It is not a surprise to see Barack Obama slapping Europe for failing to integrate its muslim population in a press conference. With his British counterpart, Barack Obama confirmed what many analysts have been commenting for many years. Europe's failure to integration Muslims is today the greatest threat to Europe.
The US president, Barack Obama, believes that in Europe, the failure to integrate Muslims represents a threat to the continent, reports Foreign Policy. The statement came during the joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“Our Muslim populations, they feel themselves to be Americans. There is, you know, this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition that is probably our greatest strength,” Obama said, as he stood next to British Prime Minister David Cameron at a news conference. “There are parts of Europe in which that's not the case, and that's probably the greatest danger that Europe faces.” he added. At the same time, Obama said it is important for Europe not to simply respond with a hammer and law enforcement and military approaches to these problems..
David Cameron agreed with Obama's words stressing the need for better integration between religions and ethnicities. However, he warned that "we must not lose sight of the real enemy: the radical Islam".
The fact that Europe has struggled with integrating its Muslim population and the US successfully integrated Muslims into their society have opened many debates lately. Islam is growing worldwide and is today already in real figures the biggest and fasted growing religion in the world. Already a big population of Europe is Muslim and the figures are growing constantly. According to figures, soon, Amsterdam will be the first European city with a Muslim majority. Today, Muslims living in the Dutch capital are exceeding 180,000 (24% of the population). For the historian Bernard Lewis at the end of this century, most of Europe will already be Muslim. It seems exaggerated but the figures are clear. Between the in-coming migrants, fast growing local Muslim population and the new converts of western population, Islam is growing in the western world. The current figures speak of more than 20 million people and estimates that within less than ten years Muslims in Europe will reach 30 million, 50 if we add illegal immigrants. Europe is finally starting to show signs of wanting to "wake up", beginning to process correcting the mistakes of the past. Muslim are part of the society and need t be integrated accordingly. But today, lacking a common policy, the EU countries are torn between "a liberal openness" and "a fight to limit immigration and increase pressure to achieve integration of Muslims".
Europe suffers from its contradictions. Contradictions so obvious and shameful as their actions against events in Iran, Irak, Afghanistan, Syria... to not mention the Jewish state Shooting Kassam rockets against innocent civilians. It is humiliating, and deserves an honest examination of conscience by the European governments. Europe today is very confused, and find itself part of what earlier was an "outside problem". For many years Europe supported all kind of crimes and wars against innocent people for it own benefits. Well today Europe found itself being part of this big map and so those who suffered in these foreign countries are today citizens of the European union. This is when the governments started to wake up and now have to understand that these people are today part of the western world. But Europe until now have not been able to integrate this Muslim minority successfully as the US have done but instead it moves awkwardly between its guidelines "pluralistic liberal" and his desire to remain Europe. Today it seems very difficult for Muslim citizens to see themselves as part of the western society they live in, even those of second or third generation. This lack of integration is today causing problematic internal conflicts between the Muslims and western citizens.
Muslim immigration and poor European integration
Muslim immigration to Europe was growing considerably after World War II for two reasons. First, the decolonization of the European empires of its African colonies was accompanied with the possibility for the citizens of these decolonized countries to receive the citizenship of their mother countries. The best example of this is seen in the France-Algeria relationship that led many Algerians to live well documents on the continent.
The second reason is due to the rapid urbanization process experienced by Europe and the growing need for cheap labor. Thus, Europe experienced a strong wave of Turks who came to Germany, Maghreb Muslims immigrated to Switzerland and France, the Moroccan and Lebanese were absorbed by Italy, Belgium and Denmark.
European authorities considered that many of these immigrants were necessary workforce who settled to meet the immediate industry needs but would not stay to live as permanent citizens.
An immigration began as a fact somewhat isolated and became a social phenomenon. To boost the arrival of cheap labor, European countries promoted a policy of family bonding which documented worker could bring his household to join them in Europe. A fairly open strategy imposed during the 70's. In the next decade, many countries accepted refugees without too many obstacles. Denmark, for example, became a haven for immigrant who was graciously received by the social services paid by the state. In addition, many countries granted work permits and residence without too many conditions, including the granting of citizenship to the children of immigrants born in European soil.
