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Benchmarking Muslim well-being in Europe

Benchmarking Muslim well-being in Europe: Reducing disparities and polarizations

Pamela Irving Jackson
Peter Doerschler
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  • Book Info
    Benchmarking Muslim well-being in Europe
    Book Description:

    This highly topical book aims to undermine unsubstantiated myths by examining Muslim integration in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, states which dominate the debate on minority integration and the practice of Muslim religious traditions. These nations have a range of alternative relationships between religion and the state, as well as strategies for coordinating individuals' ethnic and state identities. Using the European Parliament's benchmarking guidelines, surveys and other non-official data, the authors find that in some areas Muslims are in fact more integrated than popularly assumed and suggest that, instead of failing to integrate, Muslims find their access to integration blocked in ways that reduce their life chances in the societies in which they are now permanent residents. The book will have an impact on research and policy especially with the commencement of the EU-wide integration benchmarking effort and will be an excellent resource for researchers, academics and policy makers.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-888-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. iv-v)
  2. ONE Benchmarking the well-being of European Muslims
    (pp. 1-26)

    European agencies focused on stimulating research that draws attention to the situation of minorities have signalled that if Europe is to benefit fully from the intellectual and creative potential of its minorities, including its Muslims, the assumption that they fail to integrate must give way to efforts to reduce the ‘disparities’ and ‘polarizations’ between them and the non-minority population (European Parliament, 2007: 71). (See also ECRI (European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance), 2000; European Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2007, 2009; EUMC (European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia),2006.) Nonetheless, minority protection study agencies seeking to examine the circumstances of non-European...

  3. TWO State involvement in Muslim well-being
    (pp. 27-60)

    Despite their collaboration as key players in a united Europe, the nations examined differ in the degree of state involvement in immigrant integration. As a result, we can expect variation in both strength and form in their efforts to productively use benchmarking information on disparities between Muslims and non-Muslims. This chapter clarifies differences in the national role on key questions of the relationship between the individual and the civil society, and between religion and the state. At the end of the chapter, we provide information on each state’s Muslim population.

    European state involvement in minority integration policy does not refer...

  4. THREE European Muslims’ confidence in the justice system
    (pp. 61-80)

    Agencies of criminal justice (particularly police and the courts) have a key but underappreciated role to play in creating a comfortable and productive environment for European Muslims. The effectiveness and fairness of police, courts, prosecutors and other elements of the legal and justice system are important in promoting a sense of safety, order and reliability within the community and, in the extreme, in preventing violent outbursts of frustration. Examination of the catalysts for riots involving racial and ethnic minorities — for example, in Toxteth in 1981 and Brixton in 1980 (both in England), and outside of Paris in 2005 — consistently underscores...

  5. FOUR Muslims in European politics: support for democracy and trust in the political system
    (pp. 81-104)

    A core facet of individual well-being concerns one’s relationship to politics. Political attitudes such as support for democracy and trust in governmental institutions form the basis of legitimacy for democratic government while various forms of political participation illustrate citizens’ capacity to affect policy outcomes. Critics of the presence of Muslims in Europe posit (often without providing evidence) that they threaten the stability of democratic systems (cf. Sarrazin, 2010: 267). Those with vested interests in Europe may also fear that despite the small size of the religious minority, Muslims may dramatically affect European politics in the future. Recent figures estimate the...

  6. FIVE Muslims’ experiences of discrimination in public institutions
    (pp. 105-120)

    Despite European Muslims’ confidence in the political and justice systems in Europe and its member states, our examination of criminal justice data in Chapter Three highlighted the religious minority’s concerns about crime victimization. More than one data source indicated that Muslims were more worried than non–Muslims about the possibility of victimization and about antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhoods. Data on discrimination provided in this chapter underscore the picture of Muslims’ sense of relative unease in their European homes.

    In its report,Racist Violence in 15 Member States,the EUMC (European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia) (2005a) provides examples...

  7. SIX The general well-being of Muslims in Europe
    (pp. 121-142)

    The well–being of European Muslims is key to their ability to fully develop and apply their talents to the advantage of Europe and its member states. State level efforts to assess well–being have been promoted by David Cameron (Mulholland and Watt, 2010) and Nicholas Sarkozy (Stiglitz, Sen and Fitoussi, 2009), and are also evident in Germany (Gjoksi, 2010) and the Netherlands (de Jonge, 2009), as we discussed in Chapter Two. These are being considered in tandem with the European benchmarking discussions (European Parliament, 2007). In the spirit of these projects, we examine in this chapter the life satisfaction...

  8. SEVEN Reducing disparities and polarizations in Europe
    (pp. 143-168)

    Setting up a System of Benchmarking to Measure the Success of Integration Policies in Europe(European Parliament, 2007) proposes an effort to build on the strengths of Europe by protecting diversity and fostering greater equality. Whether or not a Europe–wide benchmarking system is actually put into place, states and European agencies are moving in this direction as they develop complex sets of indicators alternative to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We have applied the goals and strategies of the benchmarking concept to the task of examining the well–being of Muslims in four European states, focusing on the eight...

  9. Appendix 1 ESS variables
    (pp. 169-174)
  10. Appendix 2: Descriptives of variables from ALLBUS (2008)
    (pp. 175-176)