March 18 2011
An article in the most recent edition of social science magazine Mens & Maatschappij (Man and Society) claims that the greater the ethnic diversity in Amsterdam neighborhoods, the lower the sense of well being of its residents. The article claims that “a higher number of non-Western immigrants leads to a reduced sense of security and well-being among residents. A larger number of Western immigrants leads to an increased trust in the quality of life and future of the neighborhood”. The article is written by three researchers basing their conclusions on existing data bases.
The provided summary of the abstract reads, “This research investigates whether Robert Putnam’s (2007) well-known findings on the negative influence of ethnic diversity on social cohesion hold in Amsterdam. In the present study neighbourhood trust is the measure of social cohesion. Using data from the ‘Living in Amsterdam’ monitor ( Wonen in Amsterdam, 2007 ), multilevel analysis shows that neighbourhood trust is lower in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the percentage of first generation non-Western immigrants and second generation non-Western immigrants is also negatively related to neighbourhood trust. The percentage of second generation non-Western immigrants affects neighbourhood trust more strongly than the presence of first generation non-Western immigrants. In addition, the effect on neighbourhood trust differs for various non-Western ethnic groups. Neighbourhood trust is higher in neighbourhoods with a large percentage of immigrants from the Dutch Antilles and trust is lower in neighbourhoods with a higher presence of Moroccans.”
This study by the French-American Foundation (New York) and France’s “Sciences-Po” (Institut d’études politiques de Paris) offers conclusive evidence that there is religious discrimination in the French labor market. Researchers led by David Laitin (Stanford University) concluded that the study is “unambiguous in finding significant religious discrimination against Muslims in at least one job sector in France.” The research was conducted by Stanford Professor, David D. Laitin, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with French research firm, ISM-CORUM.
The study surveyed more than 500 second-generation Senegalese Muslims and Christians. The survey showed that the Muslims suffer a significant economic disadvantage. After controlling for other factors, such as education, the researchers concluded that the disadvantage could not be explained by any factor other than religious heritage.
The researchers next conducted a “correspondence test,” creating employment CVs for three fictional job-seekers with differing religious and national signals, one an apparently French-indigenous individual, one a French-Senegalese with a Christian given name and one a French-Senegalese with a Muslim given name. The CVs were then sent in pairs, one from the “French” applicant and the other from either the “Christian” or “Muslim” applicant, in response to advertised positions at 300 French companies. The results showed clearly that the “Christian” job applicant was more than twice as likely to receive a call back as the “Muslim” applicant.
Study Gives Conclusive Evidence of Anti-Muslim Discrimination in French Labor Market | IslamToday – English
David D. Laitin, Invited Professor in 2009-2010 | French American Foundation
November 25 2010
According to the latest integration report from the national statistics office CBS, second generation immigrants from non-western countries are more likely to consider themselves Dutch than their parents. Second generation immigrants constitute more than half of the non-western immigrants in the country.
A recent conference brought together the Ministry of the Interior, Maria Fekter, as well as a migration expert from the OECD, in order to speak about the prospects for upward social mobility and the integration of “second-generation immigrants” in Austria. However, the conference soon turned into a forum for unqualified statements and “provocative” questions, such as “how to punish parents who are unwilling to integrate?” The conference continued in a similar fashion, passing through “success stories” in the form of personal anecdotes, and including the ubiquitous question: “does Islam impede integration?”
The issue of the actual state of affairs for the “second generation” in the workplace, and the concrete ways by which this question might be addressed, were never brought up. Similarly to the general debate on integration in Austria, erroneous questions attempting to expose the ostensible ethnic and cultural obstacles to integration have prevented a constructive discussion on the solution of a social problem.
Two hundred imams gathered for the second annual RMF (Rassemblement des musulmans de France) colloquium June 5th and 6th. Presiding over the conference, Anouar Kbibech noted that, “Imams must get to know each other better and that we raise the difficulties they encounter on the ground,” including questions related to ritual slaughtering, the burqa and niqab, the organization of funerals and homophobia.
CFCM president and vice-president of the RMF, Mohammed Moussaoui noted that these subjects were also difficult to address when only approximately one-third of French imams speak French with ease, and few among the second generation of French Muslims speak Arabic. Another issue is that only approximately 20% of them are employed full-time by their mosque or from their country of origin, making only minimum wage.