Since then, Europe experienced a fast-paced increase in the Muslim community in Europe compared to the former residents. Currently, it is estimated that the birth rate among Muslims is three times that of families from Western Europe. Moreover, the birth rate in some countries of the old continent becomes sometimes negative. A good example is recorded in Britain, where from 2004 to 2008, the birth rate among Muslim families became ten times higher than that of non-Muslims.
The Muslim population in Europe is more than 4.5% of the old continent total population. However, some observers as Amikam Nachmani ensure that Muslims participate in religious activities of their cities is more intensely than their Christian peers, the name "Muhammad" (Muhammad) for instance is today the most popular name among newborn boys in various cities in Europe. The Muslim culture is also growing contently. Today Europe is experiencing an enormous amount of mosques being built in many European cities where churches are slowly disappearing due to lack of religion interest of the western citizens. From a numerical point, the percentage of Muslims in some European cities is simply breathtaking. In Amsterdam Muslims are 180,000 (24% of the city) in Bradford 75,000 (16%), Birmingham 143,000 (14.3%), Brussels 160,000 (17%), Ile de France 1.7 million (10-15%), London 625,000 (8.5%), Marseille 350,000 (20%), Rotterdam 80,000 (13%) and Vienna 120,000 (8%).
Integration and isolation of Muslims in Europe
Many analysts agree that the pattern of dominant and controlling behavior shows that the Muslim communities in Europe have not been assimilated into the majority and continue to run their lives according to the internal rules of the sector and the directives of their leaders. In the Jewish world is governed under the premise of Shmuel "Dina dina de-Maljuta" ie, "the law of the place where you live is your law and so it must be respected". These rules explain the rapid and steady integration of Jews in the societies of the world. Among Muslims, the personal definition goes through their "religion". The issue here is that the religion of Islam changes according to the country. There are many different groups of Muslim groups who have different point of views in different questions. Some are more radicals than others…
Some argue, not without reason that the lack of integration of Muslims is due to a philosophical, ideological and even strategic decision. For others, they also have many trials that confirm their arguments, the explanation for this lack of integration lies in the xenophobia of the majority who does not strive to understand and integrate the Islamic minority. In a study of 2006, "Pew Institute", Muslims believe that Europeans were selfish, arrogant and violent; however, the Europeans thought that Muslims were "fanatical, violent and closed minded". Indigenous Europeans and Muslims thought that relationship between the two cultures were "bad". In Germany, those who thought so were 70% of respondents while in France were 66%. The integration ... obviously has not had much success. Other studies shows that even the third generation immigrants experiencing the bad integration:
- Speaks their foreign language as their main language
- Most of the Muslim population lives in suburbs or remote areas.
- High percentage of the young population end up in prison
- Unstable employment, unemployment or low paying work.
- From a socioeconomic standpoint we cannot speak of a successful integration though obviously it differs from country or city by city.
Europe was changing perception towards the Muslim minority in recent years. There were certain milestones worth noting. First of all the terrorist attacks in the Twin Towers in 2001, the bombings in Madrid in March 2004 and London in 2005. In Britain, Charlie Hebdo in Paris… as a result and instead of analyzing the problem, The European governments have imposed a very heavy-handed imposed against crime and terrorism being that even the intelligence agencies began mobilizing agents in the prayers in mosques. Muslims, knowing they were spied on, they found themselves being persecuted. These made the relationship even worst between the western citizens and the Muslim communities.
In the last years many incident have happened due to the failure to integrate Muslims and the poor understanding of Islam by the European governments. Europe has no control over Islam today were all the rules and information comes from third countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran. Europe need to have it own European Islam controlled and studied by the governments with it own teachings and debates in order to control and integrate the local Muslim population in Europe. It is important to include this important and fast growing population in the European society, improving their culture and it religion and we have to remember that a big community of muslims are already well integrated in the society but need to have the same rights as other citizens in Europe.