[Study: European Muslims Feel Shut Out, Time, December 16, 2009]
The recent Swiss referendum vote to ban the building of minarets seemed to confirm a trend: Europeans are becoming increasingly strident in their attempts to "protect" their culture against Islam. However, a newly published report by the Open Society Institute (OSI), a think tank set up by billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros, details the complex relationship between Muslims and non-Muslim Europeans and reveals that the suspicion is mutual. Muslims believe they are being shut out of European society.
Hello! "Protecting their culture against Islam" means defending Enlightenment values, including free speech (traditionally venerated by the press), representative government and individual rights (particularly those of women and gays, who are sometimes hanged in Islamic countries). In fact, Swiss women were major supporters of the minaret ban, eight percent more than men according to one poll.
About 20 million Muslims live in the European Union, mostly in capital cities and large industrial towns; they already make up 25% of the population in Marseilles, France, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands; 20% in Malm?¶, Sweden; 15% in Brussels and Birmingham, England; and 10% in London, Paris and Copenhagen. The report, published on Dec. 15, surveyed Muslims in 11 cities across the E.U. and found that 55% of respondents believed religious discrimination had risen in the past five years. And while many Muslims are a long-standing and integral part of the fabric of their cities, the report says they are still almost three times more likely to be unemployed than non-Muslims. But far from seeking out Islamic ghettos, many Muslim families appear desperately keen to integrate. "A lot of Muslims – especially parents – were sad they could not live in mixed neighborhoods, where they could experience diversity," says Tufyal Choudhury, lead author of the report.
Muslim immigrants are pining to "experience diversity" — how likely is that outside of the left's imaginary universe of idyllic multiculturalism?
The findings echo earlier research revealing hostility toward Muslims and other minority groups. The Fundamental Rights Agency report, released on Dec. 9, surveyed more than 23,000 individuals from ethnic minority and immigrant groups about their experiences of discrimination, racist crime and policing in the E.U. Minorities commonly face discrimination while looking for a job, shopping or visiting the doctor, according to the report, which labeled as "shocking" the racist, anti-immigrant and Islamophobic experiences of minorities as they go about their daily lives. A 2004 study by Sorbonne sociologist Jean-Fran?§ois Amadieu found that a standard r?©sum?© with a Muslim name was five times less likely to elicit an interview than the same r?©sum?© with a non-Muslim name.
In fact, a 2006 poll found a different result on the subject of accepting the society in which Muslims have settled: Poll reveals 40pc of Muslims want sharia law in UK. A Pew poll from that year showed still more negativity: Poll shows Muslims in Britain are the most anti-western in Europe. It's doubtful that basic attitudes have changed much in the intervening years.
Time's coverage of this issue is an attempt to normalize a hostile population that has come to conquer, not assimilate. Muslims residing in Europe have never stood up against terrorism; they do complain when their immediate comfort is threatened however.
The photo below is from the Time article, where one sign translates to "We are Muslims, not Hitler."
Which is funny, given the following: