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Muslim Integration in Europe: Stereotypical Views and Documented Facts

Popovici, Carolina

The integration of Muslims into the European society is one of the most critical issues facing Europe today. The way this process evolves will determine the direction, development and stability of the entire Continent. The issue preoccupies both the scholarly community, politics and the popular culture. With a media not immune to prejudicial attitudes about Muslims in Europe, the Continent has plunged into an atmosphere of tension and is fraught with a sense of deep insecurity. The atrocious terrorist attacks perpetrated there by Islamic terrorists and even those simply of Muslim heritage casts a heavy suspicion on Europe’s entire Muslim minority, exacerbating their situation and projecting a disquieting future for Europe. This paper examines the way various sources of information address the issue of Muslims in Europe in order to asses as accurately as possible their real situation. It elaborates on the multifaceted aspects of Muslim integration, focusing on the community’s heterogeneity, religious and ethnic identity and its relations with the state. The paper also builds on the most recent available statistical data and surveys to provide a more realistic evaluation of the wellbeing of Muslims in Europe. The paper also explores the complexity of the issue of religiosity and secularity and the role of Muslims in the rethinking and defining the boundaries of a European public space. Finally, a comparative analysis between the French and British approach to Muslim integration is made which delineates their differences and commonalities and the way the integration policies of these two major countries hosting the biggest Muslim minorities in Europe influence the situation of Muslims today.

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Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Barkan, Elazar
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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