New Book: Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France

This book addresses why some ethnic minority migrant groups have better economic and political integration outcomes than others. The central claim is that social integration leads to trade-offs with economic and political integration. The logic behind this claim is that socially segregated groups may have difficulties interacting with mainstream society but will have more capacity for group mobilization. That mobilization can improve economic and political integration. In comparison, socially integrated groups may have greater capacity to interact with mainstream society but also less likelihood of developing significant group mobilization resources. As a result, this can limit their economic and political integration outcomes. Rahsaan Maxwell develops this argument with evidence from Britain and France, claiming that similar group-level dynamics exist despite numerous national-level contextual differences, and provides a brief extension of the argument to the Netherlands and the United States.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims

In this timely work, Alexander Castilla deconstructs the myth of the so-called clash of Islam and democracy, and examines the forces involving the social integration and religious accommodation of Muslims in Catalonia, Spain during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and the March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks in Spain. In adapting to the pressures of globalization and to their own religiously plural, yet increasingly secular society, the Catalans sought to strike a delicate balance between the accommodation and integration of Muslims, while building on Catalonia’s nation building project which focused on the historical continuity of Catalan language and culture.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims defines how the claims of immigrant Muslims influence the ongoing construction of a Catalan national identity. It also explores the primary demands for religious accommodation which Muslims sought in the beginning of the 21st century and why it is necessary to separate political and religious powers. Looking at the role of Muslim religious leaders in the context of secular society is of particular significance because the contemporary issues surrounding the separation of politics and religion is far from being resolved not only in Catalonia, but also in greater Spain and in other European countries with significant Muslim communities such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland and France.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims represents the first comprehensive study in English about the social integration of Muslims living in Catalonia and combines an historical, socio-political and philosophical analysis about Islam and democracy and contributes to the literature on peace and security studies, as well as to studies of migration, citizenship and nationalism.

Published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, the book is now available on Amazon.com.

Muslim Life in Germany

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is presenting the first nationwide representative study, “Muslim Life in Germany”, comprising people from 49 Islamic countries and thus offering an extensive view of Muslim life throughout Germany.

The research commissioned by the Deutsche Islam Konferenz (DIK; hereinafter referred to as the German Conference on Islam) gives unprecedented insight into the diversity of Muslim life in Germany as people from different contexts of origin were questioned about religion in everyday life and about aspects of structural and social integration.

A total of 6,004 people aged 16 and above were surveyed by telephone; together with the information provided about other household members the analyzes are based on data of almost 17,000 people.

The study is in English.

Minister urges Turks to be more active by learning German

A Turkish minister underlined on Monday the importance of language in social integration. Turkey’s State Minister Mustafa Said Yazicioglu said that learning a language was important. “We are all aware of importance of learning a language, however it will be more beneficial if people learn a language in the country it is spoken,” Yazicioglu told a press conference in the German capital of Berlin. Yazicioglu earlier met German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Maria Bohmer, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. The Turkish minister said that Turkey wanted its citizens living in Germany to be active in the society, and therefore was encouraging them to learn German. Yazicioglu said that particularly Turkish young people living in Germany were unemployed, and it was possible to reduce unemployment among those people by learning German and having an occupation. Yazicioglu said that the Religious Affairs Turkish Islam Association was exerting efforts to be taken as an interlocutor in teaching of religion in Germany.

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Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is pleased to announce the release of the findings of its independent Task Force on the civic and political integration of Muslim Americans. “Strengthening America” calls for Muslims and non-Muslims to work together to create full and equal opportunities for Muslim Americans to participate in American civic and political life.

The Task Force, led by Farooq Kathwari, chairman and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., and Lynn Martin, former secretary of labor and congresswoman, brought together a group of thirty two distinguished Muslim and non-Muslim leaders to examine the Muslim American experience and provide a roadmap for accelerating Muslim American engagement.

The Task Force found that Muslim Americans are a well-educated, diverse group and concluded that their talents are needed to help address critical domestic and foreign policy challenges related to homeland security and U.S. relations with Muslim countries and peoples. There are opportunities for Muslim Americans to expand their contributions to national security and continue to take the lead in encouraging greater civic participation, leadership development, and institution building within their community. Non-Muslim groups and government leaders can work to better recognize Muslim American contributions to national security, improve collaborations with Muslim American institutions, and provide greater opportunities for young Muslim Americans.

For more information about the Task Force and its findings, including access to a downloadable version of the full report, please visit the Muslims Task Force page of the Chicago Council Web site.