Number of Muslims in France Largely Overestimated [PDF Download]

The French and British greatly overestimated the number of Muslims in their countries, according to a study by the Ipsos Mori Institute, which found similar results in many European countries. The Institute published its “Index of Ignorance,” a survey conducted in 14 countries about the public’s perception concerning sensitive issues.

The survey’s results were first published in The Guardian, and shows that citizens in 14 countries overestimated the size of their countries’ Muslim population.

In France, those interviewed believed that 31% of the population was Muslim, while the actual figure is only 8%. In Britain, the actual percentage is 5% but those interviewed believed 21% of the country was Muslim. The overvaluation is “23 points in Belgium, 16 points in Italy, 13 points in Germany and 4 points in Poland.”

Switzerland is not included in the survey. The study also demonstrated erroneous beliefs about “immigration in general,” and adolescent pregnancy.

[DOWNLOAD:Ipsos Mori Infographic (English)]

Integration through Sports – A young multicultural German team

June 8

 

“Multi-culti” is a vital aspect of the German national team, which is going to compete with 15 other nations for the 2012European football championship in Poland and Ukraine. The selection of seven players with a “migration background” by Head coach Joachim Löw is a living example for successful integration.

 

In earlier statements, Federal chancellor Angela Merkel had declared multiculturalism as a failed concept for German society. Nevertheless, the presence of players such as Mesud Özil, Lukas Podolski, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira und Ilkay Gündoğan, shows that players with different backgrounds to be able to integrate in a successful German team. Head coach Löw defended his players when the media questioned the identification feeling of some players, who would refuse to sing the German national anthem. In fact, these players have proven their belonging feeling in previous matches and if other German players like Cacao, who is a religious Christian, would celebrate their goals in praying to Jesus, the first player to congratulate and hug them would be the Muslim Mesud Özil.

Book: The New Muslim Elites in European Cities

The New Muslim Elites in European Cities: Religion and Active SocialCitizenship Amongst Young Organized Muslims in Brussels and London

Islam in Western Europe ceases to be a religion of immigrants and is beginning to emerge as a religion of European born citizens. As a result of the acts of violence committed by Muslim believers on the continent and elsewhere there has been increased focus on Muslims in Europe, however, very little attention has been paid to the exploration of various dimensions of citizenship of young European Muslims. The book aims to fill this gap by uncovering what the emerging Muslim religious brokers or members of the new Muslim elites mean when they describe themselves as ‘Muslim citizens’ and by exploring relations between Islam and citizenship in two urban/national settings: one in which Muslims are mostly perceived as individuals (Brussels/Belgium) and one in which they are usually viewed as members of religious, ethnic or other social groups (London/Britain). It argues that the shift in the mobilisation of Islam in Europe from a politics of Muslim identity to the politics of Muslim citizenship is closely linked with the development of a civic consciousness among certain segments of the Muslim populations. The book is a must read for all students of European societies and their ‘Islams’.
FROM THE REVIEW of Prof. Jørgen S. Nielsen (Centre for EuropeanIslamic Thought, University of Copenhagen)
The author has carried out a meticulous study of Muslim elites in Brussels and London. The data collected is analyzed in great detail. Besides, the work proves that the writer is very well acquainted with Islamic history and doctrines and social science theories.
There is much good to say about the theoretical parts of the manuscript. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of both the importance of urban environments and the sociological discussions of identity. Both discussions proved that the writer has an in-depth knowledge of these subjects and masters relevant theories so well that new and relevant perspectives are produced.
The analytical parts are well-written and the author does his utmost to tease out every single drop of information available in his interviews. The main contribution of the manuscript lies in its original theoretical framework and its comparative focus. In this respect the author deserves credit for collecting data in two cities in two different countries. The focus on citizenship and its various forms is also valuable and original. I will rank the manuscript within the top 50% of works in the field.
The work is useful both for students and researchers focusing on Muslim minorities in Europe, immigrant populations and minorities, national and transnational identity formations and citizenship in action. The work can also of value to policy makers, politicians and media people, creating a better understanding of the role that younger generations of Muslims in Europe seek to play, what their resources are and where they experience stumbling blocks of integration and fruitful co-existence.

BIOS
Konrad PĘDZIWIATR is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Tischner European University (Poland). He holds a PhD in Social Science from the Katholieke Universiteit Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) where he worked as a researcher between 2004-2008. His previous appointments include Department of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Bradford and Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. His recent publications include ‘The New Muslim Elites in European Cities: Religion and Active Social Citizenship Amongst Young Organized Muslims in Brussels and London’ (2010, VDM) and ‘From the Islam of Immigrants to the Islam of Citizens: Muslims in the Countries of Western Europe’ (2005, 2007, Nomos). He published on different dimensions of the Muslim presence in Europe in ‘European Judaism’ (2008), ‘Social Compass’ (2007, 2011) and the ‘ISIM Newsletter’ (2006). He is editor of the biggest web portal in Poland devoted to the Middle Eastern and Muslim issues www.Arabia.pl and the National Coordinator of the EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel).

ADDRESS: Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, TischnerEuropean University, ul. Westerplatte 11, 31-033 Kraków, Poland.[email: k.pedziwiatr@gmail.com]

 

Fifty Percent of Europeans Think of Islam As a Religion of Intolerance, Study Finds

11 March 2011

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a social democratic foundation, has published a report on right-wing extremism, intolerance and discrimination in Europe. Supremacy against particular groups is a widespread phenomenon in the eight European countries that the study focussed on (Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Hungary). Several racists statements found strong agreement among the participants, e.g. around fifty percent claim their country hosts too many immigrants, between 17% (Netherlands) and 70% (Poland) supported anti-Semitic statements, a third believes in a natural hierarchy between ethnicities. Islam also plays a large role, with 50% of participants claiming that it is a religion of intolerance.

