MINELRES: Open Society Institute releases new major report: "Muslims in Europe"

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Apr 8 15:13:02 2010

Original sender: AtHome InEurope <athomeineurope@osi.hu>

New Report from the Open Society Institute:


17 March 2010

The Open Society Institute announces the publication of a major new
report on the level and nature of integration of Muslims in 11 cities
across Western Europe. 

Muslims in Europe is a comparative analysis of research undertaken by
the At Home in Europe Project, a recently established initiative of the
Open Society Institute. The project works to advance and promote
sustainable social inclusion of minority and marginalised groups in
Western Europe. Through its research and engagement with policymakers
and communities, the At Home in Europe project is studying issues which
explore the political, social, and economic participation of Muslims and
other marginalized groups at the local level. 

Muslims in Europe points out common trends and offers recommendations
aimed at local, national and European level policy makers. While not
representative of the situation of all Muslims in these cities, the
report captures a snapshot of the specific and common experiences of
Muslim communities in select neighborhoods in Amsterdam, Antwerp,
Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leicester, London, Marseille, Paris,
Rotterdam and Stockholm. 

Monitoring and Advocacy: Responding to Contemporary Urban Challenges

Whether citizens or migrants, native born or newly-arrived, Muslims are
a growing and varied population that presents Europe with one of its
greatest challenges, namely how to ensure equal rights and opportunities
for all in a climate of rapidly expanding diversity.

Based on existing academic and policy literature, face to face in-depth
interviews with Muslim and non-Muslim residents in the 11 comparable
cities, focus groups and a number of expert interviews in each city, the
report documents daily experiences of residents and their interaction
with their city, neighbours, local government and others  it outlines
how some cities engage with and consult its Muslim and minority

Muslims in Europe forms part of a 12 reports series on Muslims in EU
Cities. Individual city reports will be published from April 2010 and
include recommendations to local and national policymakers, civil
society and communities.

The findings from Muslims in Europe include the following:

 The OSI research challenges the myth of segregation and alienation and
reveals a much more positive picture of integration at the local level  

 Among Muslims surveyed in the 11 cities, 61% have a strong sense of
belonging to the country and 72% a strong sense of belonging to the city

 The needs and experiences of Muslims and non-Muslims are largely the
same. Across all 11 cities surveyed, daily concerns centre around the
need for better quality of education, improved housing, cleaner streets,
and tackling antisocial behaviour and crime

 Over 70 per cent of all eligible Muslims surveyed in the 11 cities
voted in local and national elections

 50% of all Muslim respondents who identify themselves with the country
where they live believe that they are not seen as belonging to that
country by wider society

 50% of Muslim respondents compared to 9% of non-Muslims reported
experiencing religious discrimination at some point over the last 12

Some of the recommendations include: 

 EU statistical agencies and projects should collect accurate data on
minorities to support evidence-based policies to facilitate integration
and combat discrimination 

 Local policy makers should develop municipal campaigns that emphasise
a common and inclusive city identity as an effective way to increase
cohesion and belonging. Amsterdam, Antwerp and Copenhagen are three
cities which have initiated such campaigns with success

 City officials must strive to maintain neighbourhoods that are
ethnically and religiously mixed, and ensure that discrimination is not
a barrier for Muslims and other minorities when choosing where to live

To receive a copy of the report, please write to Csilla Toth

For further information about the At Home in Europe Project and upcoming
city reports and advocacy projects, please visit
www.soros.org/initiatives/home or contact Csilla Toth

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