Why do so called second generation ‘social climbers’, identify with their ethnicity? When do these adult children of immigrants, who reached high educated
levels, identify in ethnic terms and why? How do their identifications develop over time?
Many in the Netherlands wonder why children of immigrants, especially when they are higher educated, ‘still’ identify with their ethnicity, and why some of them ‘still’ have friends with the same ethnic background. Such co-ethnic orientation is often interpreted as an expression of segregation and as unwillingness to ‘integrate’. Does his view do justice to the experiences of these individuals?
In her research, Marieke Slootman focuses on this theme of ethnic identification. Furthermore, she considers the analytical use of the terms identity and ethnicity, and explores the possibilities of Mixed Methods research. She recently finished her dissertation, titled: Soulmates. Reinvention of ethnic identification among higher educated second generation Moroccan and Turkish Dutch. (English and Dutch summary can be downloaded below).
“They live in a permanent schizophrenia. At home they are criticized because they are westernized and on the street they do not feel integrated. ” It ‘s the definition that Army Captain Julian Holguin applies to the second generation of Muslims that are socially vulnerable and in danger of falling into jihadi networks.
He describes the frustration of these teenagers after the study he carried out in Murcia on the risk of radicalization of children of Moroccan immigrants.
The result of this survey, which has sampled 92 young people from 18 years , is that 6.5 % of respondents showed high risk of jihadist radicalization by a number of factors: social frustration, identity crisis, impulse, school failure and the lack of job prospects. When these circumstances occur there is a high risk of being recruited by Islamist groups. “They have experienced school failure, can not find a job and a sense of creeping political alienation . If you are captured by recruiters, they will come with the message that the West is against Islam and they see the war on terrorism as a battle against their religion.
The places of worship are a source of wisdom , serenity and peace in which man realizes his infinite smallness. The places of worship are also spaces of encounter and confrontation between different cultures and faiths, as shown by the girls and boys in the Italian Association of Young Muslims, who organized moments of depth and knowledge on cultural and religious elements of Islam , also opening the doors of mosques in Turin to citizens through the initiative “Open Mosque.” “After the visit, the dozens of people who have followed us have looked at the world with a different position” says Ayoub Cherkawoui, coordinator of the Association of Piedmont. Periodically, we perform the same guided tour and reception with the primary schools in the territory, to explain the similarities and differences between religions and debunk many clichés. At first the children are quiet and a bit ‘intimidated,’ but then curiosity takes over and they ask many questions.”
Seminars and workshops The fourth edition of the annual gathering of the Young Muslims of the Northwest of Italy has dealt with important issues from a new perspective. The one who is torn between two cultures but feels as if they belong inseparably to their country of origin: Italy. An important meeting focused on the status of second generation immigrants (those born in Italy or those who were brought as children), orientation to the university and educational choices, the new world of work and university courses offered by the territory of Turin and Piedmont. “The family is the country of the heart” Giuseppe Mazzini wrote in his book The Duties of Man. The festival has dedicated an evening to review the knowledge and dialogue about the meaning of family and hospitality in other countries.
Open Mosque Turin has assumed the role of a city of exchange, a multi-ethnic place where cultures and religions come together and blend to a sometimes difficult but often constructive coexistence. Through dialogue and discussion, the true spirit of certain neighborhoods such as San Salvario is interfaith. The neighborhood is the reference point for historical and religious minorities and now includes new faiths brought to Turin by migrants. With curiosity and desire to discuss, young Muslims have accompanied the people of Turin to discover other places of worship.
Young, Muslim and Italian “Our thoughts tend to seek a balance between realism and faith to give young Muslims every reason to believe in a better future, to avoid extremism and to demonstrate to our society the true face of the majority of Muslims, a friendly face that is not the enemy” says Ayoub Cherkawoui “And ‘essential,’ therefore, for us young Muslims in Italy feel that they have a dual identity, that of their family and their origins, and that they have gained by living and growing up in Italy . This can be seen as wealth, but it can also be the cause of deep divides.”
Amsterdam’s city council will stop using the terminology “autochtoon” and “allochtoon” to identify citizens. “Allochtoon” refers to first or second generation migrants, as well as third generation Dutch with at least one grandparent who is an immigrant. In colloquial discourse “allochtoon” refers to those of non-western ethnic heritage and “autochtoon” to autochthnous or ethnic Dutch. The council is eradicating the term on the basis that it promotes a division between “them and us”. With the change, a “foreign Amsterdammer” will now be defined as someone born abroad, or whose parents were born abroad. This is not the first attempt to shift the use of the problematic terminology, which is prolific not only in Amsterdam’s city council but throughout the nation and in popular discourse.
Dutch Muslims are visiting mosques in the Netherlands at least once a week, according to a survey conducted by the national policy unit SCP. While the previous SCP survey in 2004 suggested a decrease in religiosity among the country’s Muslims, this most recent update suggests that this is no longer the case, particularly among Muslims of Moroccan origin (a population in which the number of mosque-attending individuals rose from 9% to 33% from 1998-2011).
