Muslim communities successfully integrating

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Despite anxiety from the public and politicians, Muslim ethnic minority communities have been integrating into British and German cities for some time, according to research by Dr Sarah Hackett. Her findings are presented at the NORFACE Migration Conference at University College London this week.


The ESRC is one of 15 research councils across Europe forming the NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Co-operation in Europe) partnership.

Dr Hackett's study examined the impact of Britain's relatively liberal immigration policy and Germany's rigid guest-worker rotation system on the long-term integration of Muslim immigrants in local communities. She compared the level of integration of the South Asian community in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with that of the Turkish community in Bremen from the 1960s onwards, looking specifically at employment, housing and education.

She found that employment and housing patterns have often led to cohesion, integration and multiculturalism within both cities' neighbourhoods. According to the study's findings, Muslim migrants in both cities have long been able to achieve their employment and housing ambitions – often in the form of running businesses, owning their own homes and forming neighbourhoods. Their success has often been the result of interaction and in-depth understanding of their local surroundings and the indigenous population.


continue to source article at esrc.ac.uk

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  1. “The conference is co-funded by the European Union and the NORFACE Migration Programme.” http://www.norface-migration.org

    Well, I can’t wait to read the paper, I might be amazed. Just recently I heard of a psychologists’ conference on whether p-values weren’t holding the field back and were they really all that necessary … but let’s not be mean to them.

    • In reply to #1 by Lapithes:

      Hi Lapithes,

      Just recently I heard of a psychologists’ conference on whether p-values weren’t holding the field back and were they [etc.}

      Agreed that the jury must be out until the experiment design is known.

      I feel we should also add that the Report’s Author has already let slip that her conclusions are based on housing and employment data. While I can see a link between such data and economic integration – I fail to see what that has to do with cultural integration.

      I am fascinated to see how the Author supports her claim that her report is relevant to the discussion on multi-culturalism (which, in turn, fascinates me – that conversation is over, multi-culturalism is dead).

      Peace.

  2. This sounds rather pie in the sky optimistic to me. I agree with Lapithes that we need to read through the paper. What I’d like to know is how those two cities were chosen. Apparently they chosen because the immigrants are very successful in assimilation with greater society, but I would like to see comparisons to other cities and locations where immigrants are not assimilating successfully and let’s have some reasons why that is not happening.

    I’d be very interested to know what Ayaan Hirsi Ali thinks of this paper and it’s conclusions. In her two books she discusses in plenty of detail the substantial difficulties that Muslims have in their assimilation to European culture. The two books are Infidel and Nomad. I’m very sure that she will not agree that Islam is not an impediment to assimilation. Of course it’s an impediment! Every time I see a hejab, or even worse a Nikab or Burka I get resentful that those women refuse to assimilate. Disclosure: I’m in the States where we have less of this than I’ve seen in Europe but it’s getting more and more common even here.

    Even on this website alone we’ve had years worth of reports of bullying by Islamists as they make demands for accommodations to their extremely special religion including; special gender segregated seating at public events, gender segregated swimming times at public pools, no cooking pork sausage in public due to sinful haram odors wafting past the noses of the pious Islamists, blocking of streets as mosques are too full and the crowd spills out filling public spaces with barefoot delusional mumblers with their bums up in the air. The refusal to acknowledge that the European Enlightenment and Humanism in general has moved our Justice systems in the direction of fairness, equality and compassion while creating parallel arbitration “courts” based on sexist discrimination is a blatant rejection of assimilation, as are all of the above examples.

    Granted, I know nothing about the cities Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England or Bremen, Germany, but I would venture to guess that anyone in France might disagree with this:

    “Yet this research strongly suggests that Islam should not be seen as a barrier to integration, and that European anxiety regarding Muslim communities is greatly exaggerated. It shows that not only is integration possible, but that in Newcastle and Bremen it has been underway for some time.”

  3. The first two of the three links in the article don’t work.
    There is nothing in Wikipedia about NORFACE.
    And this really conflicts with all my life experience.
    Is this funded by Qatar or what?
    I’ll try to check this out, but I really have my doubts…

  4. as a squaddie based in Germany, not a million miles away from Bremen, I have seen and dealt with the local Turkish population on many occasions. They integrate pretty well from what I’ve seen and provide some decent service especially for us soldiers in foreign lands.From taxi services to barbers and fast food places they seem to see an opportunity to become a part of the place they live in.
    I cant say I have found the same level of integration with Muslims back home. I dont see them living by our laws and becoming British. They cling to their own culture and try to run their own societies within ours. The story on here yesterday about the Sharia law courts is just the tip of the iceberg I suspect.
    From a personal POV I dont know any Muslims who actively participate in British passtimes and attempt to become westernised. Thats not to say that they dont exist, just that they are very few and far between. Since I watch Bundesliga games with a few of the Turkish lads here I have to say again that they seem to be more happy to become “German”
    Even German football itself shows the integration of the Turkish community. The national team boast Mezut Ozil and Sami Khedira, Turkish Germans, as some of their major players. In Britain we have Amir Khan, a boxer who happily makes millions and was given his big chance by Team GB, who wont fight another Muslim because it is against his beliefs.

    • In reply to #4 by AtheistSquaddie:

      as a squaddie based in Germany, not a million miles away from Bremen, I have seen and dealt with the local Turkish population on many occasions. They integrate pretty well from what I’ve seen and provide some decent service especially for us soldiers in foreign lands.From taxi services to barbers an…

      Mo Farah is a Muslim, no? Interesting point about the German footballers, though. Seems to be a similar story with the French team.

