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Integration of Muslims in the European Society

  • Date Submitted: 06/21/2013 08:32 PM
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Professor Arroyo
European Politics
Final Paper
8 May 2013
Integration of Muslims in the European Society
One of the most pressing issues facing the European Union and its member states today is how to handle the integration of Muslims into European society. From the time waves of Muslim immigrants were brought to Europe in the 1950’s to perform low-skill labor, the place of the Muslim community within Europe has been hotly contested. Each individual state is left to its own means on how to integrate Muslims as long as their means do not violate broader European Union rules regarding human rights. The variance of their approaches provides interesting insight into the deeper political and underlying normative structures within each perspective nation. Britain and France provide two of the most fascinating examples, as the stark contrast in their Muslim integration policy allows us to find correlation between government policy and societal interactions.
The Muslim integration debate in Europe is extremely relevant because European societal stability could depend on it. Tensions in Europe between white and Muslim populations are generally poor across the board, and each individual nation is profoundly affected by these relations in their own way. The topic is extremely controversial because there is really no ideal solution to the current tensions. Anytime a cultural “outsider” is introduced to a generally homogenous society in large numbers, values and perspectives are bound to conflict. Several generations after the first waves of Muslim immigrants, Europe has a population of 20 million Muslims. Muslims comprise five percent of the total population of the continent, including ten percent in France and five percent in the United Kingdom. Violent acts such as September 11 and the Underground bombing in London have recently brought tensions between native and Muslim populations in Europe to a boiling point. These events coupled with a perceived threat in the...

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