According to the SCP, second generation Muslims who worship regularly feel a stronger bond with their family homeland than with the Netherlands.
According to a survey conducted by sociologist Lagrange, the practice of young French Muslims is on the rise.
Muslims between 18 and 35 years old tend to be more observants than the first or second generation of immigrant Muslims
They are also more assertive of their Muslim identity.
Such results are at odds with the dominant trend of decline of religiosity observed among other faith groups in France.
The reasons for such a rise are open to debate.
Vancouver Sun – May 30, 2012
Multi-faith Metro Vancouver is a place of high rates of intermarriage and inter-ethnic dating. Islam, now the second largest religion in Canada, teaches that it is sinful for Muslim women, but not Muslim men, to marry outside the faith.
Professor Yvonne Haddad, a prominent Islamic scholar at the University of Massachussets, says that Canadian census figures, which are far more detailed than U.S. census data, reveal the extent of the marriage threat to North America’s roughly two million Muslim women. Statistics Canada census data shows that roughly 30 per cent of Canadian Muslim women marry non-Muslim men, says Haddad.
Children are the crux of the Muslim law against women marrying outside the faith. Islam teaches that Muslim identity is transferred through the father. That makes it all right for Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women, because they don’t pass on the faith.
“There is a lot of heartache if a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim,” says Fehmida Khan, president of the Canadian Muslim Women’s Association. She explains that Muslim imams and other religious officials won’t talk to non-Muslims about difficulties followers have with marriage.
Only about four per cent of foreign-born Muslim women in Canada will intermarry, says Hassan Hamdani, a Muslim researcher who studies Muslim demographics through his job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa. But evidence of second-generation Muslims embracing Canadians’ openness to intermarriage is strong, Hamdani says. Almost 40 per cent of Canadian-born Muslim families consist of a Muslim wife and non-Muslim husband.
The Muslim community in the Murcia region consists of more than 90,000 citizens coming from the most varied backgrounds and sharing a desire: to improve their level of integration. This is one of the conclusions reached by the official of the Municipality of Murcia, Teresa Martin Melgarejo, one of the most active Murcian citizen working at social networks and civic organizations, and who has spent the last two years of her life living with a collective, socially stigmatized community in Spain. The result is a photographic work, entitled ‘Muslims, our neighbors’, and coordinated by Monica Lozano, Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Murcia, who has earned, by popular vote, the first prize of the first Festival of Photography organized by the Cienojos Collective and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Apart from worshipers in mosques, Teresa Martin has portrayed the leaders of Islamic communities, young Spanish speakers learning Arabic, traders in the district of San Andrés, doctors in hospitals and health centers, cultural mediators, butchers, cooks, pharmacists, nurses, journalists, lawyers, farmers, housewives … Curiously she also discovered Muslims who do not practice their religion. “An estimated 18% of the so-called second-generation Muslims born in Spain do not practice their religion. “
Bombings in London, riots in Paris, terrorists in Germany, fury over mosques, veils and cartoons–such headlines underscore the tensions between Muslims and their European hosts. Did too much immigration, or too little integration, produce Muslim second-generation anger? Is that rage imported or spawned inside Europe itself? What do the conflicts between Muslims and their European hosts portend for an America encountering its own angry Muslims?
Europe’s Angry Muslims traces the routes, expectations and destinies of immigrant parents and the plight of their children, transporting both the general reader and specialist from immigrants’ ancestral villages to their strange new-fangled enclaves in Europe. It guides readers through Islamic nomenclature, chronicles the motive force of the Islamist narrative, offers them lively portraits of jihadists (a convict, a convert, and a community organizer) takes them inside radical mosques and into the minds of suicide bombers. The author interviews former radicals and security agents, examines court records and the sermons of radical imams and draws on a lifetime of personal experience with militant movements to present an account of the explosive fusion of Muslim immigration, Islamist grievance and second-generation alienation.
Robert Leiken shines an unsentimental and yet compassionate light on Islam’s growing presence in the West, combining in-depth reporting with cutting-edge and far-ranging scholarship in an engaging narrative that is both moving and mordant. Leiken’s nuanced and authoritative analysis–historical, sociological, theological and anthropological–warns that “conflating rioters and Islamists, folk and fundamentalist Muslims, pietists and jihadis, immigrants and their children is the method of strategic incoherence–‘in the night all cats are black.'”
Peter Beyer, a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, has conducted a study to gather insights from about 350 second-generation Canadians aged 18 to 30 through 36 focus groups in Sydney, N.S., Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. Muslim young adults attributed the discrimination they felt to racial or cultural prejudices rather than religious issues, saying they felt they could follow their faith unfettered in Canada. “They feel that they’re perfectly free to practise Islam here in Canada, unlike some of the Christians who feel that their ability to practise their religion is restricted in this country,” Prof. Beyer said. “But they did feel Islamophobia.”
Second-generation Canadians are both optimistic and critical of the concept of multiculturalism in Canada, he said. They believe integrating and learning from each other could be a hugely positive experience that too often turns into immigrant communities living in “silos” side by side -and they blame their immigrant parents, not the rest of society, for that.