  5. In reply to #5 by kbala:

    How the mighty have fallen!

    From being a forum dedicated to science & reason, it has now truly become a propaganda tool for apologists.

    Yes, how dare this website post an article about Muslims which doesn’t involve bombs, violence against non-Muslims etc.

    I for one didn’t sign up to RDnet to read positive stories about these people. I expect exclusively hostile articles; yet recently we’ve had Muslim taxidriver attacked and Buddhist monks attack Muslims, instead of the other way round, which as we all know is what must have happened.

    The cab driver obviously provoked his blameless passenger; the monks were responding to centuries of oppression by their Islamic overlords; and this story concerning so-called successful Integration of Muslims (as though such a thing were possible!) is just leftist, politically correct, bleeding-heart propaganda.

    The word is Infiltration, people; not Integration!

    Sickening. Truly sickening.

  6. Katy Cordeth – Im guessing you have some actual examples of integrating Muslims so you could add to the discussion and help people see the other side of the coin? Or are you just George Galloway in disguise? Seriously though, people here are posting opinions and views about what they see and come across in life. If that happens to show Muslims in a bad light then perhaps there is a reason for it?

    • Sarcasm might be “the lowest form of wit.” But Katy does is it very well. Lighten up Bro!In reply to #7 by AtheistSquaddie:

      Katy Cordeth – Im guessing you have some actual examples of integrating Muslims so you could add to the discussion and help people see the other side of the coin? Or are you just George Galloway in disguise? Seriously though, people here are posting opinions and views about what they see and come ac…

  7. Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many in the study were women and whether their situation was included. I’d be interested in what percentages of those who had found employment, owned homes or set up businesses were females.

    It’s all well and good saying a family is ‘integrated’ when the husband is in employment or has set up a business but the wife generally has to stay at home, leaving only in a black tent.

  8. Integration or Accommodation? Might not always be easy to tell one from the other. And what does integrating mean anyway? At one level it means becoming virtually indistinguishable culturally from the host population (which can mean the host population adopts aspects of the incoming culture – e.g. curry in Britain – as well as the newcomers adopting the host culture). At another it could mean rubbing along well enough to work alongside them and even make friends but still maintaining a very distinct and separate culture. Haven’t been to Newcastle in about 20 years but my personal experience (in London) is that hindus, West Indians (generally christian), Africans (christians and some muslims) and non-muslim Asians all integrate better than Pakistani or middle-eastern muslims.

    By the way, just noticed that this comment box auto-corrects christian to have a capital C. Doesn’t do the same for muslim, although it does flag it as an error.

  9. For what it’s worth; whenever I see a story about successful integration here in Norway, it’s usually about a family settling in some tiny community in the middle of nowhere, where there are no one else from their own culture. They are forced to interact with the natives all the time, so they usually learn the language quickly, pick up on cultural concepts, and even make friends. They become part of the community. The locals are usually very happy to have them, because the very existence of these places are threatened by young people moving into larger towns and cities.

    The reverse also seems to be true; the most socially problematic areas are parts of large cities where many people from the same country or culture settle in the same place. They quickly become a majority in those places, natives who can afford it move away, more immigrants from the same place move in; eventually you have a small piece of pakistan or somalia or wherever, where immigrants can continue living much like they did where they came from, ignoring the culture and language of the surrounding country.

    I have observed this personally as well. When I studied Japanese, I lived in Japan for half a year. There were many of us from different countries at the same university, and living close together. Most stayed together, but those few of us who made an effort to venture out on our own rather than stay with the group ended up learning a lot more, and were generally more satisfied with our stay.

    I’m happy to see that integration might be going somewhat better than we often might think, but there is obviously still much room for improvement, and the article seemed like it’s not enough of a basis to draw sweeping generalizations of successful integration in general.

    Oh, and we must remember that there are some positive aspects of pretty much any culture I have heard of. If everyone who immigrated to a country didn’t keep any piece of their culture at all, it would be a loss.

  10. This is why the focus of migration ought to be on “integration and assimilation”, rather than the current “multiculturalism” and “cultural diversity” hogwash.

    Multiculturalism is quite the opposite to integration and assimilation. Multiculturalism turns the onus of integration and assimilation onto the dominant host culture, which more or less places the migrating cultures above it’s own, as superior to the dominant host culture.

    The folly of this approach is boundless.

  11. Today, I decided to head out and do some old fashioned shopping by hitting a couple of malls/shops etc. I encountered five Muslim women – four wearing burkas – one’s face was fully covered. Accept for the one woman wearing stylish clothes and a head scarf, the others were all morbidly obese. I’m not sure if this is successfully integrating into American society or if this is an issue with Muslim women – or just an issue with these few women. I would like to know if there are any studies on the health of Muslim women in western societies.? I have not met (seen) many Muslim women who wear full burkas, but I would think that they are aware of the western view of their lifestyle and I would think that this would have some sort of impact on them psychologically. Women tend to take other women’s comments about them to heart. My guess is that they would not admit this to even themselves, but I still have to wonder….

  12. I also have to wonder about Vitamin D deficiencies. I would think that women wearing conservative dress would face potential health risks due to the lack of sunlight. My comments are in no way trying to belittle these women, but when I saw the extreme obesity of these few women today, I took it to heart that these women really are unknowingly suffering and I felt much compassion for them. They are not assimilating. They are living a culture clash.

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