Germany’s Team for South Africa: The Multicultural Squad

Of the 23 players representing Germany at the World Cup, 11 have foreign backgrounds. More than half of the outfield players selected by Joachim Loew were either born outside Germany themselves, or have a non-German parent. The squad has roots in eight different countries — nine when Germany’s included.

According to the most up-to-date figures from the Federal Statistics Office, one in five people living in Germany in 2008 was of foreign descent. From the total of 15.9 million with roots abroad, 2.9 million were from Turkey. Two likely starters for the national team at the World Cup — Serdar Tasci and Mesut Oezil — both have Turkish parents. “A gift for German football,” was how Joachim Loew described Oezil. It works both ways. The sport plays a leading role in a successfully multicultural society today. Germany hopes to reap the rewards with its ethnically-diverse team on the pitch in South Africa.

Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Piotr Trochowski were born in Poland, and moved across the border as children. All have been part of Germany’s international set-up for years. Youngster Marko Marin was born in war-struck Bosnia-Herzegovina. His parents moved to Frankfurt when he was two, and, when he came of age, Marin decided on a German passport. Mario Gomez was born in Baden-Wuerttemberg, but his father comes from Spain. Gomez is likely to miss out on a place in Germany’s attack, in favour of an in-form Brazilian-born striker nicknamed “Helmut.” More commonly known as Cacau, he was born in Sao Paulo province, and moved to German lower-league football ten years ago. Cacau became a German citizen in 2009, and the call from Joachim Loew came quickly. “I am glad that Germany has adopted me,” he said. “My whole mindset is German.”

European Conditions: Findings of a Study On Group-Focused Enmity in Europe

The Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence has conducted a Europe-wide study on prejudices and enmity against various social groups. The representative study saw 8000 participants (1000 people respectively in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Hungary). They were interviewed about their view on Islam, homosexuality, immigration, an alleged “hierarchy between white and black people” or the allegedly “strong influence of Jews”. About fifty percent agreed to the statement that Islam was a religion of intolerance.

Many of the prejudices are shared in the different European countries, although the degree to which people agree, varies. Generally, stronger prejudices are held in Poland and Hungary, while the Netherlands and Britain showed the lowest. The longitudinal study of Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Andreas Zick and their research team is a first in its European-wide approach.

European Conditions: Findings of a Study on Group-Focused Enmity in Europe

The Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence has conducted a Europe-wide study on prejudices and enmity against various social groups. The representative study saw 8000 participants (1000 people respectively in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Hungary). They were interviewed about their view on Islam, homosexuality, immigration, an alleged “hierarchy between white and black people” or the allegedly “strong influence of Jews”. About fifty percent agreed to the statement that Islam was a religion of intolerance.

Many of the prejudices are shared in the different European countries, although the degree to which people agree, varies. Generally, stronger prejudices are held in Poland and Hungary, while the Netherlands and Britain showed the lowest. The longitudinal study of Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Andreas Zick and their research team is a first in its European-wide approach.

Study reveals prejudices against Islam all over Europe

The Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence has conducted a Europe-wide study on prejudices and enmity against various social groups. The representative study saw 8000 participants (1000 people respectively in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Hungary). They were interviewed about their view on Islam, homosexuality, immigration, an alleged “hierarchy between white and black people” or the allegedly “strong influence of Jews”. About fifty percent agreed to the statement that Islam was a religion of intolerance.

Many of the prejudices are shared in the different European countries, although the degree to which people agree, varies. Generally, stronger prejudices are held in Poland and Hungary, while the Netherlands and Britain showed the lowest. The longitudinal study of Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Andreas Zick and their research team is a first in its European-wide approach.

Socialists lose in European Parliament

With the lowest turnout figures in European Parliament elections since 1979, the fear that racist and far-right parties would sweep the European elections did not materialise, although in the Netherlands, Austria, Britain and Hungary, they were quite successful. In Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Poland and Bulgaria, racist and far-right parties did worse than expected. In the UK for the first time two members of the right wing British National Party (BNP) were elected.

US asks Germany to take 10 Guantánamo inmates

The US government has officially asked Germany to accept as many as 10 inmates from the Guantánamo Bay prison, handing over a list to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office and the Foreign Ministry. The request was made last week during a visit by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who spent four days in Europe talking to top judicial and interior officials from the European Union about how President Barack Obama intended to close the prison within the year. “A specific request has been made,” a German Interior Ministry spokesman said Sunday. After his talks in Berlin, Mr. Holder said Wednesday that 30 inmates could be freed immediately if a host country would be willing to take them in. In all, about 50 of the 241 inmates cannot be sent back to their own countries because they may be tortured or face the death penalty there. In an apparent contradiction to the Interior Ministry, Mr. Holder had added that no “specific requests” or “specific promises” had been made. The German interior and foreign ministries said Daniel Fried, a senior diplomat and a member of Mr. Holder’s team, had presented the list. Mr. Fried, who has been the assistant secretary of state for European affairs and is a former ambassador to Poland, is now Washington’s top diplomat dealing with the closing of the Guantánamo prison. The issue has divided the German government. Mrs. Merkel’s conservatives are in no hurry to accept any former inmates, fearing that they could pose a security threat. The Social Democrats, Mrs. Merkel’s coalition partners, are more eager to accept them, for moral reasons but also because they want to give the Obama administration tangible help. Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister and a member of Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, discussed with Mr. Holder in detail the logistics of taking in any inmates. Mr. Schäuble has always made it clear that the United States has primary responsibility for the inmates, because it opened the camp after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But in recent weeks, Mr. Schäuble also said Germany might consider taking some detainees, under certain conditions.

Washington Post