination.

– In general, they find little trouble when learn Castilian, compared to the problems that immigrants manifest in other European countries while trying to learn the local/ national language.

– There is a greater intention to vote and to potential electoral inclusion than in countries like Germany or Belgium.

Among the areas for improvement include:

– To the majority of the interviewed immigrants to have a permanent residence did not help them in anything to get employment (worse than in other countries).

– Between one quarter and one third of immigrants are over-qualified for their jobs.

– Working conditions prevent immigrants to improve their training.

– In terms of participation and representation, it should be noted that membership in associations, unions and parties is relatively low in the Spanish cities.

– The majority believe that there is a need to have more members of immigrant origin in national parliaments.

MPI Report Examines the Concept of National Identity in France and Its Impact on Integration Efforts

WASHINGTON — France has long faced a contentious debate of crucial importance for immigrants and their descendents — defining what it means to “be French,” a debate that flared in its recent presidential election in which a significant percentage of voters supported a platform critical of immigration and its effects on society. Though countries with rich histories of immigration such as the United States and Canada accept “dual belonging” at least in practice, this concept has been criticized and perceived as at odds with a person’s commitment to French identity.

Recent surveys of French immigrants, however, have shown the opposite to be true. These findings demonstrate that multiple allegiances are not an impediment to integration; it is possible to “feel French” and maintain links with one’s country of origin. However, because of external perceptions, native French citizens are far less likely to accept this adoption of French identity.

In /*French National Identity and Integration: Who Belongs to the National Community*/, sociodemographer Patrick Simon examines perceptions of national identity and the rejection of plural belongings in French society, which have created conditions for the marginalization of visible minorities. Simon, Director of Research at the Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques (INED) and a researcher at the Center for European Studies at Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po), draws from the 2008-09 /Trajectories and Origins/ survey of 22,000 respondents in refuting the notion that the foreign born will weaken social cohesion in France.

While France is increasingly diverse, recent identity debates show little room for inclusion of ethnic minorities. This was again evident in the 2012 presidential elections, with 18 percent of the first round vote going to Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate whose platform espouses an anti-immigration platform, and outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy adopting similar rhetoric in his campaign.

Simon points to the need to create a new framework for equality, which includes updating the French concept of immigrant integration. Such changes remain a challenge, as newly appointed President Francois Hollande has pledged to keep the burqa ban, enforcing the idea that aspects of minority culture are incompatible with being French.

“For a majority of immigrants, embracing one’s ethnicity as part of one’s identity and being invested in and rooted to your host country are not mutually exclusive,” said MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou. “But as we see elsewhere, full integration efforts are hampered when the majority is unwilling to accept immigrants of diverse backgrounds as equal members of society.”

/*French National Identity and Integration: Who Belongs to the National Community*/ is the latest report produced by MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration that examines the current political and public debates over national identity and social cohesion. The Council is a unique deliberative and advisory body that examines vital policy issues and informs migration policymaking processes across the Atlantic community. A recently released Council statement, /Rethinking National Identity in the Age of Migration/, examines the roots of society’s anxiety over immigration and outlines 10 steps for fostering greater cohesiveness.

Today’s report and the Council’s earlier research on this and other topics are available for download at: www.migrationpolicy.org/transatlantic

Study offers view of religious life behind prison walls

WASHINGTON — Behind high prison walls and rolls of barbed wire, Muslim and pagan inmates are most likely to have extreme religious views and be the least assisted by religious volunteers.

Most prisoners who want religious books will get them, but wearing a beard is far less likely to be permitted. And the majority of chaplains who serve convicted murderers, thieves and other criminals are satisfied with their jobs.
Those and other findings form a snapshot of religious life behind bars in a report that was released Thursday (March 22) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, based on the perceptions of 730 chaplains who serve in the nation’s state prison systems.

As the U.S. has grown more religiously diverse, the prison population has, too, but often in different directions, said Stephanie Boddie, a senior researcher on the study.

People in US, Europe have slightly better views of Muslims, but negative perceptions persist

WASHINGTON — Attitudes about Muslim-Western relations have become slightly more positive in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Russia compared with five years ago, though negative views between Muslim countries and the West persist on both sides, a Pew Research Center survey found.

The survey, by Pew’s Global Attitudes Project, found majorities of Muslims surveyed in five of six Muslim-dominant countries and the Palestinian territories described non-Muslim Westerners as selfish and greedy. In all of the six Western countries surveyed, fewer than 30 percent of non-Muslims said they consider Muslims respectful of women.

Majorities of Muslims interviewed in most of the predominantly Muslim nations surveyed were inclined to say relations with people in Western countries are bad. There has been no overall improvement in those views in the predominantly Muslim nations in the last five years.

Westerners are less likely to believe relations are poor today than they were five years ago.

Survey of Moroccans in Europe

The CCME, BVA present a recent study of Morrocans residing in six European countries with the largest Moroccan immigrant communities. The study illuminates the perceptions and attitudes of the diverse communities of Moroccans in Europe in relation to their sociocultural lives and the relationship between the countries in which they reside and their country of origin. Conducted between March and April 2009, the survey gathered data from 3000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65.

The results of the study are significant on multiple fronts. Respondents indicated a willingness to be integrated within the European countries to which they migrated, while also expressing a solid attachment to sociocultural links with Morocco. On the whole, respondents indicated positive perceptions of their country of origin, although some individuals expressed criticisms against Morocco on grounds of women’s and human rights. Finally, respondents indicated perceptions of discrimination and inequality in relation to the willingness of European society to approve and accept their integration in social and cultural life.

The findings are presented by country in native languages for France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations

The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations is Gallup’s first report of public perceptions vis-à-vis people of different faiths. This analysis provides the reader with insight into the state of relations between people of different religions spanning four continents. The report also explores attitudes and perceptions among Muslims and the general public in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom about issues of coexistence, integration, values, identity, and radicalization.

Most Americans Want Better Relations with Muslim World

According to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, most Americans think that Barack Obama’’s pledge seeking “a new way forward” with the Muslim world is an important goal, even though many Americans still possess negative views about Islam; virtually half, 48%, said they have an unfavorable view of the religion.

The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans lack a familiarity with the Islam, with 55% saying they lacked a basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Islam. Additionally, most respondents noted that they did not know anyone who is Muslim.

Among polling divisions, the findings suggest that Republicans are more likely to hold negative views about Islam and Muslims, when compared to Democrats, and more Catholic respondents hold the view that Islam is a peaceful faith: 60%, when compared to 55% among Protestants, and 48% among white evangelical Protestants. Yet, the majority of all polled agreed that it is important for the new president to try to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

This Washington Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone in late March 2009, among a national random sample of 1,000 adults.

New Washington Post-ABC news poll: Most Americans want better relations with Muslim world

According to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, most Americans think that Barack Obama’’s pledge seeking “a new way forward” with the Muslim world is an important goal, even though many Americans still possess negative views about Islam; virtually half, 48%, said they have an unfavorable view of the religion.

The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans lack a familiarity with the Islam, with 55% saying they lacked a basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Islam. Additionally, most respondents noted that they did not know anyone who is Muslim.

Among polling divisions, the findings suggest that Republicans are more likely to hold negative views about Islam and Muslims, when compared to Democrats, and more Catholic respondents hold the view that Islam is a peaceful faith: 60%, when compared to 55% among Protestants, and 48% among white evangelical Protestants. Yet, the majority of all polled agreed that it is important for the new president to try to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

This Washington Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone in late March 2009, among a national random sample of 1,000 adults.