According to a survey conducted by the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (http://www.ccme.org.ma/) that Moroccan immigrants to Europe are the least happy in the Netherlands. NRC reports that, according to the survey, “the relationship between society as a whole and second generation immigrants is ‘significantly more tense’” than in the other countries surveyed. Conducted in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, the survey also indicated that in the Netherlands children are more likely than their parents to actively practice religion. The news follows a recent poll by NCRV television indicating that many Dutch Muslims may consider leaving the Netherlands due to the rise in support for politician Geert Wilders.
The issue of identity has been the chief unifying concern of diverse immigrant Muslim populations in America. Now,in the post 9/11 world, this became the chief unifying concern of the all Western societies. Religion appears to be the essential factor influencing the second generation Muslim adolescents¿identity development and their integration into American society. How does second generation Muslims in the US identify themselves? How successfully do they integrate into the mainstream of American society? To what extent does religion influence this process? Very little is known about how they deal with their identity questions and how they more fully integrate or negotiate their multiple allegiances. This study will give you a glimps from the struggle that these young people experience between two conflicting worldviews in order to find their own niche in life. (Courtesy of Publisher)
New Italian magazine, “Yalla Italia” (Let’s Go, Italy) written predominantly by second generation immigrants, has been launched with the aim to introduce Italians to diverse cultures taking root in the country, and help Muslim immigrants navigate their dual identities. Yalla Italia’s chief editor, Martino Pillitteri, said that he saw the differences between his mission and that of Italian conservatives, as symbolic of the divide in Italy’s Muslim population – “one vision driving toward the past, the other driving toward the future,” he says.
The magazine’s launch thus counters what he believes is a very one-dimensional view of Muslims in the Italian media – one that focuses too much on radicals and suspected terrorist, and is saturated with negativity. For the most part, the magazine’s emphasis is not political and does not try to preach change – but aims to encourage mutual understanding. Yalla Italia was first published in May, 2007, and appears as a monthly insert of Vita – a magazine geared towards the nonprofit sector, and has a circulation of 36,000. Of the magazine’s demographics, “Immigrants are not just people who wash ashore on a beach. We pay taxes, participate in society, strive to integrate. We are the future of Italy, and we want to be protagonists of that future,” says Ouejdane Mejri, a contributor to Yalla Italia.
“How much do you get paid?” This is the first question I am asked by many of the A-level students I meet as part of a Muslim mentoring programme for schools in underprivileged areas of North London. Although they ask with a cheeky smirk, in the eyes of many of the students a satisfactory answer would cement my credibility as a mentor. Most are of Somali, Pakistani and Bengali origin, and the mentoring scheme kicks off in their first year of A-level study with the purpose of helping to motivate the students academically by providing successful examples of the fruits of a good education. If they make enough money, that is. Upon closer acquaintance, it appears that most of the students need very little academic motivation. They are second-generation immigrants whose families encourage them to perform and go to university in order to secure a good job and a healthy livelihood. If anything, they need motivation to take up more extra-curricular activities and be more involved with pursuits that would allow them to explore their talents and personal aptitudes. Every single one of the students in the programme was planning to enrol in either a science or maths-based discipline (except one girl, who wanted to study English and asked sheepishly whether an English degree would help her secure a lucrative role in today’s job market). Nesrine Malik reports.
Court proceedings in the trial against the alleged producers of an al-Qaeda-promoting threat video, billed Austria’s first case of Islamist terrorism, were adjourned on Thursday until March 12. Two defendants, Mohamed M. and his wife Mona S., aged 22 and 21, face charges of membership in a terrorist organization, having allegedly planned bomb attacks in Austria during the upcoming European football tournament and against European politicians, and producing an Islamist threat video distributed on the internet. Prosecutors have accused the two second-generation migrants of a Middle Eastern background of membership of the al-Qaeda terrorist network and of spreading terrorist ideology and goals in the German- speaking world. Mohamed M. denied all charges and told the court that he played a key role in the release of Hannelore Krause, a German citizen abducted in Iraq together with her son, Sinan. He told the jury he contacted the abductors via the Global Islamic Media Front, an internet platform where he was a member, and advised them that the abduction of women painted a bad picture of Islam. His advice was heeded shortly afterwards, the defendant said. Hannelore Krause was released in July 2007 while her son remains in captivity.